Nov 19

On committment

Tag: musingsjonny5waldman @ 4:47 am
A friend in Wyoming called me a couple of weeks ago and related a harrowing near-tragic sailing story… Her boyfriend and two buddies were out sailing the First Lady on Jenny lake. It was late October, and snow had already begun to fall in the mountains. Most boats had been pulled out of the lake already. After a day of sailing they headed back to the dock. It was dusk. Three quarters of a mile from shore, a gust of wind knocked the boat over. The First Lady, a Catalina 27 — is not exactly burly. At first, when the sails hit the water, the captain thought the boat would right itself… alas, the retractable “keel” (more like centerboard) decided to retract — and the boat continued to roll. Very quickly, it ended up in full turtle position — 180 degrees upside down. The three guys — all healthy and strong — scampered out off the boat, into the 55-degree water, and up onto the hull, where they clung, hoping the whole rig wouldn’t sink. (San Francisco Bay is about the same temperature year-round.) And then the fun part: they spent the next hour, cold and shivering, yelling for help, hoping someone at Signal Mountain Lodge (about a mile away) would hear them. Luckily, someone heard, and sent help…. The next day, four guys in wetsuits returned to the boat, and spent eight grueling hours, with the assistance of a couple of tows, righting the boat. The First Lady was more stable capsized, apparently, then upright. The scary part: only one person knew the three guys had gone sailing, and since the three guys were all bachelors living alone, if they hadn’t come back that night, nobody would have sent out the troops. Yikes. Just another reminder of how committing it is to go out on the water — even with an 8,000-lb keel, even in a sailboat that rights itself from 120 degrees —  someplace wet and cold and far away from everything, where you could yell all you want and nobody would hear.

2 Responses to “On committment”

  1. Dave says:

    and there are even worse things, like pirates, be careful out there:

  2. clammy says:

    mebbe a posting on how yer gonna arm yerselves would be timely. ‘guns, lots of guns’ as wuz said in the matrix.
    thanks, clammy

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