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Published: June 23rd 2007
Two red flags mean "Gale warning"
Three red flags mean "No stinking way, my friend."
Called the Coast Guard again.
It was Saturday evening and the gale was still blowing. We were tied up snug to our dock, riding it out, waiting for a weather window to open up so we could continue north. The masthead was reading gusts in the upper thirties with sustained winds in the high twenties.
I was working my way through the NY Times crossword puzzle when I heard shouting. Lots of shouting. Mainly cursing and swearing and threats. Taking a break from 21 Across “ Rousseau Work” I went to the cockpit to see what the fuss was about. It didn’t take long to figure it out.
A gentleman in a particularly inebriated state was attempting to row his dinghy to his derelict sailboat anchored in the bay. But he only had one oar. And, he was attempting to row into a full gale. He was making good progress in a bad direction - he was being blown out to sea. But he did manage to grab hold of the “no wake” buoy and hang on. And there he sat. I watched as he pulled the buoy’s rode up and tied his painter to it. Then
Our wind gauge
Sometimes we sit and watch the numbers climb and we're fascinated.
he slumped forward, dejected and drunk, and prepared, I suppose, to wait out the gale.
But then the waves started to pick up again. And he was hanging on for all
he was worth. I called to him, but the wind made it impossible to hear. So I went below and called the Coast Guard. They arrived about ten minutes later and had a tough time getting him to untie himself from the buoy. But finally he agreed, and they got him aboard and brought him over to the fuel dock.
I don’t know what happened to him after that. I saw the Coasties heading back to their base a while later. And I haven’t seen anyone on the derelict today, while the gale still blows.
I asked the security guard at the marina this morning if he knew what was going on with the guy hugging the No Wake buoy the night before. He gave me a smirk and said, “Idiocy” and then he laughed. As if that summed it all up.
June 24th Update
No good deed goes unresented. After dinner tonight, Joy and I took a little amble around the marina.
The floating dump at anchor
The fact that it is even floating is a miracle.
While we were out, we ran into one of the security guards here. He asked if I was the one who called the Coast Guard for the guy hugging the buoy last night. He looked kind of disappointed and annoyed at the same time. He told us that he had been hoping that no one would see the guy and that he would flip his dinghy and solve the problem of the derelict guy in the derelict boat. Seems he’s been an on-going pain in the butt for the marina, the county sheriff and the Coast Guard for a very long time.
It wasn’t that he was mad at me. I could tell that he knew that calling the Coast Guard was the right thing to do. But I could also see a scary little glint in his eye. One that had seen a convenient solution to his problem. A solution that would have made for a lot of tsk, tsking, and “I-knew-something-like-that-was-going-to-happen-ing”. The drowned derelict would have been the talk of the marina for the next couple of days. And then it would just be a story to tell. But it's not one that I would have wanted
Coasties to the rescue
He was drunk, he was loud and he was rescued.
People are different.
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