Ship Wreaked

The weather report looked stable for the next few weeks, the winds should be favorable, and they were keen to get to the next port, so at the crack of dawn, they weighed anchor, motored out into the channel, the sails went up, and the boat trembled as the power of the wind took hold, in no time at all they were moving at a brisk pace, with the soothing sound of the water sloshing along the hull, and the rigging and sails “Talking” under the strain, course set, the bow cutting through the clear water, new destination in  just under a week.  Let’s not take the tourist route, let’s take the path least travelled, see some new sights, as we want to experience this area.

Later, they reached the point where the map pointed to a change of bearing, helm over, and sails re-set, a good tail wind, so the big spinnaker was unfurled, and as it popped into a billowing cloud before them, the huge forces really made the rigging sing and tremble as the yacht surged forwards, speeding across the vast ocean.  They settled back to enjoy this occasional opportunity to put out all the sails in the rigging, and to let the boat have its head, and run with the wind, sails as tight as a drum, and a long foaming white wake behind as they sliced their way through the empty ocean.  Then they saw it, that ever growing darkness on the horizon, that swirling, flashes of lightning, a storm, and they were going to have to deal with this one as there was nowhere to hide.

Time to plan, the big spinnaker was carefully brought down and packed away, the boat slowed from its maddening surging speed.  The “Genoa” was next, then the smaller “Storm Jib” went up, for if the worst came and the “Main Sail” had to be packed away, at least the bow would give them some power and thus the rudder would be able to work to give them some steerage.  Check over everything, all was packed, tied down, wet weather gear and life jackets on, carefully check the map, yes, there was nothing in front that needed dodging, and then it hit, they were in the storm, the rigging now howled, not from the power of the sails, but from the scream of the storm, rain pounding upon them.

Then they became aware, disaster, the direction of the wind and waves was pushing them quickly off course, and at quite a rate, they tried vainly to press back on track but that was very unsafe to tack that hard, they had to do the best they could on this course.  Double check where would this course lead, “Disaster” there was an island out there somewhere, and they were sort of heading directly towards it, can we go to the leeward, and sneak behind it? No, too many scattered rocky outcrops and low reef’s, they had to somehow press past on the windward.  Soon they could make out the dark foreboding shape of land, towering mountains of spray, meant serious trouble, but try as they could, there was no dodging the impending disaster, they were to become ship-wreaked on this  beautiful island of nowhere.

Searching into the spray, they noticed a gap appearing close to them, there appeared to be a gap of quieter water, as if a river flowed between outstretched arms of jagged rocky outcrops, quick decision, the helm was thrown over, the wind caught the sails and the boat surged forwards now the wind was behind them, up the channel they surged, then they felt the twin keels struggle as they buried themselves deeply into the soft sand, the boat shuddered, and they quickly dropped the sails, they had landed, well not as planned but definitely not upon the rocks.  So as the force of the waves diminished, as the tide seemed to be receding, and the boat was stable, time for a hot drink, a quick sleep and we can assess in daylight, and exhausted they slept deeply.

By late morning they awoke to a gentle breeze and the sound of birds, yes they were safe, drop a ladder over the side and scramble down, the boat was undamaged, but very high and dry, grounded above high water lines, on a sandy strip between the rocky fingers that reached out into the ocean, they were indeed “Ship-Wreaked,” but actually more beached, extremely well, and no way off.  Easy, activate the EPERB, but there it was, gone, ripped from its mounting by the wind force, let us use the radio, but it was dead as waves had filled it with water, and destroyed it, stuck on a less used path, no way off, no way of communicating, little chance of rescue, as they were sort of off the map.

So like “Swiss Family Robinson,” they have no choice but to make this “Home” until circumstance change.  Exploration, and yes this is a good sized island, a fresh water stream is located close by them, there are banana palms, coconuts, plenty of fish, but the beaches are clean of civilization trash, so they are well away from civilization, they quickly fall into a survival routine, store fire wood as much as they can when other chores are done, so they should be able to “live off the island” and survive, so like the “Swiss Family Robinson,” this island quickly became “Home.”

Then a long time later, they spied a passing boat, actually heard its motor long before they saw it, they hailed each other, and found that Joshua was a fisherman, who sometimes passed this way, he spied their Yacht, and slowed to see if he could help.  A quick inspection, and their hull was sound, but the water was back there, new plan, let us dig out the sand, lower the yacht, and maybe float it back out.  Much digging, and the hull was partially wet, we need more depth, but we are on solid rock, more buoyancy, yes.  Joshua suggested that they take his boat two beaches over, harvest a pile of bamboo poles from the forest there, float them back, strap them under their Yacht, and with a “King Tide” early next week, we have a chance.

With a combined effort, the yacht looked odd, like an strange sort of eagle on a bamboo nest, but they had succeeded, so as the tide rose higher, Joshua backed his boat up and attached it securely, then at peak tide, he gunned the motor, the prop wash surged up the channel, the yacht wiggled, and then moved a small amount, another tug and progress, one more tug and there was steady progress as the yacht bumped and rocked over the sea bed, and then it was floating, so Joshua pulled a wee bit more to get them out into deeper water.

Then quickly the bamboo nest was released, and a top heavy ungainly boat settled back down into the water, rescued.  Much thankfulness, and gratitude, they were safe, But Joshua warned them to stay close behind him, as there were numerous shoals ahead, that the map did not show, so they set sail and stayed in Joshua’s wake, until he turned sharply north, for him to head home, and they chartered their course once more to their destination.

Sin has us all stuck here, “Ship-Wreaked” on this rugged shore, temptation when yielded to has tried to wreck us on the rocks of destruction, but Jesus Christ has sailed out and found us, but we have the choice of “being Rescued” and so many refuse a better life, they want what they have, leave me alone, when much better is available, we just must accept that we are stranded, the rocky outcrops of Sin entrapping us, we really do need help.  So when Jesus Calls, how do you answer?