Team Momo to the Rescue

Monday 22nd March: What a crazy day we’ve had! It started off with Bernie filling out the paperwork for getting his NZ residency visa transferred into his new passport and me taking him in to go to DHL to send it and collecting Kyla at the same time. She went to the beach yesterday and ended up staying ashore. By the time we went in, mid morning, the wind had got up. It was wind against tide so the sea was pretty rough, making for fun in the dingy! Kyla and I got soaked coming back into the wind! She loved it.

She had to pack, as her flight was going at 2pm. That done we went back in and parked ourselves in a restaurant to wait for Bernie. After he arrived and we were having drinks, Kyla got a lesson in using Ding to top up her phone. As that was happening we felt a splatter raining on us and I exclaimed “God, a gull pooped on us!” In fits of laughter, we used paper napkins to wipe it off! One large dollop had hit the side of Kyla’s glass. Not an addition to your vodka you really want!

Then the fun began. We’d noticed a yacht very close to the beach, with an old dude on it. I’d commented that it must have a retractable centre board earlier. At this point two young guys came into view at the water’s edge and took off their shoes. Then in jeans and shirts, waded in and started pushing the yacht out. The guy aboard started his engine, an outboard, churning mud like mad, and after it was deeper motored off. The young guys watched a bit then left and we didn’t think much more of it at that point, and we’re only idly watching.

However, as we did we saw he was going all over the place, round in circles, and moving from the helm to the anchor and back, over and over. Then he untied the dingy he was towing behind and tied it forward. I said to Bernie “why the hell is he tying that on the bow in this weather? He’ll sink it.” I swear it was 5 seconds later and that dingy was filling with water and then submerged under the yacht, the old guy totally oblivious. It started pulling the yacht round, so he tottered up the starboard side and saw his dingy gone. By this stage we were half laughing and half horrified.

Kyla announced she was going to help him. Bernie was of the opinion we should keep out of it but I couldn’t let her go alone, as she really doesn’t know much about boating! So she went in in her knickers and t shirt, while I had my skort and bra on! We swam out to him and while I retrieved the oars, Kyla tried to get the dingy out from under the yacht. The guy was zero help and in fact still had the motor running. I yelled at him to turn it off, with slashing motions of my hand across my neck! I tried to get him to follow instructions but it was immediately clear he was drunk out of his skull. Kyla managed to untie the dingy painter and pull it clear of the yacht, though still submerged. I started towing the yacht out of the shallows into deeper water. Once in enough water to be safe, I got him to hand me his anchor and swam it out further. Then I dived and dug it in before telling him to let out lots more rope. He had very little chain on it. However it seemed to hold, so I went to help Kyla take the dingy to the beach and empty it out. As we finished doing that, the crazy old bugger waded in and started yabbering nonsense at us. No thanks! Feeling we’d done enough, he was anchored and safe, we went back to where Bernie was sitting, watching the whole drama.

However, that was not the end of it! Hot damn if he didn’t then start trying to row back out to his yacht in the dingy with only one paddle. Going against the wind he very nearly got carried off but just managed to make it, get on board and tie off the dingy. At the stern! Next, to our disbelief, he started the engine and, with the anchor still over, motored off. Abandoning the helm he went to get the anchor up and the yacht started driving itself on a very erratic course. Horrified we watched him almost run into a number of other boats, going in crazy circles. At this point, I got a waitress and asked her to call the Navy /coastguard before he did serious damage. Unreal! Then Kyla had to rush or she was going to miss her flight back to Hermosillo.

23.03.21: That wasn’t the end of the day’s drama. Later in the afternoon as Bernie was resealing the starboard forward deck plate, I heard him talking to someone about borrowing food. I went topsides to see what was going on and see if he needed me to help. He was talking to a chap on another yacht that was circling us but then took off. Bernie did he’d looped round a couple of times and asked if he could buy food off us. It was all a bit odd but I put together a few things in a bag, and we watched him.

He dropped his anchor and pulled it up a number of times. Wondering if he needed help we went over in the dingy, me with the food. He said he was fine but the anchor wasn’t holding. We came back but after watching a bit longer decided he had no clue how to anchor, so went to offer help again. Bernie got on board and drove his yacht, with him on the bow. Once in position, he let go the anchor, only about 20 feet, not enough to touch the bottom even. I was calling out from the dingy “más, más, más!” (He’s Mexican) He had a manual anchor winch and it was obvious he didn’t want to let much out because he’d have to haul it up by hand! But with me yelling “necesitas más!” he did! Bernie dug it in and put on a snubber. And, surprise surprise, it held! So he had a good night’s sleep! As did we! His name is Marten and he’s just got the yacht. He wants to sail it to Mazatlan where his partner lives. God help him! He was super grateful for our help and the food, a sweet guy, but no sailor!

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