Sunday, 31 March 2013

Restful (?) Day

Happy Easter to all ... and thank you to the friends who came to see us off from St Katharines and especially the gifts of chocolate!
'Loon' & 'Alchemy' behind us in the lock
We were followed into the lock by friends on the American yacht 'Alchemy'  and the French yacht 'Loon'. We arrived here at Stangate Creek in the Medway after dark and were looking forward to a restful day today eating chocolate, decompressing from the city and learning to use the new computer and camera systems.

Quite early this morning I was surprised to hear a call of 'Pan Pan' (fairly high on the Distress Scale on its way up to SOS). It was from 'Loon'. A check on the AIS display (this relatively new boat gadget shows all nearby vessels similarly equipped) showed that Loon was only 1.2 miles away. She was trapped in a fairly shallow area with a failed engine and limited wind and range for sailing.
Larry realized we could help, and we called the Coast Guard and Loon to make that happen. Fortunately we have a heavy steel boat. Loon is a 10m boat (we are 14m) and she and her crew swung easily into position behind the towing bridle we'd constructed. An hour-long trip brought us within range of the Gillingham Yacht Club where a workboat was sent out to tow Loon into their lock. We set off back to our restful anchorage here. We hope that Loon and all the helpful members of the Gillingham Y.C., Police, Coast Guard and RNLI who came out enjoyed some chocolate as well!

When we got back here our restful day was cancelled when we discovered that our new faucet had developed a worsening leak. This was fixed by the Captain.
After that our new - still recalcitrant - computer had to be cajoled into accepting these photos by the Captain and hopefully this message will also agree to being helped off the vessel under his guidance.