Never give up

The other day when other boats had left, leaving me plenty of space to manoeuvre, I decided to take a short sailing trip. I slowly engined out and rolled out the genua. At first I thought I'd just go across the bay to get a change of scenery but well out there I carried on out to the open sea between the mainland and the island of Spetses.  
The feeling of freedom can't be described. It was beautiful, but I didn't want to venture too far though as the wind was getting up. Turning around I found a  lovely spot in the clear waters of the mouth of the bay. After dropping the anchor in 4 meters of turquoise blue heaven, I  went for a swim. This was what I had dreamed of doing for months, in fact I felt a surge of happiness for a moment. If only Max could have seen me now. 
After lunch and a nap the wind got stronger so I decided to wait until it died down a little before attempting to return to the busy anchorage on the other side of the bay.
Just then an elderly Danish guy came rowing over from his boat. " Can one of you help me get my anchor up?"he asked "I'm not strong enough to manage it alone"
"I'm alone too,"  I said " and I'm not sure I'm strong enough either" ( I had seen he didn't have an electric windlass)
"Never mind, - sorry I asked" he grunted and rowed off. He turned round and shouted " How can you manage such a big boat if you're not strong?"
I had a bad conscience then of course and decided to do what I could to help.
When  I went over to his boat in my dinghy I got a better look at him and could see he was way over 80.  
I told him , if it was a matter of  running the engine and steering the boat while he looked after the anchor then I could help. But he looked at me and said " No, that won't do, you're just as old as I am!"
Thanks for that!
Then I offered to take my dinghy over to another anchored yacht and ask for help.
When I got over there the english boatowner  replied:
" Oh no , not him again! - never mind, I'll go and help" which he did. 
After a lot of time and effort his anchor was finally up. Then he  inched his boat slowly forward and only 10- 20 meters further on  he dropped it again! I don't know what difference he thought it made.
In the early evening I returned to  the muddy waters of the town anchorage again after a  lovely refreshing and enlightening day.
Several days later I could still see his boat in the distance on the other side of the bay. I wondered if he was alright and if he could call for help if he needed it.
Today he passed me in his boat as he arrived at the buoyed area I'm now in. He had apparently engine trouble and was taken on tow by the boatyard's dory. 

I hope people don't tire of helping this guy.
I also sincerely hope nobody ever takes it upon themselves to tell him it's time to stop sailing, - and who would have the heart to do so ? He doesn't do any harm and he's probably much happier pottering about in his boat than he ever would be on dry land. He keeps fitter too with all the fresh air and exercise involved in living aboard.
Somebody once said - " Riding out a storm at sea is no challenge at all compared with spending your last years in an old peoples home"

Perhaps he's doing the right thing.

1 comment:

  1. Well done... I would have left him to it if he has been that rude to me.. :o)