Adventure Continues…

J-Boat Race, Bermuda, June 2017

Something woke me up around 3AM on June 28, 2017. It was a strange sound, and strange sounds are usually not good. I thought John was opening and closing a hatch in his cabin. I ignored it at first but I heard it again and again. What’s going on? I got up and checked outside of the boat. OMG! It looked like there was a mountain right next to our boat. I shout John “Get UP!” A huge J-Boat (120ft = 40 meter) had dragged down and hooked on our chain and was leaning against us. Surprisingly, our anchor was holding both our boat and the J-Boat. This is the anchor John decided to get at the Annapolis Boat Show last year (2016). After talking to a representative from the company ‘Mantus’ at the boat show, John decided to buy it.

J-Boat Race, Bermuda, 2017

The day before when the J-Boat was anchored, I wasn’t comfortable with the distance between the J-Boat and us. In normal circumstances, we don’t usually see big boats at an anchorage. Most of them go to a marina. In Bermuda, all the boats clear Customs and Immigrations at one location, St. George’s. The 35th America’s Cup had just ended, and everyone was going back home. There is no big marina to handle all the super yachts in St. George’s so we saw lots of them anchored.

We tried to get someone from the J-Boat to come out and help (VHF Radio Call and Shouts). No answer. John jumped on their boat and called out. No answer. He finally walked along the length of the J-Boat yelling and banging with his heel on the deck. He finally got a response from the crew in the front and they all came on deck to assist in freeing the two boats and minimizing the damage. During this time, I wondered if we will be stuck in Bermuda for boat repair caused by this incident and our grand plan, cruising the Atlantic Islands would be halted. It is the hurricane season here now, not to mention paying 4 times more for groceries and etc. than in the US. While this is going through my mind, one of crew or perhaps the captain who John had finally awakened said “Please be quiet our guests (owner) are sleeping…” I am thinking ‘Seriously?’

When the day broke, we inspected our boat. The captain and engineer from the J-Boat came over and apologized. There was some damage on our boat and we got their insurance information and a confirmation email for repair arrangement in Horta, Azores in Portugal where we are heading. Trusting someone works most of the time.

What really bothered John and I was that the J-Boat owner never came over personally and said “I am sorry, we will make this right”. John said if he were the owner, he would go to the boat and apologize. I guess we have to carry our standard ourselves and try to be a good world citizen, trusting and believing good people. We are hoping the quality of the repair in Horta doesn’t delay our Atlantic Islands Cruising plan, not to mention additional stress.

Later, after this incident got temporarily settled, we heard on the VHF radio someone calling ‘Mayday Mayday’. A single-handed sailor had a foot deep water on the floor of his boat. He was about 10 miles away from Bermuda. The Bermuda Harbor Radio (Channels 16 and 27) handled the situation carefully and relayed the emergency. Some volunteer boats were close by and helped the boat and saved the sailor and the boat. In between this time, we heard another boat calling ‘Help’ for a boat breakdown. A Ferry boat transporting passengers, lost steering capability while in the narrow channel between the reefs. Bermuda Radio again handled the situation safely.

Next day, a sound woke me up early again. It was John. ‘What is that?’ My ankle hurts, he said. Apparently, it was from yesterday’s incident when he had to step hard to wake the crew on the J-Boat. We are about getting ready for sailing to our next destination, Flores Island, Azores, Portugal. It is about 1800 nms. We think we may sail an average 100 nms for 18 days… Everyone, wish us ‘Fair Winds and Following Seas’!

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