(Underway, 162 Nautical Miles)
Bad news bears on the SSB net again this morning. The boat with the broken shroud had snapped another, rendering sailing completely out of the question. With 500 nautical miles to go they had a lot of motoring ahead of them, problem was, they didn’t have enough fuel to get them through. As Greg listened in, unable to speak up, he noted the crippled boat’s location. They were only 70 knots to our southeast. Plotting everyone else’s location, it was clear that us and Peregrin – another crossing boat we had been in VHF radio contact with yesterday – were the nearest to help.
As our friend Roger knew, and mentioned to everyone on the net, we had loads of extra fuel on hand in easily accessible jugs. Adversely, Peregrin had a substantial amount of fuel, though it was all in their tanks and would have to be pumped out. A mildly cumbersome task, but Peregrin was significantly closer to the boat in need.
Upon hearing the bad news and listening to everyone’s input, Greg adjusted our course to the south to go and offer help. We travelled south for over six hours before we were within VHF radio contact with either boat. Finally, within range, we were able to hail Peregrin on the VHF radio and got word that the fuel transfer was complete. They had pumped fuel out of their engine tank, into the other boats empty jerry cans, and passed them over. All was good on the high seas once more.
Although we weren’t needed in the end, just being close at hand left us feeling good. Knowing that we’re all out here together, and everyone is willing and able to offer help to a fellow sailor is really something special. The cruising community never ceases to warm my heart with their kind, accepting, and neighbourly ways.
And, of course, I’ll never hear the end of this from Greg. I must admit I was slightly dubious at our need for soooo many fuel jugs aboard Oceanna. A thought I’ve since had to eat. They’ve already paid their dues. We were able to limit Ednbal’s number of trips to the fuel station in the Galapagos and today Greg’s offshore fuel dock was called into action. Even if it wasn’t needed in the end, it got the call.