Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Adventures in boating.

Last Sunday, I took out some family members on a fishing trip into the Gulf Islands. It was opening day for Ling Cod. The trip started off well, I pretended I was a fishing guide and one of the sons-in-law brought in a 25 pound ling. Lots of fish and chips with that one.

About two o'clock we started home, about 45 minutes by boat. Half way home my main engine fails. The transmission in the leg acts up. Won't stay in gear. In all likely hood, the gears have been stripped out. It's an older motor, served me well for many years without any trouble. So, no problem, we shall putt home on the kicker. Travelled a couple of kilometres more and had to add gas to the small motor. As I was pouring in the gas, it didn't look good. The kicker dies as soon as it gets to the gas I just poured in. Water in the gas. Been sitting in the boat all winter. Drain out the gas, pour in some fresh gas from the main tanks, and pull on the starter cord for twenty minutes.

One boat passes by in the opposite direction. Offers us a tow which we decline. We'll get the kicker going. That was the last boat we see.

The wind is slowly blowing us across a straight. After an hour of drifting, no boats in sight, I call the coast guard with a cell phone. (In Canada *16 will get you the coast guard) They radio to see if any other boats are in the area that would be wiling to give us a tow. They get our location and general wind speed. An hour later, they call back, unable to raise anyone. They get our new location and decide to get us themselves. A 47' cutter is sent our way, will be at our location in an hour.

The twelve steps have taught me I don't have to do everything myself. Taught me that I don't have to feel guilty and shameful for asking for help. The twelve steps have shown me how to remain sober, in the past I would have been a bit tipsy at this point of the fishing trip. I wasn't angry. I wasn't fearful. I was concerned for the other members of our crew. It wasn't all about me. The suggested program of Alcoholics Anonymous is a program of recovery. It's life changing.
The crew of the cutter were very friendly. They towed us right to the boat launch. It was a very uneventful rescue. No one was harmed. They were very professional. If the coast guard was not around, we would of ended up on the rocky shore of a small uninhabited island. Would have been a different story.

I am very grateful for the rescue and safe ending. Thank you.

Photo of rescue boat from Canadian Coast Guard
photo url:


Sophie in the Moonlight said...

What a wonderful example of the spirit of recovery. My husband is just starting to LIVE the principle unselfishness and genuine concern of and appreciation for those around him. I keep meaning to send him over here. As soon as I click publish I will send him the link.

I'm glad you and yours are safe and the ling was fresh enough to enjoy over and again.

pat said...

Wow. Great story with a happy ending.