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Apr 30, 2012

Pisces To The Rescue

Just another day at the office....oh yeah, and we made a daring rescue of a boat that was stranded at sea with six people on board. What’d you do today?   
     It was our final day at sea and we were going from St. Thomas to Puerto Rico when we came upon a small boat bobbing helplessly in the water. The Big Guy said he saw them waving a white flag, which I guess is a universal distress signal. I thought it meant they were surrendering.  Anyhow, through the binoculars I could see six people frantically waving at us, which was our second clue they were indeed in distress and/or surrendering.

Our 1st attempt at towing, just before the line snapped...
I’ll admit that I have a suspicious bone in me and so as we were circling around to come to their rescue I made a mental note of just where exactly my chef’s knife was in case they happened to be real pirates of the Caribbean.
     “Maybe it's a trick and they want to rob us,” I speculated to Big.
     “They are cleaning poop out of their pants, so I don’t think so,” he brilliantly deduced.

Ok, so we got communication with them and they told us that their engines had quit them. (We later learned that they had bought fuel on Tortola which is cheap for a very good reason…it’s mostly water…and it’s a lesson we have already learned.)
     So while Big rigged up a tow-line I drove our boat in big, slow circles around them. The scared faces on the three young girls told me it was for real and that we wouldn’t be dueling it out on a short plank.  Big then took the helm and got us close enough so that I could throw them the line.  They tied on and we began towing them only to have the line break within the first few minutes. 
     Big got a second set of lines ready, while I manned the helm and again we made another attempt. This time as I threw the lines I was knocked down by the pitching of the boat in the five to six foot swells and almost fell off the sugar scoop. The water rushed up the scoop and soaked me, but I managed to grab on to the rail, which by the way had broken loose when the first tow-line snapped, and drag myself to safety just as a giant shark was coming for me.

They tied on again and we made it about fifteen minutes before that line broke. (Note to self: we need some of those trucker tow-ropes.)

Big went with Plan C and got more lines and then tied them from both sides of the stern and then added another one in the middle. I continued to drive in a circle while their little boat bobbed like a cork in the rough seas and their little faces looked on helplessly.   

This way worked better
Big got us back into position and I threw the lines again.  The kid missed. We set up for another pass and I pitched the lines with all the strength I had. One of them caught it at the bitter end and The Big Guy had a screaming panic attack because it got flipped up over our soap dispenser stand and looked like it was going to tear that off, so I did a spectacular nose dive under the dinghy and managed to get the line on the other side of the dispenser. I should note that Big was doing some pretty spectacular driving on his part, keeping the boats close enough together so they could tie on.

We then towed them for about ten miles before Sea-Tow (like AAA for boaters) came to the rescue with their big trucker tow-lines and took over for us and towed them for the last five or six miles while we went on ahead into Puerto del Rey and docked.  

A couple of hours later six grateful young kids came to our boat and shook our hands and thanked us for saving the day.   

Authors Note:  Parts of this story may have been slightly the stuff about the rail breaking and the six foot seas.


  1. You tell such great storys, Tammi. I even believed the part about the shark.

    1. You saw it with your own eyes June! Pictures dont'lie!