Don and Lynda were our second set of sea school students in 1996 on the island of Sint Maarten. We were still quite green in the art of "teaching", but these two, along with their 21-year-old son took it in stride and plied the teachers with beers and cocktails to smooth out the learning process! They have become very dear friends and are catamaran owners themselves of an Island Spirit 40 called Awe-Spray. They are no doubt the kind of friends that anyone would like to have as this excerpt from their sailing blog proves. They are our very best Plonkers of the Month and a great example of the best kind of sailors/cruisers out there!
After I made a phone call at 5:30 am we were informed from the next lock that there was a tow coming up so we stayed tied to the dock waiting for the lock to clear until 9:00 am. This is a late start when the days are so short, and anchorages are so far apart. We worked our way down river another fifty miles through three more locks before we were able to anchor in Windham Cove just before dark. Ourselves, Ook Pik, and Salty Paws rafted off and adjourned to Ook Pik for cocktails and dinner. After dinner, Bruce, the owner of Ook Pik, complained about chest pains and he didn't look so good. We all retired to our respective boats for the night.
We are informed early in the morning that Bruce hadn't slept all night and that when he lays down, his chest is killing him. I'm not a doctor. I just play one on the river, but I know this can't be good. It's 50 miles up the river against the current or 70 miles down the river to get help. We opt to head down river and make it to Demopolis, AL, just before dark. After docking in the marina, we try and persuade Bruce he must go the hospital, but to no avail. Lucky for us, the Head of Admissions at the local hospital is at the bar and he talks him into going and getting checked out.
Bruce returned to his boat about 12:30 am after refusing treatment for a heart attack he had 24 hours earlier when we were on anchor. They wanted to operate immediately, but he is from Canada and wants to be treated there. When we find this out, it is about 8:00 am, and he and his wife are on their boat doing nothing. Lynda gets on the computer to line up a rental car. I go to the office to get prices on prolonged dockage for the boat, winterization, and possible winter storage. Another couple volunteer to drive them to Cincinnati to meet Bruce's son who is on the way down from Canada. The couple leave to retrieve the rental car that is 50 miles away while Lynda organizes maps, picks up prescriptions, and cleans out all the perishables on their boat. I move their boat around to a permanent slip, secured it with dock lines, cleared all the valuables off the deck, and winterize the boat. We got this all done and had them on the road by 1:00 pm. The whole time, Bruce and his wife Karen could not understand why we were in such a hurry. I think they would still be sitting on their boat trying to figure out what to do..."
Sorry, Lynda's blog is no longer available online to continue to experience their adventures.