Kindness, generosity and selflessness.

Our night in shining armour.

3rd March 2024

00 00S 087 29W – 02 05S 89 48W

The sailing community is small, caring, generous and selfless. In all our miles and years of cruising we have found this after being given rare Raymarine spares in times of need (thanks Honey Ryder) to clothing cast offs (thanks Serafina, Sauvage, Dina2) to boat building expertise (thanks SaraLane) and we have tried to reciprocate by fixing Hydravanes (Lordship), helping with OpenCPN (too many to mention) to fixing gearbox couplings (Asterie). Some boats however go above and beyond in giving to the community and we have once again been on the receiving end. Zephyr, while far out to sea, have gone above and beyond for us.

Every 3 hours a new GFS and ECWMF weather forecast is released and every 3 hours we have been deciphering them trying to work out what to do. Every forecast we received told us that the wind we expected was no more, instead we’d be having no wind for miles, and then miles and miles, and then what felt like the end of eternity! Some boats would revel in this forecast and simply motor 100’s of miles to find the wind, we however are not so lucky as our diesel tank is small, our reserves limited and our love for actually sailing too much.

Zephyr, a Lagoon 45, was close behind and for days we had been discussing this developing situation. We’d both been conserving our diesel supplies and working our own own strategy for dealing with this lack of weather.

Dialling* into Chris Parker’s forecast** he gave us a couple of options. We could simply bob about south of the Galapagos and wait for the wind which would probably arrive in about a week, we could motor 400 miles southwest and hope the wind filled in, or we could motor 600 miles south and pick up the trade winds. The only option available to us was the unpleasant ‘bobbing’ one.

Resigned to our painful fate we radioed up Zephyr to wish them a ‘CheeryBye’ and a safe passage to the far away Marquises. Reading our minds, that we’d rather take the proactive motoring approach and sensing that our diesel reserves were small, they instantly offered all their spare diesel to help us. Their generosity and kindness bowled us over and a plan formed for transferring this sweet nectar.

In the middle of a huge ocean they stopped Zephyr and Ruffian closed in on the 7 miles separating us. Just as the sun was starting to touch the horizon they were in sight and their dinghy launched carrying what we needed for the next 100’s of miles.

In the ocean swell they came alongside and jerry can after jerry can was passed on board. Ruffians tank greedily swallowed every drop until it was brim full and we returned the now empty cans. Not only was the tank now full, but it gave promise that the option of motoring miles to find wind was a safe and valid oneand certainly more fun than the ‘bobbing’ one.

As night fell we felt an overwhelming sense of well-being come over us. Next to us the lights of Zephyr twinkled and we knew that on board there were not only 3 kindly souls who were heading the same way as us, but those souls encompassed everything that is great about the sailing community. Their souls were full of kindness, generosity and selflessness. We can’t thank Zephyr enough, so now we start our 400 mile motor.

* Thanks to Elon Musk and Starlink.

** Chris Parker, the weather guru from Marine Weather Centre, whom we have recruited many times since we started long distance cruising in 2011.

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Author: Iain & Fiona Lewis

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