Monday, August 25, 2014

One Boater Helped, Another Beyond Help

Vergennes, VT

 This morning we entered Otter Creek, heading for Vergennes. Regular readers know that the trip up/down Otter Creek is one of our favorites. This time, we encountered a sailboat near the mouth of the creek attempting to sail. Sailing in Otter Creek is usually impossible even in strong winds because or the surrounding high hills and trees. Today, with light and variable winds and with a 1 knot current coming down the creek , it was ridiculous. We pulled along side and asked if they needed a tow. "Yes please," was the answer, "We are headed for Tom's Marine (About 3 miles up the creek). He offered to throw me a 7 foot dock line. I declined and threw him a 100 foot line. Then we towed him to Tom's Marine. At the last moment, he let go the line and glided into his slip perfectly. Good deed accomplished. The other story is sadder. From the Burlington Free Press:
The Coast Guard said Brian Webb, 65, spent the night Saturday into Sunday aboard his 34-foot sailboat, the Hellen Louise, which was found anchored and unoccupied in Malletts Bay Sunday morning. The boat's 8-foot white fiberglass dingy, named Jessie B., was not attached to the vessel Sunday morning, Colchester police said.
Colchester police said they received a call at 9:25 p.m. Saturday, reporting that a man was yelling for help in the area of the International Sailing School on West Lakeshore Drive in Colchester. Colchester police units searched the shoreline and the Colchester Police Marine Unit and a vessel from the U.S. Coast Guard searched the water without finding anyone in distress, police said.
This morning, the Coast Guard announced that the search was called off.  Very sad.

If Mr. Webb is actually dead, at least he died doing what he liked.  I am reminded of a W32 owner on the Indian River in Florida.  He failed to return from sailing one day.  His son found the W32, run up on the river bank.  His father was dead in the cockpit with his hand still on the tiller.  That's the way to go.

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