June 14, Caleta Galvarino and a funny/embarrassing accident

…continued from previous post
I soon fell asleep as slept well until I got woken up by Ian’s voice and the sound of the engine in the middle of the night. I heard Ian ignite the engine and was wondering what he was doing…’Are we going sailing again? Taking advantage of some favourable wind?’ I wondered in half sleep. ‘Oh, well, if that’s the case I will let them do it. I can’t be bothered.’ I thought. Then I thought there was some trouble with the engine, as I could hear it choking, having trouble starting up. I had no idea what was going on but whatever it was it didn’t bother me too much as I had fallen asleep again. I woke up before everybody else did but didn’t get out of bed until I heard Ian tune into the Patagonian net at 9am. He was done talking (having reported our position as well as found out the results of all the World Cup games played so far for Mario) when I decided to crawl out. They told me what had happened the night before.
We had all gone to bed, until Ian had woken up from the rocking of the boat. At first he hadn’t thought much of it, thinking it was a second boat coming into the caleta or a passing ship stirring the water. He then had heard voices shouting and a horn beeping somewhere in the dark outside when he realized something was not right. He had gone out in the cockpit, half asleep and it had taken him a while to realize what was happening because of the complete darkness.
Apparently, our anchor hadn’t been able to hold us and we had drifted into the open channel when a passing ship had spotted us and stopped, trying to get us out of its way. This is what all the shouting and beeping was about. I am surprised they had even seen us as we didn’t have a single light on. According to marine law or a common courtesy (call it whatever you want) a vessel coming in contact with a floating yacht has the responsibility for it, meaning the ship that saw us couldn’t just go around and leave us floating there. In case the yacht is floating and there is no one on board the person who finds it has a claim on its ownership.
Anyhow, they had woken Ian up, he had understood what was going on, and had woken up Mario to help him. Mario had spoken to the guys on the radio and this is how their conversation had gone.
– You cannot be parked here – the captain of the big ship had said. This is Canal Darwin, it is for big ships – he had added.
– Huh?! I don’t understand. Why can’t be parked here? – Mario had told him still half asleep in the darkness, thinking they had wanted to pull up besides us.
He then had run out on deck and seeing the big ship right next to us, with all its light pointed on us he had finally realized where we were and had run back into the cabin to thank the guys for letting us know. It is a miracle they had spotted us in the complete darkness. We then had started the motor and driven back into the caleta, this time making sure the anchor holds.
In the morning when we all got up, Ian was very appreciative of Mario’s assistance during the night, letting him know that his help had been invaluable. Well done!
What an embarrassing but funny accident. All is well when it ends well.
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