Friday, November 17, 2017

For Pete's Sake

Steve and I have been doing a lot of reminiscing about our travels and all the people we have met along the way, or should I say characters.  We really enjoy meeting eccentric people around the world.   Most likely we are like most couples do when traveling, talking about others because we are "perfect" hahaha.  

Steve can say one word or phrase and it brings back the whole story to my mind.  I thought I would start writing down these stories before I forget them, you may enjoy them as well.  We shall see...  so let's play.... what Steve will say today....  I will text him right now and ask him to give me a subject for today's blog.

Alright, he said Nova Scotia Pete...  Let me start off by saying we adore, Pete.  He is a very caring and giving man, and because he is he does some extraordinary things.  He is a good friend to have.  

We met NS Pete in Isla Mujeres in 2014.  He came into the anchorage in his 1980 36' Cherubini Hunter. He solo sailed down from Nova Scotia.  Steve and I call him NS Pete because there are other sailors in the area named Pete.  We give everyone a nickname when talking between us to help keep on track.  We have met so many people during our travels and it is difficult keeping track of them all.  A few years ago I started keeping a log of all the people we meet.  It helps us also recall names and stories.

One night in the Isla Mujeres anchorage, there was a call over the VHF radio.  Someone was calling for assistance because they were close to land without any charts of the area.  Three men in their 20s were sailing from Cuba without any charts.  Crazy! Right?!  There are some crazy people out there for sure.  

So we stayed up listening to the radio.  We did not answer the call because we did not feel we are in any position to go help.  We did hear Pete answer the call, and let me rephrase the time this call was at.. it was around midnight if I remember correctly.  

Listening to the VHF replaces television entertainment.  Many of us listen like busy buddies.  Which I am very good at, but the VHF is a great communication device.  We love that it is still used out at sea and we enjoy the anchorages that keep morning nets active.  Thanks, all who volunteer for that chore, it isn't as easy as you would think, I know I have tried it out a few times.  

We also heard another sailor provide help to the ones on the vessel in distress.  The other sailor teamed up with Pete, pulled anchor and motored away into the dark seas.  We listened as they met up and guided the boat into the harbor.  

Pete had a habit of staying up late drinking his beer.  He was very much a night owl.  One that doesn't sleep in half the day.  I am not sure when he sleeps.  We would often see him in the early mornings on deck.

Pete also had a dragging problem  He had a million small anchors and if he was in an anchor that had poor holding we would inevitably hear him in the middle of a windy night dragging around.  He would try out all the spots in an anchorage and still somehow end up beached.  But he always found a way off....  he was a true salty sailor.. haha  

We learned that Pete had spent over ten years in the Canadian Coast Guard.  That kind of explains things.  He will go out in any conditions to help people.  We know of him helping others, even towed a much bigger boat back to the Harbor.  

We would run into NS Pete in different countries in the Western Caribbean.  It was always good to hear about all his adventures.  He was even stabbed by a girl he met in one of the harbors.  She joined him on his travels and they ended up separating with a stabbing and a visit from the local police.  HAHA cracks me up.  

We were saddened when early this year we read he had lost his rudder while under full sail.  He was in 25 knots of wind, traveling 7.5 kts when his rudder simply fell off.  It was his turn to put out a mayday call. He was right outside the Honduras Bay Island, Guajana, so he was helped out by a cargo ship.  

The ship took him undertow but it was too powerful, he asked to be released after he saw his boat was being torn apart by the seesawing it was made to endure.  He was then towed by another boat but the tow lines broke.  A Honduran Navy boat took him under towed, well after they got his tow lines out of their propeller blades.  They released him in a place they thought was inside the reef.  They instructed him to drop anchor but the water was too deep and within minutes he was on the reef with 25-30 knots of wind.  The Navy Ship returned but found themselves on the reef right off his stern, so they had themselves a “reefer party”.  Hahah.. They both were finally off the reef around 1pm the next day.  

What a story right!?  Well, that is the NS Pete story.  I know there are so much more that I just haven’t heard yet.  Actually, when I contacted him he gave me just a snip of another juicy one… He said he was served with court papers for hitting a convicted child molester in Guatemala of all places.  I would think they would for sure turn a blind eye to that incident.  But I don’t have the details…

Well folks untik next time be good to yourself and OTHERS..

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