You Say Throw, I Throw

Posted by Mary Coles on 5 December 2019


After an arduous 10 hour completion of a recent RTI, White Mistral and her crew were making passage back to our Haslar mooring, and more importantly the pub!!, we noticed a small 24ft sailing yacht in dire straits off Gilkicker Point. It had been dis-masted and its engine had also ceased working. At the helm was a young lady seemingly all alone. Feeling chivalrous, and intrigued we felt compelled to render assistance. It was clear that the powerless vessel would soon be in peril, so in a flash, Misty's skipper and owner dived into the starboard locker and threw me a long coiled rope. He grabbed the helm and shouted instructions that as we passed, I was to throw the line to the stricken vessel. As we motored and manoeuvered alongside the vessel, cautious to avoid any of the rigging debris in the water, on the command "throw", I duly and diligently took aim and launched the rope to the troubled yacht. The incredulous looks on both Misty's and the other yachts skippers face (who had now returned to the helm after working on his failed engine) as we passed each other..... and simply kept going!! as I had not attached one end of the line to Misty so as to start the tow process, is still etched on my mind!! The anglo saxon uttered by my skipper as we had to now undertake another risky pass to collect the tow-rope still rings in my ears and the event is tstill he subject of many a night out for Misty Crew crew members. Skipper believes that "common sense" required me to attach at lest one end of the rope to Misty, otherwise it was a worthless piece of rope!! I strongly hold the ground that I simply did exactly what an experienced skipper told me to do, I acted fully as directed, I threw the rope to the other yacht!! The subject still provides endless hours of discussion when we now regularly cross the Channel to France, usually at 0300hrs. Did I do right and follow to the letter the skipper's instruction, was he at fault for unclear and possibly incomplete instructions. Each of us maintain we were correct in our actions, but we do still laugh and argue late into the early mornings on the issue. Even know after nearly 3,000 miles, together as a crew, I often get asked if I have tied on the end when mooring etc!!

The good news is that the stricken yacht accepted our tow into Haslar and was berthed safe and sound, and rewarded us with our first beer of the evening for our troubles.         

Paul Russell Article

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