02/09/2013

A free range boat!

Getting up at the crack of dawn on the day we need to do our weekly trip to town has become the norm. The reason for this being that the weather turns at mid day, and the trip back to Silver Island can change into an experience that will make Bear Grylls miss his mother.

Make no mistake, we love our little speed boat but the fact remains that it is tiny and hails from an era when cell phones were still a sci-fi myth . So as you can imagine, we try not to brave the Aegean when the swell is up.

Making my way down to the jetty on the quad bike loaded with empty water containers and a bag filled with recyclable garbage, I thought about last night's little storm and how it will affect our crossing today.

As per normal I parked the 4 wheeler on the jetty, had a quick glimpse at the moored boat and started making my way to the kayak which we use to go fetch the “moored boat”. An uncomfortable feeling crept up on me, probably the same as a mother who has misplaced her baby, so naturally I had a look around. You can imagine my surprise when I noticed that the moored boat was merely a trick my habitual mind was playing on me. There was no boat and no mooring buoy. The whole package gone!!!

Just as this reality hit me, my fellow passengers to be, arrived on what I instinctively thought was a crime scene.

I was rather relieved that there were now 3 of us to solve this mysterious problem as I have never lost a boat before. My wife to be Lissa immediately called Peter our wise old caretaker who seems to always have the ability to fix any problem with the subtlety of a sad love story narrated by Morgan Freeman...........well almost always. This time we were on our own. As we did not have the numbers of the Greek coastguard, US marines nor any intelligence agency on speed dial we headed for higher ground to have a better view of where the enemy or our boat might be hiding. This proved to be the right move and grand theft boat quickly disappeared from my mind when we saw her floating in the distance.

Now someone needed to brave the high seas on a one man kayak to go rescue our rogue mode of transport and my male ego was definitely not letting one of the ladies do it. To be honest, she was only about 500meters out at sea, but for entertainment purposes when telling this story to family and friends it was a lot further.........A LOT!

With the confident look of a cowboy on my face and the heart rate of an old man in Hooters, I set off. It’s amazing how much bigger waves become once you’re a lot closer to them. In the world of kayaking I’m not shy to say that I’m a novice, being from a country that hosts one of the biggest deserts in the world, we don’t have much use for them you see.

At about 150 meters out I started negotiating the idea of turning back and conjuring up plan B. If you die a legend you’re still dead, I thought to myself!!! But already tagged as a useless fisherman I saw the opportunity to rescue some dignity. And on top of that, the beautiful young lady I’m hoping to make my wife is watching, so I soldiered forth.

Half way there, surrounded by waves I now considered to be monsters, I calculated that the current might be taking the boat further away from me faster than I could paddle. But with the hope of Turkish shores only being about 40 days and 40 nights away I kept on going.

As with so many things in the past my calculations were wrong and it being a good thing this time around I reached my little floating haven and climbed to safety. With a great sense of accomplishment I made a quick assessment of what went wrong and found that a bolt on the mooring line came undone. I removed the cover and readied the boat for the much easier trip back to the jetty. On the way there I caught myself having a little chat to a boat: “don’t ever go off on your own again, if there is a problem you can always talk to me, leaving is not the answer”.

I reached more familiar ground with a standing ovation from my 2 man crowd and a Mexican wave that made no sense. We made our way to the mainland as if nothing ever happened......This was obviously only half our problem solved as we now had nowhere to moor the boat on our return!... but that’s another story for another time....