Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Today we saved a man from drowning!

Well the title sums it up, but let me tell you a little bit more about it.
We sailed to Culebra, which is an island just east of Puerto Rico. The weather has not been very good, it rained for last 3 days and today is first day when it's sunny, but boy, is it windy! 20 knots steady with 25 knot gusts. - and this is the mildest day of the week. By Sunday it's going to be 30 knots steady with 37 knot gusts. That's a lot of wind pressure. And of course the waves come with it. We are getting really good at reefing the sails these days.

We anchored in this nice spot where we wanted to go diving, so Anthony and I went diving for an hour or so - the diving was terrible. We descended to 32 feet and we could not see the bottom which was at 35 feet. We would have to swim 2 feet from the coral in order to see it. The rain and wind mixed up the water so much that the visibility was very, very low.

But I digress - back to our rescue operation.
In the afternoon we wanted to see the famed Bahia Flamenco beach - some reports put it as one of the best lagoons in the world!

We had to cross the island on foot across two steep hills, so we went ashore and started walking. We were just at the top of the hill when we heard this faint yelling. It was coming from about the location where we left our boat, but it was a different sound! A grown man screaming at the top of his lungs over and over - we were too far to discern the words but something was not right. Then the voice stopped, but after a short while it came back. We decided to turn back, descend the hill and see what it was. We send the boys to run ahead, while us - the old guys were behind.
As we got closer, Anthony and a couple of other guys were already wrestling to put our dinghy back in the water. We previously had to drag it about 20 feet aground as the waves were so big.

The guy that was screaming (Spiro was his name- from Greece) told us that him and his friend were snorkeling but the current took them offshore and only he was able to swim back. His friend was swept away into the ocean and may be dead now - oh boy!

So Anthony, the guy that was screaming, and another "hippie looking guy" that apparently was camping in the woods nearby, and also came to help, and I jumped into the dinghy and went to search for the missing swimmer. We found him still alive, with no mask on, struggling to keep his head above the water through the swells. He said that such a powerful wave came, that it took his mask completely off. We safely pulled him into our dinghy and brought him back to shore.

The happy rescued swimmer (second from left) and his friend from Greece.

I hope that one day if need to be the same favor will be repaid to us if we are ever in trouble. It was really the loud screaming of his buddy friend that saved this mans life as we would not have heard it and returned back otherwise.

Well, in the end we still got time to go to Flamenco beach on the other side of the island and enjoy splashing in the big waves.

All is well that ends well, and today ended really well.

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