Normally, it is the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association (BASRA) that comes to the rescue here in the Bahamas. However yesterday afternoon, it was the Pahls that went on a rescue mission.
We had tried to go out and wakeboard, but returned when we saw how the sky was turning dark and could see rain heading our way. Just as we got back on board New Horizon, a call came over the VHF radio from Ann and Paul on their Camano 31, Horizons. They too had started heading back to the harbor, but then completely lost their steering. Naturally the skies also chose this inopportune time to open up and pour rain. Being the adventurous souls that we are, we donned our foul weather gear, jumped in the skiff and 'flew' out to tow them back to their mooring. 'PASRA'
They were only about a mile away and we arrived to find them safely anchored, although on a lee shore. The rain had let up some and luckily the wind had not picked up much, as it sometimes does when these cold fronts arrive.
Paul explained what had happened and how he at first tried to continue by just using his bow thruster. Then that cut out and overheated, so he was definitely in trouble.
We hooked up a bridle and towed them on a long line back to the harbor entrance. Horizons towed so straight that I drove almost all the way back. Maybe I should get a Coast Guard Captain's License with a towing endorsement like Dave has!
In order to maneuver in the close quarters of the harbor, we shortened the tow line, but that made Horizons wander back and forth. That's when Ben (Belinda B), who is a Maine lobsterman, took a stern line to help pull and steer from the back. This is exactly what the tugs do with the freighters, especially when transiting the Miami River.
Secured on their mooring once again, the problem was easily found to be a 'T' junction in the hydraulic line that had failed. Paul keeps spares on board and ace mechanic Will (Antares), who had seen our entourage arrive and came over to investigate, helped to repair the damage.
That's the great thing about the Harbour Rats. They're always willing to help, and ready for a challenge. Perhaps this local chapter should be called 'HASRA'.