Sunday, March 11, 2007

Antigua Update

This update is tough for me to write. I have been putting it off. Actually I was not planning on writing anything but good friends said I should. So here it goes.

It was a clear, sunny Saturday morning, February 24th to be exact. Karen and I were preparing Vagus to leave Falmouth Harbour and cruise to Nonsuch Bay with two other boats for a bit of snorkeling and beaches. We were on the foredeck getting ready to lift our dinghy for the trip - when travelling we store the dinghy on the foredeck. We noticed the sailboat beside us, who was also at anchor, raise his mainsail. When next we looked up, this boat was sailing directly at Vagus with all sails filled. We shouted to no avail. The boat kept sailing on a direct course to Vagus. Quickly it became obvious it was going to hit us. We grabbed onto the shrouds. A crew member from the other boat raced forward to try to fend off. Fortunately, Karen shouted at him to get out of the way. He brought back his foot just as a loud crack resounded through the anchorage. The bow of 20 tons of boat (Vagus is 8 tons) travelling at several knots had just crashed into Vagus aft of amidships. Vagus heeled over from the impact. We were stunned. Luckily no one was injured. But our season had ended. Vagus now sat with a split down the hull and a crumpled, holed deck. Interior cabinets and woodwork had been shifted. We were not going anywhere for a long while.

So the last two weeks have been been tough. We are into dealing with the claim (his insurance company has been good and stepped in to take responsibility). Bear in mind, in any accident, insurance never covers all your costs or the inconvenience that you experience. We were taking Vagus home this year. That plan is over. Now we are trying to get our boat fixed. The yards in Antigua are busy, busy - this is the height of sailing season and we are competing with Mega yachts for their attention. The process is slow. We are not sure how this will play out. Only time will tell. We are lucky in having a number of our cruising friends come by to help us out, give us words of encouragement and lift our spirits. Without them, it would be a lot more difficult. And Antigua does have some good craftsman for doing the work (when they are available).

I will try to keep updating this site on our progress. We have had so many e-mails from friends and family that I am not sure who I have or haven't updated. I hope this site helps. Don't expect much fast, though. Our life at the moment seems more "wait and stew" than actual action. But life goes on, and this afternoon we are going to Shirley Heights with friends for some Pan music and BBQ. We can still have fun!

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