Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Collaboration in Remote Places

Today has been a day full of illustrations of one of the great things about the cruising lifestyle--that of "cruiser helping cruiser". In today's modern world, especially in the litigious USA, having someone take time out of their busy day to help another, just out of the goodness of their heart, is a rare thing.

Here are the cooperative activities that have gone on in our anchorage of ~12 boats just today:

- Loose Pointer's dinghy painter parted in the high winds last night, and they asked for someone to take them down to where they could see it beached to leeward, to retrieve it. Kennedy on Far Star volunteered and spent an hour or so helping them retrieve the dinghy and get it operational again.

- Far Star's watermaker isn't working, and he's out of water. He has been offered multiple containers of water from Challenger and Zephyr

- Jason on YOLO has an intermittent problem with an engine alarm on his boat, that he can't seem to find the source of. Several guys went over to YOLO at his invitation to go over what he had done and offer advice. Several other guys, not very diesel-savvy, also went over to listen to the troubleshooting discussion for their own edification.

- Saviah called on the radio and said they had several severe wraps around coral heads that they had been unable to clear, and was there someone with tanks who could help out. They want to move to a better spot for tomorrow's big winds. Dan on Loose Pointer volunteered to snorkel and give directions while they tried to clear it (a 3rd hand is critical), and Warren on Night Fly offered to dive on it if that didn't work.

- Night Fly has fuel problems--he got a bad lot of fuel somewhere in French Polynesia and his engine quit coming in the pass. Several boats have loaned empty fuel jugs so he can empty his diesel tank out. Loose Pointer loaned a small hand pump to help pump it out. Dave on Soggy Paws loaned his Baja filter (Warren's is no longer filtering properly), and some biocide to kill the growth in the tanks.

- Eden has a problem with their outboard motor--the battery on their electric start is dead. Several people offered advice on both reconditioning the battery and starting manually. Jason on YOLO offered the loan of a small battery for a few days.

- Marie Andree on Sete Mares has been nearly disabled by back problems, so Jo on Blue Moon has been giving her daily massages.

- Jerry on Challenger has refrigeration problems, so half of his refrigerated goods are in Soggy Paws' freezer, and half in Far Star's refrigerator. Dave from Soggy Paws has been helping Jerry with his refrigerator issues, with Jason from YOLO looking on, trying to learn. They borrowed a set of 134a gauges from Dreamaway.

- Zephyr is looking for help getting the AIS input into their computer charting program. Sherry on Soggy Paws has volunteered to help out.

- Tomorrow Dave is holding a 'Refrigeration Troubleshooting' session on Sete Mares (a big catamaran with a big cockpit), and anyone who's interested is welcome.

- Several food swaps have gone on
- Soggy Paws looking for saltines
- Rhythm looking for whole wheat flour
- John ashore looking for a cucumber

- And of course there are the information swaps--discussing routes and weather and anchorages. Soggy Paws is regularly handed a 'thumb drive' and asked for a download of our 'Pacific Cruising Info' folder, plus weather updates, and utility programs.

- There is a book swap here, in the Ranger's area. But if there wasn't a convenient one nearby, someone would arrange a book swap on the beach at happy hour. Nowadays cruisers are also swapping DVD's, music, and ebooks on a regular basis too.

Anyway, it is precisely this spirit of community that is one of the big things that we love about the cruising lifestyle. Used to be pretty common in America, but it is pretty rare now.
Sherry & Dave
On our way from French Polynesia toward Tonga

At 8/23/2011 10:09 PM (utc) our position was 13°14.87'S 163°06.47'W

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