I capsized last week for the first time. Ever.
Those who have been here for a while will recognize the eighteen foot long Saga, a design based on the Norwegian faering. She has taken me hundreds of nautical miles and though she's a vulnerable open vessel, I have complete confidence in her.
We had some lively seas that day and had weathered them fine for several hours. The journey nearly at an end, we found ourselves in a protected bight with no breeze, sitting very still.
A surprise gust of wind hit and before I could release the mainsheet, water was cascading over the coaming . I forgot how fluky the South Puget Sound winds can be. A fellow named Dave up on the bank heard me from where he was working in his garage and came out in his skiff. (I'd lost both cell phone and VHF radio, was cursing my predicament and yelling for help. I have very healthy lungs.).
In the meantime, a Coast Guard helicopter, two fire departments, a local first-responder group on jet skis and a fire-boat showed up. I was in the water about an hour and had hypothermia.
When Dave showed up, I was focused solely on getting Saga righted, and bless him, against his better judgment, tried to help. We did get the boat upright but she was awash and we had to abandon her to get me to shore. He was shocked that I could pull myself up on his swim platform, but that's what adrenaline is for.
A fire department first aid truck group brought my body temperature back up, blood pressure down, so there was no trip to the hospital. The fire-boat brought Saga into Boston Harbor and pumped her out. Lost some stuff, but got my boat back. And lived to tell the story.
I am in debt to a small army of highly trained people and one savvy local mariner. That's what this epistle is about. A big shout-out to all those who protect us against ourselves.