Sunday, August 26, 2012

Adventure on the HIgh Seas. Or, should I say, "Adventure on the Low Seas".

Every year you hear of a small tour boat (with a few hundredpeople) that gets stranded or nearly sinks while looking at the glaciers. Well, this year I happen to know people who were actually on one of those adventures.

While on the ferry form Bellingham to Kodiak a couple boarded and told stories of their adventure. According to them, they were with a group of nearly 60 or more tourists going to watch the glaciers calve. On the way they spotted a group of bears on the beach and the captain got closer to show them to the tourists better.

All of a sudden, as they were slowly moving forward, the ship suddenly stops. Many fall, hurting their wrists and arm. One man who was climbing the stairs fell back and knocked his occiput.

You might have read about this. I saw it on the Ketchikan newspaper and it is on the internet.

Yes, Holland America had a giant cruise ship close by and they went to the rescue of the stranded boat, taking 70 people on board. According to the person telling the story, the cruise ship captain told them to make themselves at home, and use all the facilities available to hte paying cruise folks...even complete access to their restaurant. And that more or less what the internet says.

But here is the "rest of the story". According to the teller of the tale (who kept telling the story over and over...and perhaps getting more exaggerated as he told it again......) he was next to the captain driving the boat when it happened. The captain immediately said, "We'll just have to stay here until the tide rises and clears us form this bar."

But, what does he do? Immediately put the boat in reverse, backs up, and rams the propeller and back of the boat into another low water bar. And it is this that caused the boat to spring a leak and take on water....but only on one side of its sealed compartments. So they felt comfortable that the chances of sinking was low.... and the tilting was light enough that they really didn't fear flipping on its side (unless the weather suddenly got bad). Not long after teh cruise ship showed up for the rescue.

Well, that's the story as he told it over and over again. Don't know if it's true, but he certainly enjoyed telling it  over and over again.

PS, here is a pic of one of the Holland America ships as it passed us at about that time.
If you've got to be rescued, why not get rescued in style!

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