You know about all the help and welcoming we have received these last weeks. Yesterday it finally was our turn to help.
Waking up in the morning the first thing to do is always have a look around to see what has changed. Marcus comes to my bed and woke me up with "there is an Amel (boat type) with a torn headsail anchoring out there". Such news get curious people always out of bed quickly, wondering what happened and if everyone is ok. While we ate our breakfast we watched what was going on on that sailboat. There seemed to be only one guy busy trying to get the remains of the headsail down. but he did not succeed. We thought he must be alone so I said we better get over there and see if we can be of any help. Too bad for our freshly made hot drinks, they had to wait. We left the table as it was, jumped in the Dinghy and drove over. The guy in black whom we had seen greeted us and tied the Dinghy up. Two additional men showed up, both seemed to be in the retired age. My instinct wanted to let us turn around because I thought there is not much we can help when they are already 3 people. It quickly turned out that there is one experienced sailor (the owner), his helping hand (who has a traitor motor boat for the lakes) (the man in black) and a friend, who has never sailed and has been seasick ever since they had left Wellington I think 2 days earlier. They loooked tired and exhausted and many things had gone wrong in the last day. The wind went up to 50 knots where it was predicted at 35, they got knocked down on the side so everything flew around, trying to anchor and hide in a Bay that was supposed to be a shelter for winds from all sides turned out to be bad and too small so they touched the ground with the keel and had to leave again. So next bet was to get into Akaroa. Their motor had overheated by that time and they pulled the headsail out just a little bit sail the long way back into the Bay here (against the wind). Then the electric reef system for the sail stopped working and they could not move the sail or get it in. It started ripping and they had to cut most parts off. They were tired from the rough sailing conditions. That's how we found them. And though it did not look like that at first, they were happy and greatful we came. First John (the owner) and Marcus pulled me up the mast so I could free the sailpieces for the sail to come down. Then Marcus looked at the engine, got some oil out and then ended up helping them out with some equipment and informations which was very valuable to them. We were so glad to be of use. But trying to pass on what we received we received even more kindness and when we came back to Alita we had lots of veggies, fruits, and meat from them because their plans now change, John will be alone for a while until he has a new headsail and he could not possibly finish all by himself what they had bought for 3 men for 3 weeks. What a feast we had last night! But most important was the good feeling that we at last were able to help out.
I love the sailing community. Without question we help each other, always. And without expectation of any redemption. We received help, we give help, all in the ways we can. That's how it works. And how you meet new interesting people.