After subscribing to a relationship site their lives changed. This is how it all started!
Christina & Butchie's Walk of Life (and all the perils, confusions and magic they went through...)
Sundancer and Buck Island
They returned the next day to the USVI. It was a lovely day. Calm seas. Soft winds. Good breeze. Sunny. Blue sky. Deep, blue ocean but she also knew that The Caribbean Sea was one of the largest salt water seas and had an area of about 2,754,000 km or 1,063,000 square miles... She had also heard Butchie talk about the Deepest Point in the Atlantic Ocean called the Porto Rico Trench or Fault with 28,374 feet or 8.648 meters deep and... she was right next to it somewhere around there... and full of treacherous spots, sharks and weird E.T. stories.
Closer to Buck Island the weather started to change and strong winds and rough waters were everywhere. She was worried. The Sundancer moved from one side to another, backward and forward in the waves and soon the 42' Catalina hit a rock and it stuck right there! She was scared. She heard Butchie shouting the internationally recognized words for distress calls (coming from the French for "Help me" - M'aider or Aidez-moi), over the boat's radio:
- Calling! Coast Guard! Over!
- Can I help you in anything at all, Butchie?
- Yes. Try to pick up that jib from getting more into the water...
- Try to put it over the deck. Captain to Coast Guard! Over.
- OK... Butchie... I can't.
- M'day!!! Come in! Over!
- See those orange life vests over there? Put one on now and bring me one, too.
- Hey! Be careful where you step, it's windy, rainy and dangerous. I don't want you falling now, got it?
- Listen to what I tell you to do, hear me?
- M'aday! Come in... over! We are West of Buck Island. Coordinates - rough and sudden rogues. Fast Wind at 40 knot. Rudder broken, approximate marking is West; North of reef. Standing in water, come in. Over.
- What happened?
- The situation is crucial, Christina. And dangerous. The boat lost its rudder. We hit a rock; we are in 22 feet of water and in trouble. Corner winds. I can't motor forward because of shallow waters, boat on motor, hit high rock at 6 feet. It's stuck. All this is extremely dangerous. The jibs...overboard, and I can't get the fore back, twisted lines, strangled....
- What is a rudder and what are jibs?
- A rudder guides, steers the boat. It's underneath the boat. Jibs are ropes. Both jibs came out as one side was loosened and went under the boat.
- Are we going to die, Butchie?
- No, we aren't. I would never endanger my life and your life. You are precious to me. I just want you to understand the situation, see the real facts and help me if I ask you to, OK?
- If we sink, are there sharks out there, like the ones in Africa?
- No, Christina. Look! We are now dropping from 20 feet waters to 5 feet waters...we can see the bottom of the sea.
- Do you have a life boat? Flare guns? Food? Water?
- Yes, we do, Christina, don't worry. This is not good at all. I was stupid, silly, I brought the sails in too early...
- Will someone hear you? And if they don't? Will we die here? The wind is getting stronger and stronger and the waves, nastier. I am afraid, Butchie. And Riley is all alone at home...
- Of course someone will hear. Good! It came, now. I have them. Captain of Sundancer, rudder out, heading to reefs. Over!
He immediately got calls from the local people and from Puerto Rico. He quickly gave them his position, which was about a quarter of a mile off the reefs of Buck Island and two nautical miles off mainland, near the green and blue water markers. What a relief! Christina was soaking wet, barefoot, wearing her red bathing suit, Capri jeans and an orange lifesaver and trembling cold. She was so cold that her lips were blue. Butchie wasn't naked anymore but wearing his green bermudas, his white and blue Captain hat and the orange lifesaver. He was cold too but not as much as Christina. She was really, really cold and thinking about sharks and sting rays.
They took 20 minutes to arrive. First it was a Coast Guard's helicopter, flying noisily over the boat and bringing them hope and security. Christina smiled and waved at them happily holding a rope on one hand and the heavy sail in another, simply not knowing WHAT to do. The first rescue boat to come in was from the DPNR and the second boat was from the local Police. When the helicopter saw that they were ok now, it left and the DPNR policemen threw a thick, heavy rope to Butchie who was in the fore deck. He was instructed to CUT the anchor's rope immediately. Christina went to the cabin to get a big knife as per Butchie's request. On her way back she was sure that she saw a Coast Guard Policeman put his hands over his gun, in his boat. Did he think that she was so desperate, so crazy and so mad that she wanted to attack Butchie and kill him? She believed not! She handed him the knife and with his strong hands he freed the boat from the anchor and the boat was immediately pulled by the DPNR's smaller boat and escorted by the Police boat toward the island.
Butchie and Christina were quietly holding each other inside the boat which majestically went through all this and heroically sailed behind the Coast Guard's boat with its sail dragging in 9 feet of shallow but agitated waters. And Butchie, Christina's hero and savior, was the real sea Captain of her heart. They were safe and together, nothing else really mattered. She was proud of him and his calm, practical and straightforward decisions.
The boat was safely tied to a finger pier on the Marina but was immediately refused by the Marina's owner, saying that the boat didn't have his permission to stay there. Christina knew that when a boat is in distress, nobody can refuse help or assistance. The Coast Guard and the Marina owner, together with Christina, worked a way out with the owner and the boat was finally accepted. It looked like the owner, a Mr. Larry something, didn't like Butchie very much and therefore had the power of life and death if he didn't like some people. Some really weird people lived in those islands, Christina thought to herself.
When she returned to the boat, both Coast Guard and the DPNR were looking for violations in the boat and its owner and trying to determine if Butchie had hurt the reefs with his boat... They were more interested in citing Butchie than in saving him and not at all worried about his or her well being or if they needed any medical assistance. They never asked about this. They said that the found many beer bottles in the cabin. Butchie told them that non-alcoholic beer was really that, non alcoholic. It's not beer. They wanted a reason for the crash but there wasn't any, they couldn't find any. There were no citations and violations after all, only tension, frustration and for Christina a Near Death Experience in open waters.
Butchie and Christina were extremely tired and hungry. They stopped by the Hamburger in Paradise place and ordered burgers and French fries and his non-alcoholic beer. Christina had a glass of white Zinfandel wine she loved so much. They were unimaginably exhausted, sun tanned, dirty and cold with all this mess but totally happy by just being together and alive.
- When the boat hit the rocks you told me that you had brought the sails in too early. Why did you bring the sails in too early? Could this have caused the crash with the Sundancer?
- Because of you.
- What? Me?
- Yes, because of you... You were looking seasick. I wanted the ride back to be easier for you. The winds were too strong on the sails and the waves were hitting the boat too hard. I did it because of you.
- Oh my bebê...because of me?
- Yes, sweet pea, because of you.
- Come here, Captain of my Heart!