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Old 07-26-2010
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Sanduskysailor is on a distinguished road
A Big thank You to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police!

Think the mounties only ride horses and wear red tunics. Guess again. They actually do border patrol work in rigid inflatables. I was transporting my C&C up the Detroit River in Canada last week. My engine failed (fuel pick up clog) right at the mouth of the Livingston channel which is a bad place to have no power. We hastily raised the main sail before hitting the rocks and sailed against the current a couple of miles to the cut between the Livingstone and Amherstburg channels north of Bois Blanc Island. We threw out the hook and began to diagnose our problem with the help of a diesel mechanic on the Iphone. The short story is that we had run the fuel system dry and needed to manually fill the Racor and primary filters so that we could bleed the lines to purge the air lock. Unfortunately we had no extra fuel on board nor could we get any out of the tank. Fortunately a jet skier happened by and offered to send out some of his buddies from the Canadian CG to assist. 15 minutes later a black rigid inflatable approached at high speed with black fatigue clad and armed personnel. Their ballcaps read RCMP. Who would have thunk it. They offered to take me into Amherstburg to get some diesel. We zoomed back to Amherstburg CG station where they transported me by RCMP van to a nearby gas station. Unfortunately none of 4 stations in town had diesel so we went up the road about 10 miles to LaSalle Ont. to get fuel. They took me back to the boat and waited while we primed the system and got it started. They even called US Customs and Immigration to clear our re-entry to the US while they waited at the boat. They wouldn't take any payment for their service. First class treatment by a very professional and courteous organization. Thanks mounties.
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Old 07-26-2010
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As long as we are thanking the Canadian Coast Guard...

In 2006 my folks were anchored in their Catalina 36 in Telegraph Harbour in BC. Telegraph Harbour is just off the Strait of Georgia between Kuper and Hudson Islands. After taking a photo of the anchorage, my 74 year old father came down below to eat dinner on a Saturday night.

When he came down below, he suffered a stroke, resulting in motor loss of one side and loss of speech. My Mom gave him some aspirin and called a Mayday on Channel 16. A CA Coast Guard axillary was dispatched from Ladysmith Harbour and were there in about 45 minutes. In the mean time, another couple in the anchorage who happened to anchoring nearby came over in their dinghy. They were an ER doc and ER nurse. They couldn't do much, but did help.

When the CG arrived they helped my dad onto their boat (he could still walk with assistance) and took my folks into Ladysmith where an ambulance met them to take them to the regional hospital in Nanaimo. As my mom was getting into the ambulance, one of the CG auxiliary guys (different than our CG Auxilary, these seem to be more like CG reservists, similar to a volunteer fire dept) gave my mom his business card and told her to call if she needed any help. My Dad died two days later due to cerebral hemorrhage.

We then were faced with the death of husband, father, grandfather, as well as my business partner along with our boat sitting at anchor in Canada. I called the guy who gave my mom his card a week later and explained the situation. He and some of his CG buddies, on their own time, took one of their personal boats out to Telegraph and towed the Catalina 36 back to Ladysmith where they put the boat to bed and arraigned for some temporary dockspace. It takes a LONG time to tow a 36 foot sailboat that far.

My Mom, sister and I flew up to Nanaimo a couple weeks later and brought the boat back to Tacoma.

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary guys were very professional and extremely helpful. They went above and beyond to help out a 72 year old woman and here family in a tough spot. Yeah, pretty much all the rumors you hear about the Canucks being terminal nice folks are very true.

BTW, my Mom was perfectly capable of single-handing the boat if need be, but getting my Dad to the hospital fast was a priority.

47*20'11.7" N
122*35'20.8" W
S/V Legacy, Catalina 400 MkII, Hull #328
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