Peter was helping a friend bring his boat from Georgetown, Great Exuma Island, up to Nassau for work, then bring it back down to Georgetown after the work was done.
We're not members of the Temperance Union, but we have a "no drinking while underway" rule, and with just Peter and this friend, no drinking while underway was important. *The boat, a sailing catamaran, is unfamiliar to Peter, and it's easy to get into trouble in the reef-strewn and shallow Bahamas so one needs all their wits about them. *He told our friend, after watching him down 11 beers in 3 hours the first night on the boat, that he did not want him drinking while they were underway. *Friend said he understood. *Next day, on their way to Nassau, and pushing the envelope to get into their preferred anchorage before sunset, Peter thought that our friend smelled like a stale bar, so he asked him what he was drinking. *"Diet Coke" he said. *Later, Peter took a sip this this Coke, and gagged on the glass of rum with a splash of Coke. *So now our friend is lying to him. *That does not portend a great trip.
The silliness/foolishness/dumbness in Nassau is another narrative.
On the way back from Nassau, with a clew on the headsail so rotten that Peter was afraid to fly it (he couldn't figure out how to take the sail completely down if the clew exploded, and our friend hadn't a clue how to do it
), they had to motor into 20-25 knot winds on the nose. *Friend wanted to go outside (25 years of sailing and he still hasn't learned how to take advantage of the lee of the island chains), and it was hard and messy going. *They took one big wave over the boat that drenched and knocked out the chart plotter. *Peter asked "do you have a backup hand-held GPS?" *and "where are the dividers?" *First question was answered "I think so" and he went looking for it. *Brought it up, but it hadn't been used in who knows- maybe never - and didn't have batteries in it. *Peter asked if there were batteries, but our friend was too shaky to put them in. *Peter finally got them in, but the GPS didn't work. *Of course, there were also no dividers to easily take lat/long off the charts, and no way to navigate except by eyeball, so now Peter was getting worried.
Turns out our friend navigates by: *looking up a list of routes prepared by his wife, and then punching in the route to follow the waypoints that his wife has entered into the chartplotter, and following it religiously. *He does not know lat/long. *He has not learned how to navigate, enter anything into the GPS, doesn't know how to read a chart or navigate by one. *He couldn't recognize any of the islands as they were motoring, and had no idea how to get into Georgetown. *
Peter and I haven't been to Georgetown since 1986, so he had no confidence that he could navigate to Great Exuma and get in. *Finding the right pass to go outside was another worry. *Wrong pass and the islanders have another mast pulled off a sunken boat to add to their street light poles. *Oh, dear, said I as he told me this. *Of course, not trusting his friend to be sober enough to steer the boat, Peter had allowed himself to rely on the chartplotter, with no position logs as they had been motoring.
Since Peter was back, safely, and our friend was still talking to him, meant that they found a way to get back safely. *So how, I asked, did you make it back?
"Oh, we got the chartplotter cleaned and dried out, and it just started working again."
"NO-O-O-O! *Is that the only lesson learned?" said I.
"Yes. *That's the last time I sail with him. *But we should go to Georgetown next winter, Jeanne. *I think we'd enjoy it."*
I wish we had a cross-eyed emoticon, because that's the expression I had after the last comment.