Lost in the ​Atlantic Ocean

We all at some point in our life must have experienced the term “being lost”. Some on roads, few in life and others may be in their beloved eyes. But how many of you can claim to have lost in the ocean. If that sounds interesting let me borrow your undivided attention for the next 5 minutes.

I am always fascinated by yachts. The monohull, the deep single fin cutting like a keel, the shiny wood, the speed motor, the sail, everything about a yacht excites me. I always wanted to get a boat license. I actually passed the RTLM(Radio telephony inland maritime) exam, but couldn’t renew it. My next target is to buy a small boat. Let me save my fascination with the boat for a different post.

Coming back to my story, not too long ago one of my friends bought a boat. He was super excited about his boat and never missed any occasion not to talk about his boat experiences. Through him, I learned a lot about boats. Like how to dock a boat, the special boat fuel, the ropes, the beautiful stern and the cozy cabin. He was ecstatic and proud of his possession and displayed his boat learnings in abundance.

One summer weekend he invited me to join him. The plan was to drive the boat in the bay, go to a waterside restaurant, enjoy good food and music, and sleep in the boat for the night. I was skeptical about his boat driving capabilities and he rested my anxiety when he mentioned his friend was joining us, who owned a boat for the over 20 years.

After hearing so much about his boat I was now looking forward to a great fun weekend. The day arrived. At first, we were three of us. My friend(the boat owner), his girlfriend (claimed to be riding boat since her childhood) and the least experience Me. 😊

Our veteran boat driver house was on the waters, close by from where the boat was docked. My friend has taken his boat enough to his house. The plan was for my friend to take the boat to our designated boat driver house and from there he would take control.

Everything happened as per the plan. We were soon joined by my friend’s boat driver friend and his wife. Crisscrossing the 2-5 mile wide bay we reached the restaurant within 30 minutes. The food was amazing and the music🎼 was awesome.  We had a really good time. At around 1:00 AM we decided to head back.

As we were walking to our boat, our designated driver phone📲 rang. Apparently, his 18-year-old son met with an episode and he left along with his wife in a whiff. We were stranded in the middle of nowhere with the boat and a few questions. I played safe and decided to rest in the boat cabin until the morning. My point was simple, let the morning arrive before we decide what to do with the boat. My friend’s girlfriend had a different plan. She claimed her entire life was spent on waters💦 and she knew enough about the place to navigate us safely back.  I was doubtful but my midnight thrill coupled with the renewed assurance given by the lady cultivated enough courage allowing me to take the plunge.

So around 1:30 AM in the night, the four of us,  my friend, the lady, me and the boat🚣‍♀️ started the adventure. It didn’t take us long to understand we were lost. It was pitch dark, not even a soul was visible. The lone boat light💡 was fighting hard to show us the way but was failing miserably. The confident lady looked lost the most. I learned two things that day

  • The boat GPS is not like the one we see on our smartphones. It is like a radar. No one amongst us knew how to read
  • The boat does not have breaks😱. We drove slowly to ensure we don’t hit anyone in the dark.

I wasn’t tensed but was sure worried😧, however, that thought diminished abruptly. For I saw a long strip of light, and when we looked with squinted eyes, we realized it was a ship!! Yes, you guessed it right, we had somehow left the bay and were approaching the ocean. For sometime none of us spoke and when reality hit us hard we panicked. I declared we were cast away. Then a thought came to my mind, what if I use my phone GPS. I opened the phone in haste. Fortunately, it was still catching signals. Sure, GPS didn’t show water paths but then we noticed about several miles away there were roads that the GPS could recognize. The lady finally was jubilant. Being a local she recognized the roads. Taking the phone GPS as a guiding light we reached our docking area by morning 5 AM.

Whenever we meet we laugh about this experience, scary for sure but we will treasure this for a lifetime.

Copyright © Shantanu Baruah

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