|If These Walls Could Talk|
Tall tales and not-so-romantic legends from aboard the world’s finest yachts.
By Kim Kavin
— August 2003
“What’s your position?” he said into the handset.
“We’re in Pillsbury Bay!” a panicked man’s voice answered. “We’re caught in Pillsbury Bay!”
“Are you sinking?” the captain asked.
“No, we’re not sinking,” the man responded. “But we’re stuck in Pillsbury Bay! We need help!”
The captain asked the man to identify himself and listened as the bareboater offered his name and address, along with an itemization of every boating skill he lacked. The captain attempted to explain that protocol dictated calling a “Mayday” only when the vessel was in dire straits, but the bareboater interrupted, clearly in a tizzy.
“You don’t understand!” he cried. “We’re caught by a magnetic force!”
“Um, did you say a magnetic force?”
“Yes! Yes! We were trying to set sail, and I told my wife to come about, and she did it, but then all of a sudden, the boat just lurched itself around and went the other way. We’re caught in a magnetic force! You have to help us!”
Now, the captain’s a good man (not to mention a curious fellow), so he hopped in his dinghy and cruised over to the bareboaters’ position. He radioed from his handheld VHF to the so-called skipper, told him he was there to help, and said he had information that would save the couple’s life.
He then asked the man to listen very, very carefully to the following instructions:
“Go ahead and pull up your anchor.”
This article originally appeared in the July 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.