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Monday, March 5, 2012

Waiting out Weather

We were pleased to see successive weather reports show a decrease in the impact of this frontal passage down where we are located. The forecast now seems to be holding for 20-25 knots and nothing predicted over 30 except possibly with squalls. What has not decreased is the duration of the blow, but we can pray and hope! As it stands, we will probably be tied down here through early next week.
We had something interesting happen today. Two guys, Jerrod (boat driver) and Paul (the diver), on a Bahamian fish boat tender came by to inquire whether we had seen another boat, similar to theirs, with two fellows on it. When we explained that we had not, they told us the disturbing news that the two fellows were missing since last night and were last seen at Nurse Cay. Their tender was one of the 19 that worked with the mother ship called 'Fish Farmer' with a home port on Andros. Fish Farmer is about 100 feet. The fellows on the little tenders go out and get lobster, conch and fish from the banks and the cuts, and return to the big boat at night. Jerrod and Paul explained the missing boat had no radio and they suspected their mates had run out of fuel. We were heartsick for these two men since we had the knowledge of the bad weather only hours away. We shared the weather forecast which sent a greater urgency into their search. We told them we would pray for their mates. They thanked us before they disappeared on the horizon.
Several hours and prayers later, Jerrod and Paul came back, but their mates had not been found. They had been instructed to wait at Raccoon Cay for Fish Farmer, as the big boat had traveled west on an extended search for the missing crew. We invited Jerrod and Paul aboard while they waited since the weather was now upon us and the rain was cold. Our experience thus far with Bahamians has been nothing short of delightful. It was no different with these two, even under the circumstances. We all showed our concern for the missing men in different ways. After hours spent talking and eating, we convinced the shivering diver to take some of our dry clothes and get out of his wet suit. Having talked ourselves out, we all went below to watch a movie. Shortly thereafter, the captain of Fish Farmer called on the radio to confirm that he was about to arrive in Raccoon Cay, but the other crew members had not been found. Within a few minutes we had several tenders around Hold Fast coming to retrieve Jerrod and Paul. They were full of smiles and informed us that they had indeed found the missing crew members, out of fuel but otherwise OK, and that the captain was only giving Jerrod a hard time. What a relief! Praise be to God for a happy ending.
Love to all,
Dena

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