Saturday morning dawned gray and cold as ______ ( fill in the blank)! It was the coldest day of the year to date as the rescue mission to save Z mark, our beloved smiley face, departed CPYC. Gary Edwards donated the “Panda Angler” to help the rescue effort. David Jackson, John Douglas, Leslie Few, and myself left CPYC with light winds and a 6 inch chop. We motored out towards Z mark and for a brief moment thought that it had sunk completely under but after a moment of scanning the horizon spotted the remaining half bobbing in the water. Z is a 60 inch sphere and at least ½ of it was now under water. We approached the mark and snagged it with a gaff. Using all his strength John pulled the anchor bridle until I could get to the anchor chain. Holding desperately onto the anchor chain as all manner of disgusting sea life, resembling cockroaches, crawled over me and the deck, I was able to secure Z with a line then hook up the temporary buoy to the anchor chain. Was that the end of our adventure, NOOOO. We started to tow Z away when the stern of Panda dipped and in spite of our efforts we were stuck! After thinking it through for a moment I realized that rather than disconnecting the anchor chain we had placed a weighted chain on the temporary buoy and left the anchor chain on smiley. Fortunately the line secured to Z was long enough to allow us to retrieve the temporary buoy while remaining in control of Z. After going through the procedure to roll Z on its belly again the switch was made and we were off to Coyote Point.
Smiley had obvious been hit by someone as it had a large crack in its side and a crack in the bottom. Fortunately, there was enough foam and air space to keep it above water. Still, it took 20 minutes and a couple of new holes to drain it so that we could lift it and transport it to the club.
My thanks to Gary Edwards for the use of “Panda” and his superb boat handling skills. John Douglas who used all his strength to hold onto the mark while preventing me from going overboard. David Jackson for doing everything asked of him and Leslie for doing the disgusting job of washing the critters back overboard.
Jack Verducci has begun the process of rehabilitating Z. For the next several weeks we will be doing our permanent fix to Z as well as building a two new marks. One to replace “C” which no one can see, and one to replace “A” which disappeared off the airport.
Another thanks to Laural Reid for buying the KFC for the cold and hungry work crew, yum!!!
Volunteers will be needed so get you work clothes ready. We will be asking for help!