Part 65: Lost at sea

Colin Ella Part 65 - Lost at Sea. Picture shows Old Harry Rocks in Dorset.
Colin Ella Part 65 - Lost at Sea. Picture shows Old Harry Rocks in Dorset.

A SHORT while ago we were in Swanage and, as it was raining, we took a train trip out to Corfe Castle.

Memory took me back to our first visit to this very pleasant and balmy south west resort. Holidays sometimes throw up unexpected and alarming incidents, but things we have a laugh about in later years.

I have always liked to hire a boat with a motor rather than endure the excursion of straining on oars. The bright and shining waters of the English Channel proved irresistible and we hired a boat with an outboard motor.

Our vessel ploughed out through the bouncing billows encouraged by a pretty healthy sound from the motor. In the warm sunshine and the rise and fall of the boat it all felt heavenly. To make sure of things I kept well out in the bay. I thought I would execute a few circular manoeuvres to vary the trip so I put the boat to port when there a sudden thud the roaring motor went silent.

In no time we found ourselves being carried rapidly towards the Old Harry Rocks. It was a lonely feeling made worse because the vessel contained nothing by which we could raise an alarm. However, I have to say that my wife’s calmness did much to ease my concerns but I still had visions of being washed up on the French coast.

Then we suddenly saw a fellow in a motorised inflatable. We managed to hail him and hearing of our predicament he roared away back to Swanage Quay. In the meantime we floated further and further out and again wondered if we would be lost at sea. After what seemed like an eternity our rescuers arrived and we were towed back to base.