I just heard about a fellow VI sailor across the pond that was boarded by the US Coastguard and forcibly removed from his boat during a circumnavigation attempt.
Dennis Howard seems to be a very experienced sailor and his little boat, a Flicka 20, are famous for ocean crossings and are very capable, if diminutive, ocean going cruisers.
Having just weathered some foul weather, and breaking his gooseneck, Dennis was lying to a sea anchor when the USCG turned up. One of them actually fell off of the RIB and had to be recovered, after attempting to board Avalo. I have read the CG report and the wind-speeds were just 8kts, with a 6 foot swell, at the time of the ‘rescue’, Mr Howard claims the worst was past, but after reporting that the little Flicka “only has 2′ of freeboard” they decided to remove Mr Howard from his vessel, despite his insistence that all was well.
For the full story, if you can be bothered, check out his blog here http://insightsailing.com/
It occurs to me that the USCG would not have taken such high handed action had they known the qualities of the boat they were dealing with and had Dennis Howard been ‘normally sighted’, or am I just being paranoid. So just to play safe, I will not be logging any passage plans with Thames CG when I next get out for a day sail. Can’t be too careful can you? And just ‘cos your paranoid, doesn’t mean the b****rs are not out to get ‘yer!
Rant over. While I think of it, I have a Zoomax Portis enlarger for sale on eBay. These retail for nearly £3000, which is much, much more than they are worth. It is item number 250975116771 if any VI types are interested.