Tuesday, March 12, 2013

S/V Raindancer

Raindancer is a beautiful yacht.
You've seen her picture at all of the dinghy concerts.  Here she is arriving at the last concert, taking her place alongside the tug.  Her captain allows people to ride along, sit on her decks and dance to the music.  The aerial footage of the concerts is shot from high up in Raindancer's rigging.  You might remember that we sailed on her after one of the concerts as she made her way back to her slip at Le Phare Bleu Marina.

 The captain has made this trip out around Calvigny Island and back to the marina countless times but this time everything went horribly wrong.  Raindancer got off course coming through the cut at night and went hard aground on the reef.  The call went out for help and boats rushed to her aid but the tide was running out and she was hard up on the reef.  There were 9 people aboard including a little baby and all got off safely.
The rescue attempt began again the next morning but Raindancer was holed and taking on water as fast as they could pump it out.  They attempted to float her with air bags to no avail. 

Raindancer was lost.

A few days later we were back at the marina for a regatta party.  We walked out to the end of the dock and could see Raindancer out in the distance, leaned over with the waves breaking over her deck.  I felt physically ill.  It didn't seem possible that this beautiful lady was lost.  And remember, she wasn't just a beautiful sailing yacht, she was John's home.  Everything he owned went down with her.
A few days later and she's laying on her side.
The sea has claimed her.
Special thank you to our friend Geoff Craigen of S/V Beach House who dinghied out to Raindancer on several different days to shoot these photographs and for allowing us to use them.