So now we were finally free, but with no idea where we were going to tie up our boat. We managed to get the engine started again (always a miracle when it did!) and motored around the buoy and back towards where the yacht club was supposed to be, hopeful we might find it this time and taking great care not to go between any large buoys and large ships after our last fiasco. It was still pitch black where we thought the yacht club was, so this time we motored in a slightly different direction and saw another large buoy, this time a round flat one about eight feet in diameter with bars all the way around the outside that would allow you to tie something to it.
It was obviously intended for a much larger boat, but, as no one was using it, we decided to tie up to it until daylight, when we could see where to go. Dad went forward with a rope, I had the tiller, a few feet away from the buoy the engine conked out, but the boat still had enough forward momentum to keep going and gently bumped the buoy. Dad jumped off onto the buoy with the rope, the boat started drifting away and dad realized that the rope was not tied to the Stella!
You have to remember it was 3 o’clock in the morning and we’d had hardly any sleep in the last 48 hours. Lots of screaming and yelling went on. I’m thinking “Shit, what am I going to do; I’ll never get the engine started”. So I grabbed a dinghy oar and started using it like a paddle, very difficult with a five ton boat. Someone must have been watching over me because somehow I got back to the buoy and dad was able to grab hold of the Stella and tie her up. Now we could finally have some sleep.