Saturday, August 20, 2011

search and rescue

We were walking along the cliff top in front of the hotel this morning - a peculiarly enjoyable thing to do when the other retreat-attendees were discussing such things as strategic visions, but we, having breakfasted along with them, were then turned loose - our task done, Alice's talk superbly delivered, useful contacts made ... This rather more relaxed version of a retreat was broken into by spotting a small boat down below us - or, rather, an overturned boat, with three or four people on it, waving flares.   And round the headland came a lifeguard launch at top speed, very efficiently rescuing them.   Ah, we thought - it's just like Saturday mornings in Eldorado - it's a rescue practice, an outing for the teams.  And then we saw the fire engine itself, the scuba divers, the hotel security staff, the coastguard helicopter, another launch ... and it stopped looking like an exercise, and more like a little group of people wondering whatever had happened to what was once a boat.   No one (happily) seemed even remotely injured - but later, checking on line that this was indeed true, it became apparent why people in the rescue services might have been quite so intrigued (over and above the possibility of endangered life), since it seems to be a spot of the coastline where both people and drugs get landed in little boats.

In fact, what they barely did see - though one guy was good enough to point it out to us - was the spout from a whale just a little further out to sea - and then, driving away, I squeaked loud enough to alarm Alice, who was at the wheel - but I'd just seen the large curved T of a whale tail, high above the surface, and then sliding gracefully back in.

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