Who is this extra crew member? A friend of mine having hired a crew to take his 38` boat to Spain, decided to join them. Leaving Port Solent bound for Jersey where they were to buy more nav. equipment for the trip, the delivery crew didnâ€™t wait for a weather window and even though it was blowing F7/8 just went. Halfway across the channel with the sea on the starb`d beam the boat was in trouble and had suffered 3 semi knockdowns. Calling a passing ship on 16 they got a course for Cherbourg and limped in. I said to my friend, weren`t you scared, Yes he said I was at my wits end but then the strangest thing happened, sitting in the corner of the saloon was a woman dressed all in black with a black hood and when she smiled at me all my fear seemed to drain away. She stayed with us until we reached Cherbourg then she was gone. â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦ This reminded me of something that happened in 1970 when I was living in Singapore with the Missus and small son working from the naval dockyard on fleet maintenance attached to HMS Triumph. During the second year we were there we got involved with a crowd that spent most weekends banyaning, To borrow a navy boat for the day from the Triumph all that was needed was a killick seaman working on the boats party (Kev) and a stoker with a diesel certificate (me). Our favourite spot was Changi beach, a good run from the dockyard but easy to find as the main channel was marked by large red nav buoys and was easy to follow. So usual routine on a Sat morning three couples and 4 kids met up at the boat and with 2 dustbins full of Ice and Tiger and a full tank of fuel we set off After a couple of hours we reached Changi and running the nose of the boat onto the beach set about the cans of tiger. This particular day the tide didnâ€™t come back in till about 6. anyway we managed to get off at about 6.30 and with Kev at the tiller started back towards the dockyard. The boat itself was a navy cutter, an open boat about 35ft with a canvas cuddy for the first 1/3 of its length and steered with a tiller from the back. We were all well drunk and ducking under the cuddy as it had started to rain we were having a good laugh. After about half an hour it started to get dark and the rain had set in, feeling sorry for Kev I went aft to relieve him, juss follow the buoys, he slurred, as you lose one youâ€™ll see the next and off he went to join the rest in the shelter of the cuddy. At first I thought that there was something strange about our surroundings then my blood ran cold, Kevin had been following the buoys alright but instead of heading towards the dockyard he was going in the wrong direction and with the fairways in sight we were heading towards the South China Sea. Realising we were in danger I decided not to let anyone know what was happening and gently eased the boat into a massive u turn settling back on course towards the dockyard. Standing at the tiller trying to work out the fuel a couple of times I was asked did I want to be relieved. No point you getting wet, I shouted back, but all the time I was scared we werenâ€™t going to make it straining through the rain to line up the lights on the buoys. Then I realised there was a man standing beside me, he was tall and slim and was peering ahead towards the buoy lights, suddenly I felt reassured and it seemed perfectly natural for him to be beside me. I knew we would make it. We got back to the Dockyard at about 10 o`clock, Thanks said everyone as I stood on the stern soaked to the skin. Yes, said Kev, Done a good job. Of course what they didn`t realize ,and I never told them, was that I was only partly responsible, and that the real credit was down to a tall Tiffy in a pair of overalls, clutching a packet of blue liners in his hand. Just wondered if anyone else here has either experienced this sort of thing or knows anyone that has?