Day two started out well enough, we took her out early in the afternoon to see how we could do against the wind. Playing it safe (thank goodness!) we decided to motor further upriver to stay clear of shallow water and to give us more room to play just in case something happened. It did...
It's all fun and games, for now...
Once we got upriver we quickly got the main up and even successfully hoisted the jib (the actual jib this time). We were under way and doing great for a few minutes, heck we even got up to some decent speed and had the rails leaning a little. We were sailing!
After a few minutes we stopped to make some adjustments and noticed that we were creeping closer and closer to the bank. Playing it safe we fired off the trusty ol' motor that we've never had any issues with and that always fires right up. Have I told you how great the motor is? It's all kinds of awesome. After a second, she was running (as you guessed) but the boat was not moving away from the banks. No good, very NOT GOOD. About this time the depth sounder starts going crazy (which sounds something like a fire alarm near your ear) and things started to get progressively worse. Acting quickly (think ninja like reflexes) we got the sails down and hoisted the keel to be safe. The last thing I wanted was to run aground, please God don't let us run aground. But why is that motor not doing the job??? Is the wind/current that strong? Then the movement stopped, we were stuck. Crap.
Now we've done it, we needed to get unstuck ASAP before it got worse. With the motor going full speed we started throwing our anchors trying to pull ourselves free. This was a nasty, dirty, wet, and overall horrible experience that I never want to do again, but it seemed to be working. With every throw we moved but as soon as we pulled up the anchor for another throw we were back where we started. At this point I had lost a shoe, Kristen almost got knocked out by an anchor, and the ENTIRE boat was covered with thick, black, slippery bottom muck. What were we doing wrong? Then it hit me, is the motor even doing anything?!?!
Upon inspection the motor had failed us. Somehow we sheared the prop pin and while the motor was running, the prop was not spinning. We were dead in the water and all of our work for the past hour (what seemed like days) was for nothing. Time to call for a tow and wait it out, but in the mean time we had to keep ourselves from getting pushed further into the marsh. Time for more anchor toss and pull, pull, pull.
Once help was on the scene things got a lot better and morale improved greatly on board. The good news is that the captain assured us that we were doing all of the right things for our situation, but once the motor died all was lost (this made me feel a lot less like a moron). Heck, he even said we did a good job keeping her from going deeper into the marsh. Within minutes of hooking to us we were headed back into the marina
at the side of the tow. About that time Mickey (a neighbor from the marina who had come out looking for us) pulled up alongside on his skiff and commenced to shouting congratulations on our fine adventure.
Once we got back safe at the marina, we were secured, and I had finished the paperwork it was time for our real work begin much to the amusement of the rest of Sail Harbor. I can only imagine what everyone else thought, but we were a mess and the boat was still covered in blackness, but as soon as we started cleaning the help began arriving in droves. Micky came over with another friend to ask all about our adventure and then he started helping to spray off the gunk. Looking back at it, I am pretty sure that he was truly jealous of us for having a "proper adventure" as he like to put it. By now, Brian (another dock regular) came out with his own water hose and started on the other end without even saying a word. It did not take long for news of our exploits to spread and at least 10-15 people came over to introduce themselves, to hear our story, and to offer whatever help they could. Even Kristen's friend Jill rode down to the marina to help.
With all of the extra hands we were able to get the Buena Vista back into respectable condition before dark and we were no worse off than when we started. Overall we fared out well with only the loss of a shoe, some hurt pride, and a broken pin. I already have the motor at home and I'm plan on fixing it over the week. If all goes well we will be back on the water by the weekend for round three.
At the end of the day it's good to know we're surrounded by good people at Sail Harbor and everyone assured us that we would look back and laugh one day. Honestly, I think we already are..
Location:Wilmington River - Savannah, GA