Sunday, March 20, 2011

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, Chapter Two

After leaving Rock Sound we anchored first at Alabaster Cay, where we found the holding to be very good, despite the chart indications of a poor bottom. We found nothing at all on the beach to add to our several odd collections. Next day, to the Glass Window, as if we hadn’t gotten enough of this on our car ride, but Celebrian and Peter wanted to visit. So, I sat it out at a beach where I came away with an interesting piece of sea glass and that was it. My companions spent what seemed like hours looking at, under, and around the bridge creating the Glass Window, documented previously in this blog.

The next day was our big journey to Current Cut, where we can never seem to get the current predicted with confidence, but always manage to hit it right. It has been our experience that one cannot approach the Cut going west head on but instead must parallel the coast of Current Island on the approach. Even with this route, we often found water shallow enough to start our hearts pounding.

As we were following this tried-and-true route, we saw Endorphins headed right for the cut, and since they draw 6’6”, we expected them to stop suddenly. Celebrian had already breezed on through on “our” track so we stuck with it, and promptly ran hard aground. After several minutes of digging our way deeper into the shallows without any progress, Endorphins called and volunteered to anchor and come back and help us, as their dink carries a 30 HP engine and might provide enough power for the assist. We hated to inconvenience them, but they were quite willing, and we were quite stuck.

On their arrival we tried the easy stuff first, towing from the bow, towing from the stern…not moving an inch. Chris suggested we attach a spare halyard (both our sails being up) to their dinghy, and once this was accomplished, First Edition moved quickly out of her shallow lodging. Very quickly, like a bat out of hell, like a sling shot, like really, really fast. Dumped our benefactors right out of their dinghy, yes we did, designer sunglasses, favorite hats, and submersible but not floatable handheld included.

Of course the helmsman, moi, did not have any idea of that horrible outcome, with my eyes fixed alternatively on the catamaran coming down on us and the depthsounder showing that we were headed to another grounding. The captain started yelling to put it into neutral, he being unaware of the nearby ironshore, the catamaran, the depth, or the currents running toward the scary shore. Lots of F words were exchanged between the crew, as the Good Samaritans drifted swiftly away. Once I became aware, I did note that we were dragging a slightly airborne dinghy from the halyard, as the Captain dispatched our dink to make the rescue and I successfully avoided a collision with the dumb-ass catamaran and the ground below us.

It was a Manhattan evening, shared with Endorphins and Celebrian. As our hand held with its dead battery was identical to the submerged VHF now the property of Neptune and formerly belonging to Endorphins (who smartly carried a spare battery) we passed ours along to the Samaritans, along with a bottle of ’92 Opus One to thank them for their valiant rescue.

So, if you happen to see First Edition aground, please come to our aid. We have learned a lot from this experience, and we just might have another good bottle of vino aboard.


janis51 said...

Well said well shared! Having once, may years ago in my "youth and stupid days", been grounded (as you so aptly put it,) in the Mississippi river delta, I can appreciate your WTF exchanges that surely took place. Glad you continue safely on your journey.

S/V Veranda said...

Can't let you out of our sight for a minute....