Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Vacation Stories – Part Eight

Day 9 of 18 for the kids & I
Day 9 of 25 for Hubby

From absolute bliss to fear to retreat then catastrophe

Day nine.

We woke, said goodbye to our new friends, and navigated our way out of the anchorage. We decided not to head for Henry’s in Sans Souci, but instead head elsewhere. (I’d tell you where, but I forget where we were going).

We left the channel, and posted Chuck on Bow watch. She was very busy looking for the rocks all around us, and unfortunately, not looking at the rocks ahead of us.


We hit bottom. Hard.

Chuck was on the bow, and held on. Hubby was holding the tiller, and didn’t go too far. Buddy was on a short tether, and flung forward, but came back on his lifejacket. Had his tether been slightly longer, he would have hit the bulkhead. I went forward, and hit my knee on the bulkhead. Hard. It was very pretty shades of purple and yellow for a couple of days afterwards.

We hit, spun, and then the rudder hit, and ripped off. We were hung up on the rocks, with no steerage. I un-cleat the Baby, and re-cleat him tightly, so he can’t go anywhere, but loosely, so if I need to release him (If we’ve ripped a hole in the keel and are taking on water), I can.

Throughout all this, I'm remembering the O'Day on Lake Simcoe a few months earlier.

Chuck went below to check the bilge. It was dry.

I pulled the pin that had failed out of the rudder. THANKFULLY the pin failed. Otherwise, we would have had an even bigger issue.

Hubby dropped an anchor to hold us off the rocks while we were recovering the rudder. I steered as best I could with the outboard. Eventually, we had the rudder jury-rigged back on, and were able to move off. Except... The anchor, which we hadn’t set properly, and thought was just holding us down by weight alone, had grabbed. Hard. Hubby told me to put the boat in forward…. Ok now in reverse… ok now in forward…. SH!T!!!! the engine stopped!!!

I may add at this point that until this time, I had been unable to shift the boat out of neutral. The shift gear was too stiff, and I didn't have the muscle power. It's amazing what you can do when adrenaline is pumping and you HAVE to do it.

I had “throttled it right out” apparently (whatever that means). He ran from the foredeck to the cockpit, fixed it, restarted it (I can’t pull start it… simply don’t have the muscle power required). And we kept doing the dance back and forth trying to get the anchor up, while at the same time staying off the rock.

Shaken and bruised, we managed.

I went out on bow watch, as we retreated back to the channel. We made it, breathed a sigh of relief, and I checked for injuries. The only injury to ourselves was my knee, which just looked skinned (the next day was when I realized it was badly bruised. It is still, three weeks later, bruised now.

We went to Henry’s. It was the closest port, we knew that the rudder had been damaged, and we needed to check our keele.

coming tomorrow

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