Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hard Aground

Well that says it all! A sailor friend told us that "if you haven't run aground, you haven't been around". We have been around!

To start the day, we motored from Beaufort to Swansboro, a small lovely town, with restaurants, shops, the old buildings along Main St, and friendly shop-keepers. Since we arrived early afternoon, we dinghied ashore with our friends, Francis and Linda, had lunch, walked, and shopped.

Had some very interesting discussions on their old jobs, working for the Library of Congress in DC. Linda did training for new Congressmen on policy, the legislative process, and history of different issues before Congress. Francis traveled around the world, working with new democracies. Very interesting! Also, very progressive in their thinking and political leanings. I knew we liked these people!

So as we walked back to the dinghy dock to return to our boat around 5pm, we noticed it was listing badly to one side, a sign that the keel was sitting on the ground. Not a good sign! When we left the boat and checked the depth gage, it showed 4 feet beneath our keel, a very sufficient amount, even with the tide going out. What we think happened was that when the tidal current changed, the boat swung in the opposite direction right onto a shoal. Our choices at that point were to wait until high tide at 11pm tonight and try to re-anchor at that point and hope that our boat would float off the shoal, or call the tow boat. As we were discussing our situation below deck, the tow boat operator came around and our friends called us to let us know that he was in the vicinity. Our towing insurance covers 100% of the costs, so back he came and got us off the shoal and afloat again! It took some doing, with trying to dislodge the anchor which had set quite well, and moving us in the right direction to deeper water! We had F and L take a picture from their boat, so I will download it when we can. The tow boat captain thanked us for helping to feed his family, as our Boats US insurance will be charged over $600 for the tow.


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