Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Fever Pulled Us Back

November 11th - 13th 2006:

We just had to go sailing one more time before Evergreen was hauled out. We felt like kids with a new toy.

This time we convinced Peter, Sharon's father, to join us. He shares our appreciation of the outdoors.

During this trip the weather was much more unsettled and it was obvious that the true late Fall weather systems were moving in.

We had a beautiful sail to Leadenham Creek. We choose this very small and protected creek because a strong front was supposed to come through during the night. It was indeed protected but a little small for us so we decided to leave in the morning and find a better spot to ride out the predicted gale force winds.

After hauling the anchors I turned the helm over to Peter so that I could stow the anchor rodes. However, I failed to properly orient Peter to the GPS chartplotter. I just assumed it was self explanatory. Peter is a retired pilot and what I didn't realize is that instruments that pilots use are usually oriented in the direction that the plane is flying. I, on the contrary, keep my chartplotter set with North being up. This disparity resulted in Peter's confusion and we consequently ended up firmly aground on a sand/mud bar in Caulk Creek. Despite my efforts to reverse the engine the 8 ton boat would not budge. On top of that the winds were increasing to gale force, it was starting to rain, and the tide was falling. Boy did I feel helpless and dumb! Out of options we called Tow Boat US. Luckily we had purchased unlimited towing insurance the week before. I prefer to be self sufficient, however, I knew that I was out of my league as a novice on such a big new boat. Tow Jamm II arrived on the scene but despite their efforts the boat would not budge and was starting to list. We resigned ourselves to sleeping at a radical angle overnight while the tide drained and finally returned in the morning. The following morning Tow Jamm II returned right on time for high tide and after careful efforts with the assistance of many horsepower Evergreen was finally floated free. Boy, what a relief!! I am embarassed to say that it will take Boat US ten years of my membership to recoup the cost of that one tow. I certainly am going to be more careful in the future.
Having wasted a day aground it was time to head for home. We had a pleasant sail back to our slip despite the weather. When we returned to Solomons we stripped Evergreen and readied her for winter hauling and maintenance.
Weather summary: Nights in the low 40s; Days in the 60s; Water was 60 degrees; Winds were around the compass due to the fronts and between 15 - 45+ knots.

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