Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day 6 1/2 Honey Does it Feel Like We're Moving?

By sunset the all day wind had finally stopped, the water was calm, and the stars were out in all their glory. We had just turned out the lights for a much needed slumber when we heard the pennants on the bow of our boat start to rattle again just as they had all day from the west wind. As this rattling started to intensify we popped our head out of the cabin to realize that the wind was now coming at us straight from the east!  At first we weren't concerned considering we had two bow anchors out, plenty of chain and rode out, and one solid line ran to a giant rock on shore.

Within minutes the wind turn to howling gusts and the secure feeling we had turned to panic when we looked into the darkness to see the shapes of rocks we had been climbing on just hours before coming at us at a high rate of speed. With the stern tied to shore the boat was turning sideways to the wind which only helped to increase our speed towards the jagged rocks. As Ben fired up the engine Dana ran for the knife and cut our stern tie. Ben was able to give it enough gas to avoid the large rock directly behind us, but it was too late...we were too close to the rocks, and now to shallow to take a chance with damaging our outdrive in the complete darkness of the night.

When we finally stopped moving we turned on the underwater swim lights to see our final resting spot less than 3 feet from a rock wall. The front anchor had finally grabbed and the skeg of the outdrive was perched in a small notch on top of a rock, and was the only thing preventing us from a further slide down the shore. Ben quickly switched from sleepware to swim trunks and jumped in the cold water to tie another line to shore. This new line and the position of the skeg would hopefully hold us until morning light. Ben who was now soaked, wind blown, and shivering, slept at the helm the rest of the night. If the skeg slipped off the rock he would have to quickly raise the outdrive to prevent further damage. The boat teetered on that rock all night with every gust of wind feeling like it was the one to pull us off the rock and further our nightmarish situation.

When dawn finally broke we assessed our situation and realized the only way to pull the bow in the direction we needed with the wind still blowing was with the help of a power dinghy. We jumped in the kayak and paddled over to a sailboat named "Voyager" that was getting ready to leave but was nice enough to lower their dinghy and give us a hand. Jack from "Voyager" quickly motored over and tied a rope to our bow. As Jack pulled the bow away from the rocks, Ben raised the outdrive to release the skeg from the rock, and Dana used the windlass to pull in the failed anchor. It took the team work of all three of us but it was a success! After a quick inspection of the props and outdrive for damage, we were ready to leave Beardrop harbour for the safety of a dock where we could reassess our currrent situation...and sleep! We pulled out of the Whalesback Channel and set a course for Blind River Marina.

Facing almost 180 degree's the opposite way and next to the rocks
Stopped just in time!!
The perfectly positioned skeg that stopped us from slamming into the rocks

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