Well, it happened again. We were sailing with friends Sunday afternoon in about 9 feet of water when I felt a bump while tacking. I looked at my depth finder just soon enough to watch the 9.8 ft turn into 4.5 ft. We were aground... I tried to get off using my sails, but the wind wasn't really strong enough to do too much. Our friends tried to help the wind by pushing with our dinghy oars, but the water was too deep for that to do too much. I tried cranking the engine, and guess what... It didn't crank.
I sure hope this isn't a recurring theme.
After about 10 minutes, but it felt like 10 hours, the motor caught - I think something is up with my batteries, but I still haven't been able to pinpoint the problem - and we slowly dredged a new channel in the West River. Painting the bottom of my keel with anti-fouling paint was probably a waste of time because I'm sure it has all rubbed off from the groundings
We continued sailing now that water instead of mud was under our keel and spent about two hours tacking out of the West River before heading back in the light winds. It would have been a great day to practice using the spinnaker, but instead I decided to try sailing wing and wing. The winds were so light that I wasn't afraid of a flying gybe causing any damage.
We made it all the way to Pirate's Cove before we furled the sail to avoid being run over by a massive powerboat in a hurry to get wherever he was heading. Meredith took the helm to steer us into the wind while I quickly doused the sailes because, as she reminded me, we were heading straight to the sight of our first grounding.
The West River had more boats on it than I had ever seen out there before - even on race nights. Small catamarans, large sailboats, Flying Scots, jet skis, fishing boats of all sizes. Everyone was out, and I assume everyone saw us run aground. Oh well, at least we got off and didn't have to call TowBoatUS again - who I saw towing two people in.
We didn't take Cordelia out on Saturday so we could take care of a few projects. I finally waxed the deck and scrubbed a few hard to reach spots. Meredith helped by making drinks and applying the wax in the cockpit so all I had to do was buff it off. She also helped me clean out the anchor locker and spray off the chain so at least the first half of dropping anchor won't be too messy. We also put on the larger jib while waiting for our chicken to cook on the grill - here's the recipe
, it was very good and really moist. I also tried to eliminate the funky smell our water had. The lady at West Marine - who lives aboard - said the smell was caused by the hard water in the area. To fix that, we bought a water filter to put on our hose while filling the tanks and also flushed the tanks with vinegar. Once flushed, I added some water stabilizer. Hopefully that, and regular use, will keep the rotten egg smell down because while feeling clean after showering at St. Michaels last weekend, I certainly didn't smell clean...
On a side note. I think a good title for the blog would be "Injuries at Sea." It never fails, even on the best day of sailing, there is some form of blood-letting. The injuries this weekend - aside from pride and missed bottom paint due to the grounding - was stabbing my finger with a screwdriver while trying to pry a knot loose. Meredith also thinks she got poison ivy from sitting out by the grill.