Hooked off Hollywood Beach
09 December 2018
After a fun couple of days in Fort Lauderdale it was time to get going so, we were off the hook in time to make the 8:30 bridge opening. One of the many benefits of the Lake Sylvia anchorage is it's proximity to the ocean outlet, with 45 minutes we were offshore with the sails hoisted. The wind was a little further south than forecasted but we had a great close reach down the coast under bright sunny skies. We covered the 21 miles to the Miami Cut in under 3 hours. The 3-4 foot waves driven by the east wind gave us a fairly good ride; however, we did get the deck washed a few times.
Paralleling the coast from 2 miles out gave us a great view of the shoreline however, we did have to dodge the odd fishing boat. There are a few man made reefs in the area for the local anglers to use and it was near one of these where we were hooked. It felt just like leading a Thursday night race at HYC when the wind drops and fills from behind. We suddenly slowed as if we had sailed into a hole and the two boats with us made huge gains, then after a couple of minutes we regained our speed. However, there was a knocking against the hull that persisted for serval minutes then disappeared. There weren't any fish traps in the area but we knew we had hooked something and we were proven correct once we fired the engine. As we motor sailed into Miami harbour I could feel a vibration in the boat indicating something was hooked on the prop.
We considered stopping the boat and backing up to clear the debris but decided to proceed slowly 2 miles to the anchorage. It turned out to have been a good decision. Normally when we anchor we back down to be sure the anchor is set then run the motor up in reverse to really bury the anchor. This time we dropped the hook and let the wind push us back, I told Bev just to idle in reverse, within 20 seconds the prop jammed and stalled the engine.
When it comes to swimming in cool water I'm usually a wimp, but over the side I went and found a big yellow rope wound around the shaft. Fortunately, for us while in Fort Lauderdale Paul had bought a hookah ( not to smoke with), it's a long air hose and regulator that attach to a scuba tank that people use to clean boat bottoms. Since Paul was anxious to try his new toy this gave him the perfect opportunity to try it out and within a few minutes of cutting we were good as new.
Today's picture is the remains of the rope, I feel we snagged someone's old anchorline that was just below the surface.