28 February 2019 | Ponce, Puerto Rico
Today we pulled up anchor early from an overnight anchorage, and headed west along the south coast of Puerto Rico. Just as we left the harbor, our engine died... But this wasn't lack of fuel. I had noticed fishing buoys floating , and didn't see the one I ran over. I ran to the stern and say a buoy and its line following our stern by ten feet. We had snagged a buoy and wrapped it around our prop! We were in 36' of water so we dropped anchor, and proceeded to get snorkeling gear to go over the side. Swimsuit, snorkel, mask, fins, 10 pounds in my weight belt, a couple floating lines trailing our boat in case there was a current, and a side ladder to climb off and on the boat. Wave action can be dangerous when near the stern of the boat, rising and falling on the unsuspecting. So I approached the stern carefully. We had two buoys attached, and the half- inch line was wrapped about 7-8 times around the shaft in front of the propeller. I had brought a sharp knife, and started cutting away. You hear stories of lines getting wrapped so tight that a knife won't cut them. But this was a SHARP knife. And in a couple of dives, all the lines were cleared, and I was back aboard. I was just glad the water was 80F, not 45F like off of Portland!