The longest 3 miles....
20 November 2017
Following a late arrival to the boat Friday night, two days spent cleaning, organizing, provisioning, and reviewing charts, we made a plan to leave Atlantic Yacht Basin this morning. Our destination was Coinjock, NC. We have been nestled between a sailboat and a power boat on the dock, and getting out of this tight spot caused much discussion( John) and some loss of sleep (Ann).
Planning paid off and we were quickly on our way headed south.....
There are many bridges along the ICW- literally every few miles- some are open and some are timed, and some are high enough to pass under.
We were waiting for our first bridge opening when it opened unexpectedly to let a huge duel barge pass- we pulled WAY over to the edge of the channel ( scary as there are stumps, logs, and shallows). The barge passed, bridge closed to reopen at the designated time (every half hour). 9 minutes later, the bridge reopened for us, and as John put the boat in forward, we lost all propulsion ( keep in mind the stump/log/shallow concerns previously stated).
The bridge operator is on the radio telling us that the bridge is open & waiting for us, John is laying on the engine checking the shaft, & I am at the helm- telling the bridge operator what is going on. John figured out that the shaft ( which holds the propeller btw) lost a bolt and was sliding out.
After summoning guardian angels ( in my mind), we drifted toward a marina dock which was right there, handed a dock hand our bowline, and he pulled us in!
John was able to fix the problem to “95%” but a tow boat US brought us back to Atlantic Yacht Basin for what is hopefully a quick fix in the AM.
For all our boating friends..... get a Boat US membership with unlimited towing, because today’s 3- mile tow would have cost us $1072 without it!
Preparing for another chilly night on the ICW! PS- John Crispin in amazing in crisis situations and can fix most things. I’m grateful for that.