Tow, Tow, Tow You Boat...
04 May 2008 | The Chesapeake Bay
Robin & Charles
We've sailed over 50,000 miles, visited 4 continents, logged years of sea time and there's one thing we've learned - There's always a new experience waiting for you on the water...
Our trip from South Carolina to the Chesapeake Bay was not a long or tiring one, it was pretty average as far as passages go. Because of bad timing and some fresh wind near the end of the trip, we arrived at the entrance to the Chesapeake bay around midnight and decided to make our way to Ft Monroe where we would anchor in the bay and sleep until daylight.
We followed the axially channel to Norfolk, paying careful attention to the large ship traffic in the main channel. When we got to Thimble Shoals lighthouse we were a few miles off Ft Monroe and decided to put away the sails and start the engine.
The engine started fine, the sails got furled away but when we throttled up the engine to make our way to Ft Monroe, nothing happened. After some scrambling to check cables and make sure the engine was not stuck in neutral, we realized 2 things:
1 - we had no steerage and were drifting into the big ship channel (full of big ship traffic).
2 - We needed to get our sails back out ASAP to get the boat going in another direction.
The jib came out quick and we managed to turn the boat away from the channel. We found a shoal area not far away and dropped anchor there to wait for sunrise and figure things out.
The engine was beyond fixing with the tools we had on board so around 8am we put up the sails again and headed North to Severn River marina (our final destination for the season). Thanks to a steady wind from a good direction we made it to within 3 miles of our marina before we had to stop and drop anchor again. This morning a nice fellow named Hank on a boat called "Hanky Panky" came out and gave us a tow the rest of the way.
We've never had engine trouble on "RobinLeigh" before but on a boat there's always a first time for everything.