The sun was shining, the wind was light, and we were up early to get ready to go! The painters return on Monday, but the paper was removed. Therefore, we took that as free license to leave the dock. Finally! We have not been able to test the new electronics or sails yet and really needed to before we leave the dock for good. It was time to untie the lines and go. We were so excited! Too excited, and we nearly forgot to disconnect from shore power. Fortunately, Dave’s dad caught our oversight in the nick of time. Once disconnected and the lines were off the dock and pilings, leaving the slip was super smooth. We made it to the channel and headed for the anchorage at the mouth of the river.
Dave was so taken with his new instrumentation, he overly focused on the radar and forgot to watch our course. I was in the cabin when I felt a strange motion and Dave called out that we just went aground. I came out and looked around and we were about 100 feet out of the channel. Dave tried to get us unstuck by engine power for about 15 minutes before giving up. It was time to take out the storm anchor on the dinghy and try to winch our way out. The tide was almost at the low and would start rising again in a couple hours. We were too hard aground to winch off right away, even when large wakes would bounce us on the bottom. About three hours after grounding and after much winching and engine work, we finally broke free. Unfortunately, we lost the anchor but we didn’t want to risk regrounding to save it. I guess the anchor was the price we paid for the lesson learned to keep your eyes on the “road.”
We made it to the anchorage, dropped our main anchor, and settled in; happy that we didn’t have to call Sea Tow to get us out of trouble. We were soon visited by Jim and Margaret from “Well Why Not?” with their son, Josh, on a kayak. They tied up and came aboard for a nice visit and confessed that they, too, had gone aground but while they were in the channel. Yep, **it happens.
We hopped in our dinghy and followed them to the shore, where we strolled along on a two mile loop trail. Interestingly, we passed a Bee Hotel. We didn’t investigate closely to see if it was occupied.
After this impromptu group walk, we each returned to our boats and Dave grilled us up some burgers. Another lovely Florida sunset ended our eventful day. Yes, it started out rough but the day definitely improved. Dave is determined to return tomorrow on the dinghy to the spot where we went aground and see if we can recover our anchor. I recorded the coordinates in the log book when we went aground, so we should be able to find the general area with a GPS. Wish us luck! At lease we know the water wasn’t very deep! Haha!