I am behind in writing blogs. We’ve had so much going on and too much excitement for my taste, some of which I am not going to discuss here yet. Instead, I’ll share our embarrassment and shame.
We have been buddy boating with Michael and Cherie on Pura Vida. They are subscribed to Chris Parker’s weather service and have information we do not. We are trying to subscribe to the weather service, but need Internet access. Anyway, Pura Vida decided to move into Cambridge Cay mooring field to wait out a cold front coming through. Therefore, we decided to follow along after going out into the Exuma Sound to try some fishing outside Exuma Park.
The weather and sailing were fantastic and, even though we didn’t catch a fish, it was a beautiful and relaxing day sailing – until we reached the entrance to the anchorage at Cambridge Cay. It happened so quickly we are not entirely sure what happened or why. But near as we can figure, as we rounded the corner, the sun was in front of us and Dave could not make out the color change from the channel to the shallows. Whatever the cause, Dave suddenly realized we were in shallow water and called out to me.
By the time I looked and tried to figure out where we were in relation to the channel, we hit bottom. We hit again and again and even harder again. Then the boat stopped entirely. The tide was nearly at the low, but continued to drop for the next 30 minutes. During that time we pounded on the coral (? rocks?) over and over. I was picturing our hull getting holed. When low tide finally hit, we sat still. There was nothing we were able to do. We were hard aground.
I radioed Pura Vida and Michael came out in his dinghy to do some soundings to figure out which way is deepest for us to aim for when the tide came back up. There is a 3-4 foot tide swing in the Bahamas, so we knew we would eventually be free. Unfortunately, we pictured the worst while we sat and helplessly waited.
As the tide rose, Livin’ Life bounced and pounded again and again until freed. We motored over to the mooring field and picked up a ball with perfect ease – looking like pros after looking like incompetent newbies entering the channel. As soon as we were tied up, I lost my composure and ran inside to have a mini breakdown. I don’t think Dave had ever seen me cry inconsolably before in all our years of marriage. I couldn’t help it. All of our mishaps, nearly being blown out to sea, bad weather, lost phones, etc., etc. had built up until it had to come pouring out. I thought things would start out easier than this. I knew we’d be challenged, but we’d never been responsible for the bad stuff before.
I pulled myself together and Dave and I donned our wetsuits to dive down to inspect the damage. I’m sure glad I dove with Dave. If he had come up and said, “It’s not that bad,” I would have assumed he was trying to pacify me. But I saw for myself that we had no hull, rudder, or prop damage. Only the bottoms of the keels had lost some fiberglass and bottom paint. This is still not good, by any means, but at least we would stay afloat! This is embarrassing to post. No one wants to admit their goof ups, but we are committed to giving the whole story of our experiences. Now we will go hang our heads and I’ll try not to cry.