Sunday, 29 May 2011

Rock Bottom

The stretch between Trident Yacht Club in Gananoque, ON and Morrisburgh a day earlier had been so uneventful and relaxed we easily fell into a slack routine again on Tuesday. The sun was scorching as we zigzagged between the little islands and shoals invading St. Lawrence waters. Autopilot was doing its thing, so we were free to lounge about in the cockpit, getting tanned, getting complacent. Life and the joy of it seemed so simple. Before we knew it things got awfully complicated for us. We hit rock bottom and nearly keeled over. (I love being able to use these idioms and not even be exaggerating) First there was shouting, as our navigating crew realized what was about to happen, then a single, hollow thud followed by a series of violent thumps while the keel of our boat slid along the rocks forcing it on its side. In a moment that felt like eternity the boat had heeled by 45deg. and rested motionless on the rocks below. By that time I had jumped below to hold in place everything that got dislodged from the jolt and to check on Pickle. She was buried under the covers of our v berth, shooting accusing looks in my direction, to let me know she was displeased with being woken up in such a matter. Typical. I picked up what was scattered on the floor of the cabin and listened as the boys yelled for help across the water. A few boaters came by to see what they can do. Gabriel explained to them that if they secure one of the mast halyards to their boat and pull on it, we have a chance of getting the boat completely on its side. This would force the keel out of the rocks and the hull could float free of them. Easier said than done, but after a few good tugs, Rodeo dragged across to deeper waters, rolled back over and happily bounced right side up. Rattled but relieved we then proceeded to argue about the irresponsibility of our actions prior to hitting the rocks. We missed a buoy de-marking a shoal and came aground on it. Not cool. But these things happen, and we're lucky enough to be onboard a great little sailboat, that's been very forgiving to its sloppy crew. 

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