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Sailing - Unplanned Overnight

So Liz and I decided to go to the boat after work one evening for a little while.  Sun's going down, it's a beautiful Thursday evening.  Well just sitting at the dock didn't quite cut it, so we decided we'd take a "short" adventure.  There was a light breeze and we figured it wouldn't take us long to sail up and around Garrett Island.  Since the winds weren't the best for sailing under the railroad bridge especially with tug traffic ahead, we fired up the motor, went under, then resumed sailing.  Well wouldn't you know the wind starts to die out, but we don't care that much, it's still not too late, and we can make a speedy motor back when we're ready.  Oops, I made an assumption didn't I.  So now we figure it's time to head back, I prepare to fire up the auxiliary and nada, nothing, just a click or two.  What? I haven't even touched the start battery, we've been on the house battery all night.  Well the house batteries don't have enough to start either, damn those jam's.  We'll at least this is a sailboat, oh but did I mention, the wind died and what little there is is directly on the nose of our return. 

A few hours latter we are almost to the bridge - probably more due to current than sailing.  There's no way we are going to make it back under the bridge with sails and this wind, so it's anchor time.  Bad news?  We are in the channel and the wind is gone.  It's pretty good exercise paddling a 30 ft sail boat with a dingy paddle, but were out of the channel and anchored finally. 

Well just as the first hint of light is popping up we pick up a little easterly wind.  We weigh anchor and start to sail north to try to make a pass under the bridge.   Well just as we get lined up to make it under the wind is gone.  Paddling again.  Finally a little later and the wind picks up enough to sail  under the bridge and up to the Havre de Grace light house where we set anchor and wait a little while to call captain dad for rescue.

All told it's like 10 am Friday when we get docked.  Oh, and besides needing and new start battery, I learned that if you accidentally turn off your battery switch while running the motor, your likely to burn out your alternator as well. (At least with the old Motorolas on an Atomic 4).  Did someone say, hole in the water you pour money in?

Bad sailing night? Never!



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Article | by Dr. Radut