To The Bahamas, Part 10: Hawksbill Cays

2012-04-14, 01:00 — Hawksbill Cays

Shortly after I wrote the preceding blog entry that documented our grounding off Foxtown, near the Hawksbill Cays in the Bahamas, I realized that we were starting to hear the occasional “bump…bump” beneath the keel. It took me several minutes to realize the implication — the tide was coming in, raising the boat enough that little tiny waves would cause it to bump against the rock(s) on which we’d run aground, and (undoubtedly) slightly moving the boat into even shallower water.

Once it hit me that (a) we were being raised off the rocks (a Very Good Thing) and (b) we were in danger of being jostled further into the shallows (a Very Bad Thing), I leapt up and shouted to Frank and Barbara that we have to start the engine and get moving! Barbara got the engine started while Frank and I raced up into the cockpit to see what was going on with the water. Indeed, the boat seemed to have moved slightly, based on Frank’s reading of the dark shapes beneath the water. I put the transmission into reverse, but she wouldn’t move backward, so I slipped her into forward and cranked hard to port, goosing the engine a bit. Dream SeQuel quickly(!) started to turn on her own keel and then slowly started moving forward under power, slipping right off the rocks. I headed us directly to where I knew (having finally read the paper charts) deeper water lie. After moving a scant 75 or 100 feet, I stopped the boat as still as I could and asked Frank and Barbara to drop the anchor.

They did so very quickly (although, at the time, it seemed to take forever) and I set the anchor as well as I could under the circumstances. Finally, we are off the rocks and back in some control over what happens to us!

We’ll get a decent night’s sleep tonight — I’ve set an anchor drift alarm, so we’ll be awakened if the anchor drags (I have no idea what the holding might be like here, not even whether it’s rocks, grass, or sand). Tomorrow, we’ll head on to the Sea of Abaco.

Whew!!

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