Thursday, June 13, 2013

Plans gone awry

Warning: There are no pictures and no humor in this post.

When we have told people of our plans to retire and go sailing, so many people say 'That is so cool! We are going to live vicariously through you!'. Well, the danger in living vicariously through someone else is that you also have to live through their disappointments.

We had this two-week trip planned to go sailing up to the Chesapeake. We have some other Cabo Rico owners that we are going to meet up near Rock Hall. Everything was ready, packed, provisioned, fueled, watered. I had been working all week on final prep while Junie was on a business trip. I finished tasks that I never thought I would get to in time. I installed a new AIS (even built a little shelf to dress it up),  installed 12 volt outlets in the cockpit. I even got little baskets for our three plants to set on the counter.

We got up early, did all the last minute things, closed up the house and set off.

We made it as far as the outlet from Colington Harbour. If you know us or follow the blog, you know that we have had problems with water levels here before. We were in the middle of the channel, on a high water day, taking the line through the channel that we know is successful and we ran aground. And the wind came up and made it worse, blowing us further onto the shoaling.

We called TowBoatUS. They showed up two hours later. Captain Harry worked for the BoatUS hour that is covered by a 'soft grounding'. He couldn't even budge us. He snapped two tow lines, smashed the teak cap rail on our port stern. At about this point, we went over the initial hour and we get reclassified as a 'hard grounding' - which BoatUS pays nothing for. We are now at the mercy of Captain Harry.

If we were having this conversation in person, I would let you guess how much this ended up costing. And, I bet you would be wrong. $4000. Yes, that's right. Four thousand dollars.

So, let me recap. Our dream exit for our cruise to the Chesapeake? Ruined. Our chance to meet up with our cruising friends, Chip and Tammy, as they cruised past our area on their way north? Ruined. Our boat damaged, if only superficially. A $4000 towing charge - a hit to the cruising budget - one week after I retired. Oh, and Captain Harry followed us back to our slip so he could run our credit card in front of all the neighbors.

So, if you are living the dream of sailing and cruising vicariously? You had a bad day.

But, we are safely back in our slip, nobody is hurt (except for minors cuts and pride), Roux, the wonder dog, displayed his adaptability and best behavior. He moved when we asked him, stayed still when we needed him to, and never complained even though we were in 90 degree heat, bouncing off the bottom. He even came to Junie's rescue when she was distraught over the damage incident.

Maybe, tomorrow, we try again. Sigh...


  1. I'm so sorry Mr D. Hope your luck greatly improves over the next two weeks. Wishing yall calm winds and smooth seas.

  2. I'm so sorry! I know that isn't how you planned to start your cruising adventure. In solidarity I bought a pair of Sperry's today. Not $4k, but it dented my budget...
    Better luck tomorrow!!!

    1. Thanks Aimee. Sometimes the best adventures start out looking questionable in their wisdom and viability. Hope your new Sperrys keep you from running aground:)