So here is mine:
I was in the Air Force single(divorced) about 23 years old. I was stationed in the panhandle of Florida, Fort Walton Beach. I had always wanted to have a sailboat. My father had always talked about building one etc but I knew he was all talk. So I decide Im going to buy one. My only boating exp. was a flatbottom boat in the creeks of north Alabama. Well I find a Hunter 26.5 in Pensacola, which is about 45-50 miles away. I take a couple days of leave get my fellow arimen roomate to go with me who also has no baoting exp. We pay the man $5000 dollars for the boat get on he shows us how to run up the sail etc and I am now a sailboat Capt.
Its March and cold and really windy. We are on the western side of the Pensacola Bay and are heading east. Its about 4pm when we leave the dock. We get in the channel next to the dock try to put the sails up but are so clueless we could ony spin in circles it was truly pathetic. We decide to put the sails down and use the 6hp outboard motor. Now were cooking. About 45 mins to an hour goes by and it gets dark. We decide to try to cross the bay and anchor in the ICW for the night. So here we are trudging across the bay on a cold windy night. I have CCR cranked up on the stereo with a beer in my hand and I feel like Im on top of the world. I can see to my right the outline of the shore between me and the gulf. It is just a narrow strip of sand and pine trees and is nothing but a national forest type land with nothing really on it. Its about 200 yards to my right. All of a sudden my buddy pops his head out of the cabin and says "Did you hear something?" Then BOOM we hit a sandbar. The boat runs up on it real good with the help of the 3ft waves that are coming across the bay. The boat is sitting at almost a 45 degree angle and waves are splashing over the side onto us. We are standing on the edge of the boat holding onto the standing rig for the main. Stuck. Its dark cold and there is no one else on the water and we are 200 yards from the shore.
My buddy cannot swim and is pretty much freaking out. Im trying to calm him down but its not working. Luckily we have a dinghy we are pulling behind us. I tell him to make for the dinghy. He finally gets up the courage and stumbles a few steps and falls face first into the dinghy. I crawl into the cabin grab some flares and climb in with him and we paddle toward shore eventually have to get out and pull the boat in due to the tide and wind. Here we are on an empty shore soaking wet freezing to death and I can see my 2 hour $5000 investment titlted over and rocking in the night. I feel like a total idiot but am glad to be alive at this point. We use the dinghy to make a shelter and used the flares to start a fire. Spent the night huddle up next to each other unde the dinghy freezing. The next day we walk several miles to a rnager station and call SeaTow who charged us $500 to pull it of remarkably unharmed.
They then tell me about navigation bouys and how Im suppossed to stay in between them. Now I really feel stupid. Needless to say we took our sweet time going the reast of the way. To top it off I got worms from the incident as well. All in all it took us three nights to go about 45 miles.
Good story. The courage of youth!