How to run aground properly
As a new member of sail net I feel like I should offer something helpful for all of the good info I have learned here. I have noticed that I am the only sailor I know that has embraced the idea of running aground. For that matter, I actually find the term running aground somewhat objectionable. I prefer "Anchoring with the keel".
Lets discuss why running aground isn't completely a bad thing. First, the anxiety is removed because you've alread done it. Second you don't have to waist anymore time looking for navigational aids or studying the depth finder. Third, you can go ahead and make a nice cold beverage and relax because god knows your not going anywhere soon. My wife is occasionally making comments that I drink to much. Which is probably accurate. Now she can't yap about me getting drunk and driving the boat. However, once we are well aground and the anchor is overboard(for legal reasons involving blood alcohol content. I find it a good idea to be not "underway" so I can't be charged with a BUI. In no way am I trying to free the vessel.) I can go ahead and get hammered. At this point she may become embarrassed at our predicament and start to drink with me, a further improvement to the day. Fourth, my eight year old daughter loves to collect shells and you can find some really good ones on isolated sandbars. She has a nice collection BTW. Lastly, this a great opportunity to discover all the places the Yard missed during the last bottom job while charging you $90 an hour.(Its hard to blame them for they poor work in my case. Its rare they get a big a sucker as I am. They were just concentrating on all the other things they talked me into.)
Back to the topic at hand. How to run aground properly. The first thing IMHO you should do is turn of the depth sounder. Lets face you are going to run aground anyway. No need to be distracted by that thing and miss some nice scenery. Not to mention the alarms are really annoying. Second, High tide is certainly preferable, otherwise you may float off too soon. The only problem with high tide is with the increased depth its a little harder to go aground. Ogh, I almost forgot an important thing. Make sure the cooler is well stocked with goodies. (Im not even going to mention the need for multiple bottles of your favorite adult beverage. This a a sailing website so Im sure you took care of that before you left the dock.) My daughter can become quite picky about lunch and snacks when she has nothing to do for awhile. Third, A copy of Chapman's piloting can keep the wife busy for a while as reads and instructs you on how you could have saved everyone with a kedge anchor. She will probably come up with several other entertaining ideas as well. Last you will need some form of really cheap american beer. This is not for you or anyone aboard to drink. Ill now explain why. At dead low tide a guy with a 10hp jon boat will come by(this always happens regardless of location) and become convinced he can tow you off. From experience I can say it is easier to just let him try rather than talk him out of it. What happens next is fantastic entertainment! Video it if at all possible. Great fun. Once he is through trying to rip the transom out of his boat, its nice to be able to offer a beverage for his efforts. Hence the need for cheap American beer. Its quite awkward trying offer this guy a beer he has never heard of or cannot pronounce. I try and keep the socially difficult situations to a minimum.
Finally, if you still find anchoring with the keel embarrassing, I suggest this. Take a towel and a scraper with you. As soon as you run aground use the towel to cover the boat name and get out of the boat with scraper in hand and act like you meant to do it!