I'm in the club!
I've been told that if you haven't hit a rock you haven't sailed in Georgian Bay.
Well, I'm proud to say, this is my second season sailing in Georgian Bay and yesterday it became official.
I was slowly motoring into Lost Bay. I was hugging the shore and getting ready to turn into the wind to drop my anchor. My depth gauge was showing 8.2 feet. I was going at less than half a knot.
Suddenly the boat stopped dead. There was a slight lurch, but no ominous grinding, cracking or other bad noises. My crew was in the pulpit ready to lower the anchor. He said casually, "Hey, I can see the bottom."
I immediately put the motor into neutral. We were definitely sitting on the keel. Luckily I have a shoal draft.
I started to consider all of the courses of action: rigging blocks and tackles on shore to pull the boat off; off loading stuff to lighten the boat; swinging the boom over and hanging on the end; etc. After about half a second of pondering I thought I would try to slowly reverse off the bottom.
I eased the shifter back and the boat moved gently back and began floating free. Again no tearing sounds of rending fiberglass. No geysers spouting up through the deck. I think I got off lucky and unscathed.
Next weekend I will take a dive under the boat to make sure there is no damage. I'm very confident that there will be none.
So, lesson learned: more diligence when navigating close to shore.
So, now I'm in the club. I just hope that's the only meeting I have to attend....
Thankfully, that's a club I've yet to join.... touch wood or rock. ;)
We went up to Killarney and back this summer and I monitered 3 different Mayday calls for people abandoning their vessel after hitting rocks. We also witnessed the aftermath of one of the groundings with a large salvage boat towing a 36 ft. powerboat with several gas pumps on the deck pumping water out of the inside to keep it afloat. Funny that all three were large powerboats, although I saw a 36' sailboat last year in the same situation strapped to the side of a barge in Penetang Harbour and another sailboat this year sunk near Byng Inlet.
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