Went out with my middle boy, age 17, for a cruise on the Patapsco River out of White Rocks. We motored out and raised sail, but the wind wasn't much and I wanted to show him the Francis Scott Key buoy just inside the FSK Bridge, so we hoisted the iron genny.
All went well, we looped around Fort Carroll just to show it to him, and headed under the bridge and took a photo (unfortunately, the sun was in his face):
And then we motored back under the bridge for home.
It was kind of boring, doing the motorsail thing straight into the wind. I had him take the tiller once while I adjusted the traveler, but otherwise it was just dull sailing.
Until we were getting close to the White Rocks on a 180 deg heading, with the channel marker into the creek in sight, and suddenly we both noticed a vibration in the boat. No, not a vibration... more like a "bumping"... BUMPING?! We're bouncing along the bottom, a half-mile offshore?!
And just as I push the tiller over to head away from the distant shoreline, we run straight into a mudbank at full throttle and with sails trimmed -- maybe 7-8 kts. It was like running headlong into a mattress leaning up against a wall -- THUMP!!! and a very quick stop. We both shot forward in the cockpit, me crashing into both the shifter and the throttle and killing the engine.
Luckily I could tell we were still afloat and not hard aground, so I started up the engine again and with a judicious application of FORWARD and REVERSE -- like getting out of a snowbank in a '71 Pontiac LeMans (with which I have GREAT experience!) -- we got off and headed out to deeper water, i.e. towards the White Rocks, and thence to home.
As far as I can tell, no harm done. It was a soft hit, no grinding or crashing, just the quick stop of a big mudbank. I'll have her hauled to see if any damage occurred, but from the sound of things I don't think there's any damage.
Still -- another fun family outing. These things never happen when I go out with anyone but my immediate family. Am I less cautious with them, or is it just Poseidon having his fun?