Last weekend a friend and I went down to the boat to hang out, work on a few things and go sailing. That morning we were heading out of the channel and I handed my friend the wheel. Well I didn’t exactly tell him that we needed to stay inside the last set of buoys. Next thing you know we are in about 4 feet of water and not moving.
This was (I’m proud to say) my first time running aground, however, I would have much rather known what to do in this situation so I could have saved 3 hours and my pride. We tried reversing our way out. We tried rowing the anchor out in the dinghy, wrapping it around the winch and cranking it free. We tried everything we could think of. So in hopes that someday this post will find its way to someone who is stuck on a sand bar trying to google his way out of a bad situation, this is how we ended up getting free.
First get line to attach to the anchor. 200 Ft would be a good amount if you have it.
Attach the anchor to a topping rope. In the dinghy take the anchor as far as the line will allow and make sure it sets well before cranking it in.
Last weekend we were not actually able to make it heel enough with the anchor so we actually had to get a friend to tie our mast to his boat and heel us over. The idea is the same either way.
Be prepared for quite an adrenaline rush (that is why you got into sailing right). In the words of Shawn (the guy who helped us) “If your not at least a little scared then your not doing it right!” Have fun!