So our first outing on this trip was so stressful I don’t want to think about it and write it up. I NEED to document it because one day it’ll be funny, right? That’s what they always say.
6:00 Working on getting masthead light wired so we can anchor out. Problem is, we can’t really tell if it’s working because it’s daylight. It seems pretty straightforward so we assume we have it right but it’s getting dark so we need to hurry out.
6:15 So we say what the heck and try to go. Start the engine up, head out but our charts won’t pull up now on our GPS. Snap.
6:20 JUST out of the side channel and the rudder goes HAYWIRE. It won’t turn so we’re spinning in circles.
6:22 Drop the anchor and try to figure it out. Josh jumps in the water thinking something is stuck on it or something. No such luck. It’s just stuck to starboard.
6:23 See a dolphin 🙂
6:25 Peer into the locker where we keep lifejackets. It’s itty bitty, but if I squeeze just right I can see down in it. I squeeze and figure out how the rudder works but that part of the set up looks fine. What do I know though? This is my first time looking at it, haha.
6:30 Our options are slim. Josh starts blowing up the dinghy to possibly tow us back but that’s a bad idea because we basically have no steering and an opposing current.
6:35 The southerner, or something in me takes over. I’m usually a panicker, but I decide,”I can rig this. I can get us back.” So I crawl into the tiniest place ever. You’d never believe a person could fit. I hold a flashlight in my mouth, a socket wrench in one hand, and a pair of vice grips in the other and completely rig this junk. It’s not fixed, but after thirty minutes crammed down there I think it’ll get us back.
7:15 The tide is going out and the docks are shallow, we get really really close to getting back into our difficult spot at the docks…it’s getting dark now. My rig job gives way last minute.
7:30 We’re drifting around near some really nice boats. I should mention that we haven’t called each other any bad names still which is impressive under this stress.
7:35 Josh falls in the water and and we somehow still manage to stay away from boats and get to the end of the dock.
7:45ish We’re holding onto the end of the dock thinking about what to do next when the nicest man ever drops from the heavens. Carlos (the angel) works at the boat yard and lives on a boat at the dock. “Need some help?” he asks in the calmest tone ever to two soaking wet clearly frustrated idiots.
7:50 Carlos the Angel finds us an easy spot to get to that is usually occupied by a yacht. He helps us get there and tied up. I want to hug him, but I’m all wet.
7:55 “Hey I smell gas.” Yup, we have a gas leak. It’s easily fixed but we have to get it ALL cleaned out so we don’t turn into a bomb. No cleaning up and going to bed for us. We turn on fans and blowers and soak gas up out of the bilge with a shammy. Run water and dawn through multiple times and shammy some more.
9:00 Finally crawl into bed.
12:00″ OMG I am sore.”
7:00am Um, I pretty much look like I’ve been in a car accident because people aren’t meant to fit in a space that usually holds a few lifejackets. I am cut up and bruised. No wonder I could barely sleep.
8:00am “Should we sell the boat and hike the Appalachian Trail instead” Perhaps.
Haha. But really it was a long night. We’re waiting to hear what happened with the rudder. Everything hangs on that. We’re not going to throw a ton of money into a $4000 boat. Yes, it only cost $4000 + a zillion hours of free labor from us. If it’s too expensive we really will sell it and hike for the summer instead. We’re pretty much good doing anything as long as it’s adventurous and not expensive. Plus, we are NOTHING if not flexible…and apparently really good at rigging things under stress.
On a happy note, the mechanic at the boatyard told Josh our engine was in excellent shape. Seeing that Josh put more than a few hours into our old Atomic 4 to get it up and running, he was pretty proud!
So stayed tuned, next time you hear from us we could be in Maine hiking our way South. 🙂