Sunday, July 31, 2011
Adventure and Excitement on the High Seas or at least Chalreston Harbor
Friday afternoon we kidnapped our dock neighbor Greg for a wonderful sail around Charleston Harbor. The wind was perfect. We sailed out past Ft Sumter and then tacked around and took the Ashley River channel down to the City Dock & Marina, back around by the Battery for a lovely run down past the Cooper River bridge......into a very narrow shipping channel.
Hello gianormus container ship. Where did you come from so fast? Captain of I eat little sailboats for lunch container ship hailed us on VHF and asked that we stay over where we are. Absolutely. We are running into thin water but we will just fire up the engine, roll up the headsail and give ourselves some maneuverability and to start motoring directly back to our marina. However......you guessed it.....our iron genny didn't want to start. WHAT! Try again - shallow water, massive ship. No go. The wind catches us out of irons and tacks directly into the path of humongous container ship. He blows his horn and gets on the VHF to ask what the %#&@$# we are doing. We let him know our engine won't start. He CANNOT stop in time and has NO room to maneuver. We jib away immediately, keeping clear. I apologize to him on the VHF. He understands and says no harm no foul. Yeah right, you were down here fouling your pants!
Tom and Greg set about to figure out the @#%$#@&% happened to our engine. I take the helm and tack back and forth and run to avoid yet another container ship. Ssheesh - these suckers are fast. Oh look, another one is turning around to head out! The boys quickly figure out it's a fuel issue - as in not getting to where it needs to be. Check this, try that, nope. More checking - nope.
And look another monster container ship - this ones headed in toward us. Each time I make up some ground tacking us back toward the bridge and our marina, I have to run to stay WAY clear. Don't want a repeat of the first one as we are running out of clean underwears!
Finally we decide that we need to anchor just out of the shipping channel and call BoatUS because the guys aren't having any luck. Besides - that is why we pay for unlimited towing. And this is our first time to use it, not that that matters - UNLIMITED! Ring ring.