First let me say that if you are a newbie to sailing like me, please learn from this!
We are in Yankeetown, FL in a river called the Withalahoochie. No I have no idea if that is spelled right, lol. That is in the big bend of the west coast
My brother and I wanted to do some Grouper fishing
on my 38 DE. We picked up Faith's Wind
(38 DE) a few month's ago. We are fixing her up to move aboard. She is actually in very fine condition and only needs a lot of TLC, we just want her to look the way she was intended :-). She had a few power issues and her cutter halyard
has to be replaced, but in all, she is very sound!
The plan was to go out for 3 day's total and enjoy the Gulf... Right?! The first day we spent replacing the altenator and trying to fix a few other power issues. After we "thought" we had fixed that, we then tended to a few odds and ins on the deck
. After waiting for the right tide we headed out to the gulf.
The forcast was 10-15 knots with 2-4 foot sea's. Not a problem for the DE... We left with the fuel
gage reading 1/4 tank. Plenty of fuel
for a short trip like this. She has a 30hp perkins
. Great on fuel.
It takes about 1 1/2 miles to get completely out of the markers. The farther out we went, the worse it got. At 3-4 miles out we found ourselves in 6-8 foot seas.
At this point we decided to anchor
out and wait until morning for calmer waters. I let out 160 feet of chain in a 14 foot dept. After about an hour the seas went up to 10-12 feet. WAY too much for a chain alone. The anchor
started snatching at her 8 foot bow sprit. The tie in cable that attaches from the front of the bowsprit
to the bow at the water
line came of the spreader under the bow allowing for my mast
to jerk the bowsprit
At this point I decided to call it a day and spent the next hour in 10-15 foot seas pulling in the anchor. I could not use the winch
because the chain had broke free and was now coming up from the side of the bowsprit over the forestay!
While being dipped into the water
over and over again, I heard a very loud cracking sound from aft. It would seem that our dingy had dipped into the water and ripped one of the davits
off. Not a pretty sound. Scared the crud out of me!
So... to bring you up to speed: We are now 4 miles out with 10-15 foot seas and 20 knot
winds, I am hanging off the bowsprit that is coming apart, pulling in the 160 foot of chain and being dipped into the gulf over and over and now pulling our dingy that has ripped one of our davits
off and now pulling vigorously at the other one!... Sound like a great trip so far??
I finally got the anchor up and started heading home. Having to go directly into the wind
we were only going about 3/4 of a knot
per hour under power dragging my loose dingy and davit. I finally had to cut the dingy loose when the prop came out of the water on a rouge wave and smacked the prop!
We got about 1/2 mile from the first marker when,.... she died! It would seem that the fuel gauge did not work!! I don't know if you know how much of a PAIN it is when a deisel runs out of fuel, but WOW, it is a big deal...
We are now drifting in these wonderful seas and wind that is WAY above my sailing level. We bled the thing 5 times and it would not start.
Not wanting to cause any further damage, I called it a night and called SEA TOW at what is now 2am... Due to tides and depts, we would not see SEA TOW for another 8 hours. Not wanting to drift away, I threw the anchor back out and put out all 180 foot of chain and 300 foot of rope
in 15 feet of water! That was one sleepless night. We moved 120 feet over all in the 8 hours. The mast
did not fall over despite the bowsprit coming apart, and Sea Tow was there at 10:25am to take us in.
I know that there are A LOT of things that I could have done better, but I learned more from that one trip than I could have learned in a lifetime of books
Now that I read this...... It looks more like a long list of DON'Ts... lol
Critisism is accepted, however, please try to be nice! :-p