First off..I told Little Otter in a PM to keep the secret ..It is not my boat
...that was a pun intended for the anti big boat crowd..So Please forgive me and my wayward ways..
OK here we go...It was two years ago
There we were minding or own buisness.. ( am I Doing this right ?)
It was one of thoes sultry muggy days in one of Eastern Washington's desert type lakes which experience some pretty violent Micro burst winds from time to time..Sailing with the boats owner and Pastor of our church I was on the tiller and he on the main sheet when all of a sudden one of thoes winds hit the lake..we both were on the high side with our backs to it so we did not see it comming..but it knocked us so hard and fast I did not even have time to think about pushing the tiller to leeward but rather instinct just had me pulling on everything..not that any corect tiller movement would have helped anyway as Im sure it was out of the water
by then anyhow...the result we were both quickly and effectively catapulted from the boat .
Once I surfaced and verified my fellow crew was alive and well... I noticed in our predicament and my quick scan around to see whom might be in the vicinity to help that Dome tents were being riped from there tent stakes and "Tumbleweeding" all across the camp areas across the lake on shore as we desperately went to work to right the boat.
At first I was able to manage to keep the mast
just barely below the waters surface as he worked to release the sheets
by hanging off the swing keel
with all the weight of my body that I could pull up onto it..I could hear water
flooding the hull
and knew we had very limited time..after he succeeded in releasing the sheets
he joined me at the keel
and we managed to right the boat... but the companionway
hatches were out and with the narrow beam she had immediately started taking on a lot of water .. With its now internally loaded water ballast its momentum on our righting arm pulling on the keel just flopped it over on the other side and we both found ourselves trapped under water under the sail canvas
and swimming fee we surfaced to find the swing keel now retracted in the hull
...I was able to dig it out with clawing fingers and several mangled and broken nails but it was to no avail...in short order the amount of water flooding the boat overpowered both our weight on the keel and she starter to turn turtle..
I told my friend we were going to loose her and he assured me there was enough internal flotation he though to keep her afloat..She ended up 180 in a total turn turtle position as she slipped further and further beneath the surface..By the time we were noticed by a ski boat there was a section of the bottom of the hull and bow the size of a bath tub barely above the water.
We tied a tow line from the ski boat to the bow eye and he slowly applied power..as we made our way the 3/4 mile across the lake very very slowly the mast acted like a hydrofoil and started lifting itself from vertical..we were able to once again togather pry out the swing keel and gradually she continue rotating to within almost 90 angel to the water with both of us standing on her keel..
Once into the shallows of shore and quite the commotion of people had gathered including the Park Rangers to make sure everyone was accounted for and we got plenty of help to grab hold of the mast and lift
walk her into a righted position much like the raising of the flag image in your mind on Iwo Jima...My wife arrived just moments after this and snapped the few pictures we have of the ordeal.
Iv been in knock downs before but non acting as this one did..As Shared with Litter Otter in my PM the scary thing is a few weeks before the owner had soloed the boat across one of our straights here in Puget Sound
...Had he had this experiance there I am sure he would have left his wife widowed and been his tragic end.
Hope you enjoyed.