Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hulk Harbor Rendevous

March 3, 2015

A beautiful afternoon of sailing in Tampa Bay with great wind and a warm sun was followed by going aground…again…in the same place...again, with me at the helm…again.   (I don’t think I wrote about the first time – but trust me, I am not a “virgin” running-a-grounder)   This is getting annoying, but for some reason I just don’t line up my channel buoys right – the ones behind me, not the ones in front.  You would think I’d learn!

Anyhow, we worked our way loose, headed back up the Manatee River and anchored in “Hulk Harbor".   We joined Chris and Linn, other cruisers from C-Dock, who were already there.  We lowered the dinghies and met up at the small beach. It was a shallow approach and they arrived just fine by shutting off the outboard, tilting it up and gliding to shore.   We tried to copy that, but ran aground!  Jim couldn’t get the outboard tilted up so Linn waded out and in thigh deep water, they both struggled to figure out the secret. Finally success!  There was a nice picnic area and we decided to return the next day when others from C-Dock were joining us.  Soon the fog started rolling in and it was time to head back to the boat. 

The tide had gone out and shallow water was shallower.  Jim had to walk our dinghy quite a ways out before he could tip the outboard back into the water.  Linn joined him and together they walked out farther and farther.  It began to look like they were going to walk half way out to the boats.  Finally Jim got the outboard in position and got it started, but the shallows seemed to be everywhere and he kept getting stuck in the mud.  Then Linn couldn’t get his outboard started.  After an amazing number of pulls, probably constituting a great upperbody workout, he got his motor going and we eventually got free of the mud.   Chris and I thought it was funnier and more entertaining than the men did!  A You-tube video would have proven us right!!
Resting on our dinghy after the docking ordeal!
The next day 3 other couples (Tim and Leslie, Mike and Betty and Carlos and Lucy) from C-Dock joined us for a BBQ potluck on the beach.  (Our first cruisers potluck!) 
Hanging around after the BBQ
Late afternoon, with very little warning a wall of fog rolled in and by the time we were back on the boats, there was zero visibility.  It was quiet and a little eerie, but we felt safe tucked into our own private cocoon of fog.  The next morning Tim rowed over in his dinghy – from his boat he could not tell if we were still there!!
Tim checking on us in the morning  
We headed back to the marina when the morning fog lifted.  It was a great chance to enjoy what boating is all about and even more fun to do it with dock neighbors!

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