Saturday, December 16, 2017

More drama than necessary!

December 16, 2017

As we left the dock on a beautiful, warm and sunny afternoon, we were feeling pretty good.  
The canal
The tides were rising (an important fact for those us sailing with a 5 ½ ft keel).  We had calculated our departure to arrive at the hand operated lock just before high tide.  In case we went aground (a common occurrence) we would have a rising tide to lift us off.  The nine and a half mile canal trip was lovely, the lock was not.

The lock
When we arrived at the lock, there were two boats on the other side, trying to enter the lock. A powerboat was towing a sailboat and they were struggling with how to manage both boats through the lock.  While we waited what seemed like forever, I just drove in circles.  When they finally made it through, they were not able to reset the lock.  Nevertheless, we headed in, barely clearing the partially opened gate.  

All went well until we were exiting.  The final step is to tie off at the dock and pull a chain to reset the lock for the next person.  Somehow, in the process of trying to tie off the boat and pull the chain at the same time, Jim lost his balance and fell into the water between the boat and the dock.  Being concerned about getting squished between boat and dock, he first tried to pull himself up onto the dock.  In the process he managed to become way too close and personal with the many barnacles attached to the pilings.  But it was just too high of a stretch and he couldn’t do  it.  

My inclination was to get off the boat and help pull him up, but he was concerned that the boat might float off without either of us.  He just wanted me to throw him another dock line which I did.  He fastened it to one of the pilings and had me hold on to the other end while he stepped on it, effectively using it as a one rung ladder. Pretty clever and it worked. His comment afterwards was “Well, that was refreshing”!  That is quite a statement from someone who thinks any water less than 100 degrees is cold!!  

His binoculars which he had around his neck survived (they are waterproof), his Tilley Hat didn’t float away, two knives stayed in his pockets and his watch continues to run.  Although his legs are quite scratched up, the only “tragedy” was his magnifying glass that he uses regularly. Apparently it neither floats nor stays put in a pocket.  Luckily he has a second one!
Cleaned up before betadine

Post betadine
His legs have been painted orange with betadine and he is taking some antibiotics prophylactically.  Just another day in the life of a cruiser.

We are now gently rocking at anchor just off of Hog Island in Charlotte Harbor.  The weather is wonderful - warm with a soft breeze. We are relaxing and enjoying being on the water.  Itinerary and schedule have yet to be determined and may never be.
And this is why we cruise.  Sunrise at Hog Island.

1 comment:

  1. Love your story, love your blog! Hope the scratches on Jim's leg heal fast. Glad nothing worse happened!