Well, the good news is that we left Thunder Bay Marina. Bright and early, around 8:30. I made coffee underway, and some iced tea too, since it was supposed to be hot.
It was crazy foggy. But, in the Bay, this wasn’t a problem. Coming out of the Bay (you know, where all the shipwrecks are!), there was lots of shoals, and the water level has gone down since our charts were made. So, Rob had the charts. He asked me to get the parallel rules and dividers. I opened the drawer and round the parallel rules, but not the dividers. Oh, look, it’s Rob’s binoculars, that we couldn’t find earlier.
My gut reaction is to call Rob an idiot and ask him to get us out of there. Too late.
We’re stuck. Fast.
We try motoring out. Nope. We try throwing the anchor ahead of us and pulling. Suddenly the tiller won’t move. I’m sure the rudder is stuck. Rob tugs a bit harder. The tiller handle breaks. (I’m just glad the rudder didn’t break).
Rob goes for a swim. Turns out the rudder is stuck between two rocks, and the keel is hung up on a rock ledge. We finally set the anchor ahead of us, then Rob pulls while I swing out on the boom to rock the boat back and forth.
Yeah. We cruise an hour or so. I give the tiller to Rob and lay down in the sun. He asks for another glass of iced tea.
Remember how I said that you always remember the last moment when things were normal?
I handed Rob his tea then headed back down the steps. And I stopped before I stepped into the puddle that was forming on the floor.
We do own a bilge pump, and it only runs right after the boat is launched, until everything swells and stops leaking. So we realized that it wasn’t turned on. Luckily, it kept way ahead of the leak.
After much deliberation–first we considered going to Presque Isle, then Rogers City which has a boat hoist–then I wanted to head back to Bay City–we made the sensible, unfortunate choice…
Yup. Back to Alpena. But, it does look like the leak is repairable. And, surprisingly, I took the $500 deductible instead of the $1000 one. So, if the insurance adjuster is not too much of a pain, Moonraker will see water again this summer.