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sitting high

Posted by on January 24, 2013

December 16, 2012

coral bottom at the Seaquarium, O'Brien's Cay

Our last day in the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park was spent anchored at O’Brien’s Cay. As soon as we dropped the anchor, we headed off for another afternoon of snorkeling.

We were returning to the boat when we noticed Full Monty sitting slightly high on her port side. We commented on the empty port water tank and we were amazed at how much higher she floated without the extra weight.

As we stepped onboard, we immediately noticed a certain sense of stillness. The boat wasn’t floating. She was sitting on the bottom!

While we had been snorkeling, the wind had shifted slightly, and the boat had swung into shallower water. At the same time the tide was dropping.

The tide continued to drop, and the starboard side eventually came to full rest on the bottom, creating a steeper slant with the port side higher than the starboard side. During the time it took for the boat to be completely on the ground, every time a local power boat zoomed past, the starboard side would bounce on the bottom with every wake. This made things a tad uncomfortable until the boat could be completely aground. We joked about having to walk uphill from one side of the boat to the other. It was a really strange feeling!

Eventually the tide changed. s/v Tangerine Dream swung with the tide, and we stayed sitting in our same direction. It was another strange sensation to see the two boats facing different directions, knowing we weren’t floating.

We made plans to re-anchor once we were floating again, and the tide was high enough. However, that would be at about 8:30 p.m., it would be pitch dark, and we were surrounded by shallow water and coral reefs.

When the time came for re-anchoring, we did it with the deck light on and the iPad Navionics at my side. With the iPad, I could see where our previous track had been, and I could stick to that path, getting us back to deeper water. It’s a bit nerve-wracking when you are totally blind by the surrounding darkness, and must have complete trust in the electronics chart, but in this case all worked out.

We had success! Once the anchor was down again, we settled in for the night, knowing we would have a full night’s sleep. It was a relief to know we wouldn’t be woken around 3 a.m. by the boat going bump with the dropping tide.

The next day we would say a temporary good-by to s/v Tangerine Dream, and be off to Big Majors Spot for a rendezvous with s/v What If. The kids were looking forward to kid time again!

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