A calm start to the day provided no forewarning of what was to come. A last water and fuel fill-up and pumpout at the dock, and a quick fix of our temperature gauge by our wonderful mechanic, Steve, and we were off.
Three hours winding our way down the tricky ICW took us to the most narrow part we’ve seen so far. My captain, at the helm says, “sheesh it’s really shallow”, and immediately after – thump – we’re aground! The pic of the sandbar we landed on is below, with a bird perched on it. It was below the water line when we hit it.
This was puzzling, since we were well within the marks provided – but there we were, not moving. Jeff tried to reverse off the sand bar (the recommended approach), and then we heard a resounding “crunch” – not good! The next thing that happened was Jeff announced, “we have no steering” – really not good.
So Towboat US to the rescue again, but this time not so successfully. Captain John tried his best to tow us with what we discovered was a broken rudder – but he couldn’t make any headway against the howling wind (on our nose, of course!).
So he took us to a near-by wider area, where we are now anchored for the night. With the advice of Steve (the mechanic), Jeff is working on straightening the rudder so we can be towed tomorrow to Daytona Beach (hopefully) – where we’ll attempt to have the rudder repaired. The good news is that we have insurance that will cover this repair, and a not bad deductible if we can make the case that this is a navigational issue (which it was).
Much more excitement than we needed – I wonder when we get to have a holiday …