A Nearly Ruined Sail Day
June 19th 2021
We needed to head to the boat to clean it up for pulling it out of the marina the next day, so we decided why not do it during a sail. We got to the boat early and began to clear off the spiders. In only two weeks, they had gone from tiny manageable babies to carpets of spiders clinging to the boat.
This sounds terrible, and it is. They are still tiny at this point so it's not as awful as it could be. We broomed them off, and sprayed them with poison and within twenty minutes had them mostly gone. I got the boat ready to set sail.
Nikki was handling the dock lines and threw one in the water to clear off the spiders. I told her not to as I didn't want one getting foiled in the prop. We backed out of the slip and motored out.
The water level in two weeks had dropped significantly. The depth sounder showed two feet under the boat at the mouth of the marine. The water was suddenly super clear as well. You could see everything on the bottom. The entire channel out you could see the sides, which was neat to see as usually it's not visible.
We got out of the channel and went to lower the keel. It was then I found out that Nikki had not pulled the dock lines that she had thrown in the water. The line had wedged up into the keel locker and was preventing the keel from dropping down. We pulled and pulled, but couldn't pull the line free.
We had to make a decision. We could either head back in, and fix the issue tomorrow when we pulled the boat out, or sail with the keel up and hope for the best.
If we hadn't been to Key Lime Cottages, I would have immediately headed in. At Key Lime, the water is fairly shallow. This means that a large portion of the area that you can sail in you need to keep the keel partially raised. Even on the day with heavy wind, we had the keel raised part way.
We decided to head out to Eardley Spit and try to pull the line free from the water. Once we were there though, even using the winches the line would not pull free. After a bit more swimming and lunch we headed back in.
Right at the mouth of the marina we had to do several circles while we waited for a boat that had run aground right as we got there. It took him maybe 10 minutes to get free, but then we were able to go ahead and run aground in the exact same spot.
It didn't take us long at all to get unstuck and back to the dock. I walked to the front of the boat, and grabbed the stuck line determined to try to remove it one last time. It came free with no issues at all. I am glad we didn't let it ruin our say of sailing.