Our friends stayed the planned one night, but the Captain and I stayed an extra night. (I’ve blurred their faces for anonymity.)
We moved to a more sheltered bay not far to the south. Several sailboats were anchored there. We chose an empty space and put out the anchor with lots of line in case the wind came up as the forecast said it would.
Within minutes a sailboat came into the bay and anchored so close to us that if a wind came up, they would surely be blown right on top of us. We decided to move farther away to the other side of the bay.
The skiff with the outboard motor on it was tied alongside the troller. For a short trip like this – a few hundred meters – it was okay to travel this way, rather than to tow it behind the boat.
I went up to the bow to kick out the anchor, while the Captain ran the boat in reverse, paying out the anchor line, and giving it a good tug at the end of the pay-out.
As I came back to the main deck area, I yelled, “The skiff! The line broke!”
The back of the skiff was close to the fish boat, but the front of the skiff had swung out and away from the boat.
Worst of all, the skiff was full of water to within an inch or two of the top.
The oars were floating loose, and the gas caddy was floating but tethered to the motor by the fuel line.
While the Captain quickly secured the anchor winch so no more anchor line would go out, I grabbed the pike pole and snagged one of the oars. The other oar was already out of reach, drifting away with the tide.
The Captain took the pike pole and brought in the fuel caddy. Fortunately it had not leaked. Then it was my turn with the pole again, to pull in the skiff while the Captain reached for a rope to re-tie it onto the fish boat. It was no easy feat to pull a skiff full of water.
Then the bailing began. The Captain used the deck bucket with a rope on it to bail until the bench seats of the skiff were above the water level in the skiff. At that point I volunteered to get in the skiff to continue bailing as it could be done faster from there.
I hoped that my weight wouldn’t be more than that of the water we had just removed. A slight tremor of fear went through me as I prepared to step into the skiff. Just then, the Captain said, “Put on your life jacket,” and the tremor became a quake.
Have you ever had a sinking feeling? Well, I did at the moment I put a foot into the skiff. Everything sank a little bit but not enough to let more water in. I bailed furiously and soon had the water down to a less worrisome level. In the photo, I’m growling at the Captain not to take my picture.
When I had removed enough water so the skiff would hold the Captain’s weight, we traded places. He reattached the gas caddy and prayed that the motor would start. He kept bailing as he motored away in pursuit and search of the second oar.
Luckily he came across it, but it had travelled quite a distance in that time.
At last, things returned to normal and we could take the dogs to the beach to explore the new area. It would be good to walk on solid ground and let the adrenaline calm down.