Aboard the lovely sailing vessel Wild Hair, Captain Dave and First Mate Heather have carefully navigated into soft groundings, hard groundings, and near salvage conditions. Yes, I mean we have run our five foot keel aground not once but dozens of times in the past 10 months. Most of our groundings have required little more than the influx of tide to lift us off the bottom. Several groundings have required the rescue services of Boat Tow US. One "near grounding" necessitated that we sit patiently in low water on anchor for 3 days, riding out heavy weather, before we were skillfully towed through a narrow creek and back out into the deeper waters of the ocean. How, you might ask, have we accomplished so much chaos in so little time? The answer: this is tougher than it looks!
Alas, Dave and I have been mostly day sailors with experience on the inland lakes of the midwest. There, tides are not an issue and the only currents to concern ourselves with have been those associated with the Tenney Park or Chicago River Locks. We are new commers to the ways of the ocean.
Further, we have never manovered a boat of this size. A 45.5 foot sailboat feels small in the open water, especially when there is no land in site. However, a 45.5 foot sailboat when it is only inches from other vessils in a marina can be a terror--especially when the mystical forces of tide and current float your boat at great speed into non-moving elements of the surrounding environment. Every day we are humbled by this new life.