Making Valentines Memorable — AKA: Those who have, and those who haven’t yet… (in Swansboro, NC)

They say there are two camps of sailors — those who have run aground, and those who just haven’t run aground yet.

To make this Valentines especially memorable, I moved us into that second category not once but TWICE today. Just to make sure we were really well and truly “those who have now run their boat aground”, you know?

The first time was fairly innocuous — it had been a tight docking squeeze to get out of Oriental and I was feeling prematurely amped up over making it unscathed. That pent up energy translated into me missing the turn for the channel and instead ending up in a super skinny 6’ deep channel to nowhere…

When I realized my mistake, I tried to back up and out the channel — but the waves were choppy and the markers were tight, so I got nervous and started an Austin-Powers-style manoeuver to try to turn around in the channel instead.

Since it was 6’ deep in the channel, it was… definitely less outside of the channel 😛

Thankfully I only churned a little mud, and we made it back into the main channel with only a few years shaved off our life-expectancy.

Back in business, the current Gods were on our side, and we surfed through Morehead City at 7-8 knots.

As I pulled us into the anchorage, I told Jon I’d just nose up to the shoal to see how quickly the depth came up.

10 feet… 9 feet… 7, 6, BOOM.

Hard aground.

With a nice sickening thump to confirm that, yes, I definitely had found that shoal.

Peppa Pig was called in (our default bad-parenting-get-our-of-jail-free card when we absolutely need the little one to just be happy on his own inside), and Jon started to launch the dinghy.

Tide? High and dropping, of course, with the next high not until midnight.

As Jon worked to get the dinghy and an anchor ledge set up, I realized that we were rocking just a little bit when we walked back and forth.

“Should we give it one more shot with the boom pushed out and our weight on one side?” I asked Jon. “Can’t hurt,” was the answer.

We pushed the boom as far out to starboard as we could, I popped her in reverse and we leaned our body weight out as far as we could. Sloooooooowly, to the tune of “Bing Bong Boom”, she came around and off the shoal, and I was able to motor back into deeper water.

Tucked in at anchor now, with an ice cream and glass of wine down, I’m quite confident we’ll remember this Valentines!!!

Hoping for a less memorable evening,


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