No matter where we set the anchor it would skip as we
bounced around the basin. We reset the anchor a few times and
each time it started dragging a bit sooner. We had to move but
we had no idea where to go.
We considered tying up at the dock again now that the
tide was lower but we knew we'd need a lot of help. We called
John Steele to wrestle up some manpower. LaHave was now pretty
sheltered from the westerlies and in pretty good shape. He asked if
we could motor down the river again and he'd have help to get us docked.
We hauled anchor again and tried to turn down river.
At this point a gust hit us and we nearly broached
under bare poles. We were spun around and pushed to the lee
shore where we ran aground. Barbara Ann's powerful 150HP Yanmar
turbo and 28" self-pitching Autoprop saved us. As we lay almost
on our side and a wave hit, Phil raced the engine and the prop kicked
in. We literally leapt out of the water and were off down the
This was about 1:30 AM and I learned later that winds
of 154 km/hr were recorded in our vicinity.
We were motoring down the river with the raging wind
and against the current Seas were six to eight feet in the
river. The temperature had dropped to about 28¡F
and the warm rain had turned to driving sleet. Phil had the
wheel and I manned a search light at the bow to try and find the
channel markers in the winding narrows.
By 2:30 we had snaked our
way through the more
dangerous section of the
river and were in more open water, surfing over the waves under
I moved to the GPS and depth
sounder and Barbara relayed directions to Phil. Visibility was
near zero. We at low tide now in this part of the river and
dept readings were matching the chart exactly. Good chart and God
bless GPS. I kept us at the edge of the channel where I could
navigate by depth if we had a GPS problem. The radar was
not too useful in these weather conditions.
As we made our way down the
river we periodically saw headlights facing us from the shore as
John Steele followed our progress and tried to light up the particularly
At 5:30 AM we arrived at
the LaHave bakery. John called us on the VHF and told us
to go down wind, turn, and then head directly for dock. He
and Colin O'Toole would be waiting to throw me a fender at the
bow with a loop to throw over the windlass. The wind would
hold us out from the dock until we could be hauled in under more
As we turned in the raging
seas and winds, we nearly broached again. But we rounded to wind
and headed for the dock at top speed. Standing at the bow
I was convinced that we'd slam into the dock but when Phil cut
the throttle, the wind stopped us in a second as I grabbed the
line and hooked it around the windlass. We were safe.
We tied off but made no attempt
to leave the boat until some hours later when we could pull into
the dock safely. After polishing off a bottle of port and
making a substantial dent in a bottle of rum, we tried to sleep
- end -