Well, I’ve tried to avoid telling about it; but the silence is deafening. Shirley mentioned our running aground in Galveston. I’m sure you are all interested in what happened, so here is the whole story. It all started with us deciding to leave Galveston in the afternoon. We really hadn’t planned on leaving that day but our dinghy outboard was out of commission and parts weren’t readily available. Being at anchor has limited appeal when you can’t easily get ashore. Especially after the trip along the ICW through Louisiana. We were interested in a little shore time. Our dinghy is an 11′ RIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable) so it really isn’t meant for rowing. Just ask our boys, they paddled six passengers to and from the boat. It looked like hard work to me. So being eager to arrive at our destination, we raised anchor and headed west.

We were outbound in Offatts Bayou channel approaching the intercoastal. All we had to do was “keep it between the markers” how hard can it be? The chart shows a “Y” at the junction. If you are going east you can go up one side (we came in that way previously), if you are going west you can go up the other side. Well, at least you would think so. Since we were headed west, when we got to the “Y”, I turned left (to port for you purists). We were going along at about 7.5 knots when all of a sudden the boat kind of rose up and came to an abrupt halt. My first thought was, “Oh no, I cut the corner too tight.” But as I looked behind us, I could see that we were still inside the channel markers. In any case, we were hard aground. I tried backing off with the engine to no avail. We tried using the sails to heel the boat over. Nothing doing. Cannibal’s wide keel was designed to keep her upright in the event she dries out, and it was keeping us upright just as it should.

So we gathered round and said a prayer. And then looked around to see if there were any boats in the neighborhood that might be able to assist us. In just a minute or two, a small tug came our way. He had been working over by the construction site at the new causeway. It seemed like the perfect boat to help us since it was going to pass right by. So I gave him a call on the radio. After informing us that we should use the eastern side of the “Y” since the western side was shoaled up (thanks for the newsflash!), he said that he couldn’t help, what with liability and all. But he noted that his foreman would be on the next tug coming our way and maybe he might have sufficient authority to go ahead and give us a hand. So we watched as he steamed by about 30′ away, heading toward Offatts Bayou. A few minutes later here came another small tug just like the first one. I gave him a call on the radio and asked if he was the foreman and again requested assistance. This time I even mentioned that if he could even just haul our anchor over to the east about 100′ or so we might be able to drag ourselves off, hence no liability for him (we could have done this ourselves if our dinghy outboard had been working. But he said he’d have to go in and check with the office, so he steamed on by about 30′ from us going merrily on his way toward Offatts Bayou.

Now if you are familiar with Luke 11:30-37 you know what happens next. Right after I got finished talking to the second tug, I got a call from another tug. He was heading west like us and was running “light boat” meaning he didn’t have any barges. He asked how far off the ICW we were and I told him we were just at the point of the Offatt’s Bayou “Y”. So he said he’d take a look at it when he got through the causeway and would give us a hand if he could. So we waited about 10 minutes or so and here came this nice big Samaritan tug; the “Del Wilkins” was her name. The captain took a look and said he thought he could help us out. So he eased up against the edge of the channel where we were and got within about 10 feet or so. We threw him a line and made it fast to our bow cleat and he very gently pulled our bow around toward deeper water and then slid us off the shoal, easy as you please.

I was so thankful that I could have kissed that guy. I asked if there was anything I could do for him and he said nothing was necessary and that he had just been fishing with his kids the weekend before and had run out of gas, so he knew exactly how we felt. There are some really great folks out there and God uses them every day.

So there you have it. But as with all things boat related, there is more to the story. Tune in next time for “The Saga of the Centerboard”

PS: We have some new pictures posted on our gallery pages.

One Response to “We can’t be aground. The chart shows 12 feet of water.”
  1. stevvot says:

    Hey dude! Great to hear from you. Enjoyed the new pictures in the Gallery. Give me a call sometime!

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