We set off on
Monday for Dickenson’s Bay where we anchored up overnight along with Lucy
Alice. It was a lovely bay but we decided to pick up our anchor at 11.15 am the
next day and head for Parham on the north of the island. Rather than motor we thought
we would sail to the Boon Channel. We were soon flying along doing 7 knots when
we needed to put a tack in and realised the self-tacker was tied down. I turned
Jackamy in to wind whilst Paul went forward to untie it. By this time we were
steaming along! Back on the helm, Paul said “coming about” just as
the boat started juddering and then came to a sudden stop! WE HAD HIT A REEF
and we were stuck hard! We tried to free ourselves, motoring backwards and
forwards with the boat doing over 4000 revs, but to no avail! We put a call out
to Lucy Alice, on channel 72 on the VHF, who were still anchored in Dickenson
Bay. This was also picked up by Miss Tippy who were anchored two bays away who offered
We were rocking
about violently and the noise of Jackamy being scraped on the reef was very
frightening! Luckily the dinghy was blown up, and putting the outboard engine
on and launching it from the bow which normally takes us a good 10 minutes was
achieved in a matter of seconds – it’s amazing how much adrenalin
is pumping through your system when in a situation like this! Paul then took
out the kedge anchor with 125 metres of Panama warp and dropped it, we winched
this tight and it seemed to steady us a bit. The biggest worry were the coral
heads that were above the water, as if we’d have hit one of them it would
have put a hole in the hull and it would’ve been game over!
appeared and dropped their anchor close by. They decided to wait for Miss
Tippy, who radioed to say they were 10 minutes away. It seemed like an
eternity, all we could do was wait and watch them getting closer on the
horizon! Miss Tippy was able to get quite close to us, so they attached one of
their Panama warps to a cleat and Paul went over to them in the dinghy.
Freddie, Brian and Sheila’s 10 year old son jumped in the dinghy with
Paul and they attached one of our warps to theirs. And so, with 250 metres of
line they managed to drag us off!
In the mean time,
we had lost our kedge anchor and warp and Lucy Alice had fouled their anchor on
the reef and could only free themselves by letting go of 60 metres of chain and
anchor! We all motored back to Deep Bay and anchored up where Brian dived down
to assess the damage, which he said wasn’t too bad considering we had
spent 2 hours on a reef!
That evening Miss
Tippy, Lucy Alice and Bionic, another BWR boat that was in the bay, came over
for supper and drinks. Then early the next morning Brian and Paul went back to
the reef with Ian on Lucy Alice to try and recover the anchors. A GPS mark had been
taken so they were pretty confident they would find them. Brian dived down but
couldn’t find Lucy Alice’s anchor. Ours was found pretty quickly
and after a second attempt with Brian running out of air, Lucy Alice’s
anchor was also found. It then took another hour to get 60 metres of chain and
anchor back on the boat!
We stayed in Deep
Bay again that evening and were entertained by Miss Tippy. We can’t thank
Lucy Alice and Miss Tippy enough, especially Brian, for coming to our rescue!
This is what the BWR is all about, looking out for one another!
We are now back
in Jolly Harbour, where Jackamy is having repairs done to her keel and rudder,
we hope to be back in the water Monday 21st!