More Damned Rocks!

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 31 May 2010 00:16
Position: 48 56.48 S 074 24.48 W
Aground Caleta Hoskyn
Wind: Calm.
Weather: Overcast, drizzle, cool
Day's Run: 13 nm

Today's objective was to get through Angostura Inglesa (English Narrows).
The tidal stream flows strongly through the narrows and we needed to time
our passage so as not to be pushing against the strong flood tide.
Consequently we did not get underway until 1 p.m. and with calm and light
headwinds motored the eight miles to the beginning of the narrows where we
found a weak flood stream still running against us. The narrows go for
another four miles and at 5 pm. with about a mile to go I decided to anchor
for the night in a nearby Caleta. I chose this particular Caleta because the
soundings were not too deep. I motored cautiously into the northern head of
the bay recommended by my cruising guide and dropped anchor in 6 meters of
water. I was a little closer to the shore than I would ordinarily like but
it was calm and the forecast was for it to remain so overnight, so I felt
comfortable with the situation.

About an hour later as I was sitting down to dinner I felt a small bump, I
went outside for a look around but nothing had changed so returned to my
meal. About 20 minutes later I am getting the distinct impression that Sylph
is down by the bow. Initially I think it is my imagination, but no, I am
sure she is down by the bow. I check the echo sounder, 4.8 meters, the tide
is going out so I expect the depth to be getting less, Sylph only draws 1.8
meters so we had plenty of water under the keel. I pulled out a spotlight
and have a good look around. Oh for goodness sake! A great big rock is under
the keel aft. As the tide has gone out we have sat down upon a solitary rock
which I did not see in the grey dusk.

Currently it feels like we are perched very precariously. The bulk of the
rock is to starboard and we are sitting on a small ledge. As the tide goes
out the bow continues to drop and we are now starting to lean to starboard
in towards the rock. The tide has about another meter to fall which means we
will be pretty much high and dry at low tide in about three hours time. That
is if we remain stable. I am very worried at the moment that as the tide
recedes we will become unstable and slip off the rock, and I fear if this
happens we could incur some serious damage I have been thinking about
anything I could do to improve our circumstances but nothing comes to mind
but to keep still and hope for the best. If we remain stable then later
tonight Sylph will refloat at which time I will either re-anchor or get
underway. I did try to motor off as soon as I realized we were aground,
thinking the rock's hold might be tenuous and that we might slip off, but it
did no good, in fact by this stage the propeller was already half out of the

So I simply sit here and wait as calmly as I can manage.

All is well - so far.

Bob Cat:

A calm day, no tuna but the heater is on. My bunk seems to have a slight
tilt to it - very strange. Normally when we are tilted over like this we are
moving around a lot as well, but all is quiet and still. In fact, perfect
for a .. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.