Saturday, November 13, 2004


13 November, 2004. It was pretty scary to untie the dock lines and leave the relative safety of land for the first time. We started the engine. Rocky took the tiller and we let go of land. Almost immediately after inching away from the dock, the boat started to turn sharply in the wrong direction. The water was calm and we were at about half throttle so we immediately concluded that our 9.9 HP engine wasn't going to provide enough power to control this boat. After a short burst of panic and folly, we discovered that we were stuck in the mud. Rocky got us moving in the right direction and we rounded the corners toward the gas dock. We got stuck in the mud again but managed to power our way free and secure ourselves to the gas dock. The plan was to get gas and head out.

Jason also pumps the gas for the marina so we headed to the office to get him. He had been following the weather and convinced us that we should wait another day to leave. His houseboat had been pulled out of the water a few days earlier and he was now staying at his house in MIddletown, Delaware a few miles away. He invited us to sleep there in comfort for our last night as terrans (dirt dwellers) and we graciously accepted. We went back to the marina the following morning, got gas and headed out at about 9 am. I had learned the most important lesson of boating when Jason and I went to pick up a boat in Dundalk, near Baltimore- "Red Right Return, Red Left Leaving." I took the tiller this time and guided us away from the marina and southwest into the Chesapeake-Delaware Canal. I was pretty comfortable at the stick and we began to put some miles behind us. There was no chance of us raising sails until we were out of the bay and into warmer weather.

No comments: