No, our boat is not a lemon, thankfully! But you will have to read to the end to find out what the post title means.
This past weekend we did our first raft up of the season. The weather was looking iffy but we decided to go anyway. We left Baltimore at 6:15 Friday evening and made our way to Fairlee Creek. Little did we know what kind of adventures we would have.
Within 20 minutes of getting anchored, Tony and Amy showed up. We weren't expecting anyone else until Saturday morning so this was a pleasant surprise. They also knew another boat that had anchored in Fairlee so we were able to make new friends. We ate, we talked, we sat outside in the cool evening, what a great start to the weekend.
With a little planning you can always eat well on boat. We have found that tortillas are the most versatile bread and used them for many meals this weekend. Breakfast burrito anyone:
Saturday morning we heard that our new friends' dog was missing. They had taken him to shore and he had run off. Fairlee Creek is a relatively remote area and we worried that something would happen to him, especially when a bald eagle was spotted. What do you do if your dog hasn't returned by the time you have to return home? Luckily we didn't have to find out. Somehow they managed to find him a couple hours later.
Okay, all dogs are accounted for, more friends have shown up, huge bonfire is built, things are looking good. We even saw a relatively rare site - we are accustomed to seeing powerboats raft up together, sailboats doesn't seem to do this very often. I hope this group had a great time:
Sunday morning is when the real "fun" started. As I've said in previous posts, it can be a little tricky getting into Fairlee Creek. There is a sandbar to the starboard side as you enter the Creek. Depending on the tides, this sandbar can be well hidden. They've gotten smart and added a red bouy but these pictures certainly explain why you need to follow your charts:
As you can see, we are anchored very close to the sandbar because there is a quick drop off - or so we thought. We have anchored here many times without any difficulty. Sunday morning we discovered that the sandbars have changed a bit at Fairlee. When the tide went out, one of the boats in our raftup was beached. The rest of us were in deep enough water and we tried everything we could think of to get him off the sandbar. We tightened anchors, we added new anchors, we tried motoring boats forward and pulling him with us. Nothing worked. We finally decided that we were just going to have to wait for high tide to return. Here was our friend's predicament: The boat on the left is one that is stuck.
Once the tide really started going out, Doug was able to stand at the stern of the boat:And walk up the side:This is where karma and lemons come into play. All weekend, many of us were joking about the number of boats we have seen get stuck while coming into or going out of Fairlee. I guess the joke was on us this time.
As for lemons, when life gives you lemons make lemonade (or when life gives you limes make margaritas). Chris, the owner of the stuck boat, was able to wax parts of his boat because he had such easy access. Doug and I were able to clean the cabin of our boat in order to prepare for the next trip. And, best of all, the predicted worst weather day of the weekend ended up being the best. I actually got a sunburn.
One of the women absolutely had to go to work Sunday evening, so the boat to our starboard left around 3 to bring her back to the marina. The remaining 3 boats sat and waited. At 4:30 Doug and I really started thinking about what to do. We didn't want to leave the other two boats in such a predicament. We would really hope that someone would stay with us in this situation. The tide was coming in and the stuck boat was starting to "float." So, the three boats decided to try one more time. We tightened lines and put the two completely floating boats in gear. AND IT WORKED! Everyone was floating. Everyone's engines started. We untied our raft up and went home.
The stuck boat seemed to be working fine and I'm hoping there isn't any unseen damage. And we all learned a lesson about how much things can change season to season. Yes, read your charts. Yes, use your personal knowledge. Yes, follow your instincts. And, more importantly, be prepared for anything.