Spring Break Salvage - Sail Magazine

Spring Break Salvage

As soon as he did, we all worked furiously to plug the leaks and pump the boat dry. A crowd of about 40 people had gathered, and gave us a round of applause when we were done. The Bahamian government also rewarded us with some Kalik Gold, the local beer. It was a spring break none of us is likely to forget.This past March, seven friends from the College of Charleston and I went sailing for
Author:
Updated:
Original:

As soon as he did, we all worked furiously to plug the leaks and pump the boat dry. A crowd of about 40 people had gathered, and gave us a round of applause when we were done. The Bahamian government also rewarded us with some Kalik Gold, the local beer. It was a spring break none of us is likely to forget.

This past March, seven friends from the College of Charleston and I went sailing for a week in the Bahamas aboard the 44-foot Ted Brew-designed sloop Tardis for our spring break. Our captain, Conor Smith, now in his junior year, was far and away the most experienced sailor. Also aboard were Gabriel Turner, Mike Illig, Bo Crouch, Diane Sobiescyzck, Kyle Barnell and Wesley Fairey.

The cruise was uneventful until the last day when Conor, Bo, Mike and I were out surveying the narrow channel leading to Alice Town on Bimini Island in preparation for our upcoming midnight departure to cross the Gulf Stream back to Florida.

As we were plotting waypoints, we saw a 50-foot sloop run aground. The skipper, who had his parents, wife and a little dog aboard, had followed the wrong passage and was carried onto a sandbar by the breaking waves. A few minutes later, he sent out a Mayday. He then inflated his liferaft and everyone, including the dog, abandoned ship.

After standing by to make sure everybody made it safely ashore, we docked Tardis and set out in our dinghy to see what we could do to save the stranded sloop. Speed was of the essence because of the breaking waves. It was only a matter of time before the boat would be battered to pieces.

As soon as we got there, Conor swam to the boat, attached a line to the bow, and then swam the other end to a nearby tow vessel. Unfortunately, the towboat’s engine wasn’t powerful enough to pull the boat free. Gabriel then jumped in the water to attach another line, which he swam out to a twin-engine powerboat that was standing by. When that line broke, he swam over another one, while we stood by in Tardis’s dinghy with a first-aid kit and Tardis’s safety gear in case anyone was injured.

Finally, on our fifth attempt, we were able to tow the sloop to deeper water by running a line from the bow to one boat and a halyard from the masthead to the other. By now the boat was filling with water and in danger of sinking, but the Bahamian in charge of the twin-engine towboat did a masterful job of bringing the sloop in and laying it up alongside the dock.

Related

Photo-by-Adobe-Stockpics721-2048x

Webinar: Navigating Post-Dorian Abaco

On Thursday, October 22 at 6 pm ET, Navigare Yachting presents a webinar on what to expect from Abaco post-Dorian. The event will feature the authors of The Cruising Guide to Abaco, Steve Dodge and his sons Jon and Jeff.Hurricane Dorian hit Abaco in early September of 2019 and ...read more

LunaRossaBoat2

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Christens “Boat 2”

Hot on the heels of the UK’s Britannia and the United States’ Patriot, Italy’s new AC75 Luna Rossa, formerly known as Boat 2, was christened in Auckland, New Zealand, this morning. As the moniker suggests, it was Team Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli’s second design. In his christening ...read more

m7803_DSCF6698-1

Challengers Christen Britannia and Patriot

October 16 proved an exciting day for America’s Cup fans with the christening of both the UK’s Britannia and America’s Patriot. Britannia will be helmed by four-time Olympic gold medalist and America’s Cup winner Sir Ben Ainslie. Olympic Gold medalist Giles Scott will serve as ...read more

HookPromo

Defender Product Spotlight: Lowrance Hook Reveal

Defender product expert Alex Lyons explains the benefits of HOOK Reveal’s new FishReveal technology: “DownScan sonar uses high frequencies to provide a picture-like image of the sea floor. The traditional sonar’s lower frequencies are best suited for locating fish in the water ...read more

701820_promo

Defender Product Spotlight: Lumitec Poco Lighting Control

Several key features of the Lumitec Poco Lighting Control system stand out right away. First, it is a 2-wire system, so the average wiring-savvy boater can install or retrofit the controls without an engineering degree. Second, it works with any Power Line Instruction (PLI) ...read more

Isotherm

Defender Product Spotlight: Isotherm Refrigeration Component System

Retrofitting a refrigeration cooling system has never been easier thanks to Isotherm’s quick mount bracket. And installation is more than half the fun of boat projects, right? These refrigeration component systems also have one of the smallest footprints on the market, and the ...read more

WaveBreaker

Defender Product Spotlight: Superior Wave Breaker Life Raft

Designed for a hardcore offshore application, Superior Life-Saving’s Wave Breaker life rafts are heavy duty, easy to board, insulated and feature many benefits, including an industry-leading 4-square-feet of space per person aboard. The Wave Breaker line of life rafts is ...read more

003536D2

Defender Product Spotlight: Lewmar Heavy Duty Inflatable Yacht Fenders

After using the Lewmar Heavy Duty Inflatable Yacht Fender, you’ll never want to hoist another fender aboard your cruiser or sportfish. Made from 30% heavier material than the next best brand, it features 15% more tensile strength to provide protection for your hull when docking ...read more