Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sunken? Aground?

29 36N 81 12W

Yesterday we arrived in Saint Augustine around 17:00. We decided that we've seen enough of Saint Augustine in the past year so we would not stop. We approached the Bridge of Lions and called the bridge tender to request an opening. He said that we would have to wait for 23 minutes.

While we were circling for 23 minutes, I went below and hijacked a WIFI connection to check my email. Libby spotted a drama unfolding right next to us. Just north of the bridge and in front of the old Spanish Fort, there is an anchorage frequented by cruising sailors. In the anchorage, right up along the sea wall was a cruising sailboat (catamaran?) that appeared to be sunk in shallow water. It was sitting at a crazy angle. The main deck remained above water. Other boats were there assisting the people off the sunken boat. Because we had already requested a bridge opening, we had to move on. We couldn't stop to gawk or to offer assistance.

What happened? We can only speculate. It looked to me like the skipper of a sinking boat ran her up to the shore to sink in shallow waters. If so, he did it right. Her deck remained above water at nearly high tide meaning that she would be high and dry at low tide. That would minimize the damage and make it easier to repair the fault and re-float her. On the other hand, perhaps she wasn't sunken at all. Maybe she dragged anchor, or lost the anchor and drifted on to the shore where she ran aground in a falling tide.

In any case our heart goes out to any cruiser who loses his/her boat. We emphasize because Tarwathie is our home, not a mere toy. Loss of one's home would be, of course, emotionally devastating.

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