I left Rum Cay on Sunday at 8pm with the idea to sail a close reach in 10-15 knot ENE wind to Samana Cay and arrive at 10am-noon and have good light to enter the reef of this remote and uninhabited island. Well the winds were 15-20 knot from the east instead, so I had to motor sail because it was closer on the bow than I could sail and one of the cars on my main broke. Given the 6 foot waves coming from the east and a front two days behind me, I decided it would not be a good idea to make landfall at Samana. I therefore continued to Mayaguana Island to make the trip in 23 hours straight.
I don’t know what it was, I mean I have been in higher winds and seas and on longer passages, but I hit a pretty low point on the trip. I think it happens to everyone on boats and in life, where you wonder what you are doing and why. I had thoughts of just selling the boat and going back to Colorado or Texas! I missed my family and friends! I missed soccer! I simply was not a happy camper and I just wanted to be done with the passage, take a hot shower, eat a bowl of soup, and GO TO BED!!!!
Well I did finally get to Mayaguana, but it was an hour after dark and two hours before the moon rose, so I got protection from the island and crept to shore. Once I was in 45feet of water and could hear the surf really close I dropped anchor and was done for the night. The next morning I started pulling the anchor up around 10am (this way I had good sunlight to enter the reef protected Abrahams Bay) and had a bit of an issue….the anchor was not at the end of the chain!!!!!!! The shackle holding it on was pulled apart and bent (we are talking about a 7/16 inch piece of steel, so think about the force needed). I figured it caught on some rocks and would not have been too big of a deal if I was still anchored or someone else was on the boat to steer, because I could have swam down and taken care of it. As you might imagine this did not help my mood from the previous day, but I decided my best course of action was to take the GPS coordinates down and go the 10 miles to Abrahams Bay Settlement and pay a fisherman/diver to retrieve it for me.
The first guy recommended to me agreed to get his friend with an air compressor and do it for only $100. Once we got to the coordinates the first thing he grabbed was…..his fishing spear!?! He went down twice when I got us to the exact spot and twice he found nothing, but did have a lobster on his spear. The third time I went in to help and swam upwind about 25 feet before I saw my chain marks in the sand and followed them to a rock outcropping and my anchor. He tied a rope to the anchor and up it came.
I hung out in the settlement for three days (it is just a sleepy little place with wonderfully nice people and a nice protected anchorage) and then I had the best weather window to get to Provo in the Turks & Caicos on Friday so I left at 4am in order to arrive before the immigration office closed.
I don’t know why but that one act of recovering my anchor turned my mood to the positive. All of a sudden I wanted to swim around the rocks that had my anchor, walk around town, hang out on my boat, and just felt a wave of contentment wash over me the rest of the week. So if you get depressed, no matter where you are and what you are doing things will turn around. Of course a few prayers always help too!