Thursday, November 08, 2007

The hard stuff

I remember from my sailing days the old adage that it isn't the water that will get you, it will be the hard stuff around the edges. My cutter had a six-foot draft, and I always had charts for the areas I sailed. Around home, I always avoided the shore line north of the Milwaukee Harbor. This area has always been shallow with boulders just below the surface.

Now, with lake levels low, that area has become a rock garden. Most published charts (at least the ones aboard pleasure vessels...but I digress) do not indicate how shallow much of the coast has become. Apparently, the skipper of this sailboat out of Chicago did not realize how dangerously shallow the water into which he was sailing were. The boat, sails still flailing in the wind, has been as you see her for over a week now. The paper indicates that weather has prevented a salvage operation, but it sure looks calm enough to me. If we wait long enough I am sure a storm will come along and finish her off.

My long years in deep-drafted sailboats has made me ultra conscious of shallows, even when in my kayaks. Perhaps, again, because I was a sailor...and sailors have fond attachments to their boats...I find all displacement hull vessels to be beautiful and to have a charm of their own. The graceful lines of their hulls and the way they cooperate with the water are a wonder to behold. So, I am as careful with my kayaks as I was with my sailboat.

Yes, I drag my kayak ashore, but I make every effort to keep from hitting submerged rocks or other things that could wound her bottom. In any event, sailboat or kayak, I look at that picture and think...that ain't no way to treat a lady.

Paddle safe...



Michael said...

I agree Dick. As another keel boat sailor, it breaks your heart to see something like this. It's also odd that today's Greast Lake sailors don't realise that their charts are far from accurate, the water levels being so much lower than when the charts were drawn. There are a lot more hard edges out there today!

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 & Super Boo said...

I say we load up, head down and salvage her ourselves. I could use a nice sailboat like this in my fleet. I'd treat her right!

Silbs, I'll crew for you anytime, as long as I'm on the end of the tiller!! :-)

Silbs said...

Oh sure, we work like hell to get her a float and you want to have all the fun at the helm while I play the part of the gimpy deck gorilla :)

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 & Super Boo said...

Have we sailed together before... sounds about right!!