Here is my tale of “Hitting-Rock-Bottom”
My first major problem as a new boat owner. I hit a rock! It was several days of travel down the Trent Severn system just about to exit a lake ironically enough called Stony Lake. The day was nice, the water was flat and boats were few and far between. We knew the lake was very rocky and had to take extra precautions.
We had my iPad on using GPS navigation to help aid us. I can’t say for 100% sure but I’m pretty sure I was maybe going 2-3 knots at best, either way it was slow and controlled, so I thought! We could clearly see rocks starboard barely a foot under water and we where well in the safe waterway inside of the marker.
As you can see from the picture. I think my depth finder was showing about 25′. I mounted a bolder and was completely stuck! Unbelievable, we navigated the whole lake and was making the final turn to our next lock when we heard a crunch!
I think CPJ wet his pants and I noticed he looked for the nearest shoreline, which was only 50 feet away. All the screaming and panicking was quite enough for me! Sorry dude, this is my blog I can write whatever I want! LoL
I was not going to get excited and have a panic attack. I tried to reverse revving the engine high. Watching the big puffs of black smoke barrel out of the back I knew I was screwed as I didn’t even move an inch. Know what I did? I kid you not! Very few boaters were out, it was a nice day, no water was coming onboard. I had a cooler full of beer and a fishing rod that was aching to be used.
I used this opportunity to chill out and not let my emotions get the best of me. At that point I had no answers. I don’t know … maybe three or four boats an hour came by?? When they did I tried to use their wake and in reverse to bounce off the rock. Nothing! Even though the boat was bouncing around it didn’t even give me an inch. At one point a large power boat came by and we asked for a tug. Surely this would do it. Nope! Oh I should mention I called C-Tow whom I had a service with was no good to me. Their coverage was not in my area. Gah!
After about two hours of sitting there stuck, no fish caught and a whiny girly man second mate getting on my nerves, it was time to call the OPP. It’s not the OPP’s responsibility to help us in this manner. Things can break, they too could hit a rock.
But these guys took three attempts to help us. They had TWO 300 hp engines and they really had to work it. Boom we where off the rock! If that didn’t work I’m not sure what I could do. I was in no position to pay for a rig to come out and crane us off. I was very lucky these guys help us. When we hit the lock and explained what happened they told me that they know people who have been traveling this lake for years and they too got stuck, even with all that experience it still didn’t matter. I think the dock-master said something about a $20k bill was in order to dismount this one guys boat. O_o
If you’re traveling especially in a rocky area is to go SLOW, insist all hands on deck to be on the lookout. I was very lucky and my first accident could have been my last.