Friday, October 30, 2009

I Had a Sinking Feeling that this would happen

This is the newspaper article that i wrote for the sailing magzine "Latitudes and Attitudes" I mainly decided that this article would be perfect to aggravate my dad and show my six grade teacher ( whom i still despise to this day) that yes, i could write. This article is still the butt of many of the family jokes about dad's anchoring skills and sailing in general.

I look out across the dark murky water of the Atlantic Ocean- and see only water and sand. We've been sailing for days, and opnly seen one big fishing boat, and that was on the horizon. No one lives on the here. This is my second sailing trip with my dad on our catermaran, the Cherokee Sun, from Deal, Maryland to Cape May, New Jersey. Actually, We're going all of the way areound the Delmarva (Deleware, Maryland, and Virginia), what everyone calls the penninsula on the Atlantic side of the Chessapeak bay.The trip is going to take over two weeks, but we are going to see Mom and my grandparents in Cape May for a few days for a break.

it's almost dinner time; correction, it is dinner time! iv'e been exploring the and playing with hermit crabs all afternoon. There are thousands of them in the shallows around Cedar island. I love catching sea creatures- fish, small crabs, snails, hermit crabs, big crabs- and watching them in my little aquarium that we bring with us. The hermit crabs crawl over the pebbles and each other, and my fingers- i wonder, do they know the difference?if they were as hungery as i am, they would be nibbling. Dad was grumbling about the oyster shells earlier. He couldn't really get a anchor to hold well, but as anchoring spots go, this sandy little cove is perfect.

"Jessica!" My dad calls. I jump in the air. " Dinner." Dad has cooked up some of the fish that we caughtyesterday with rice and vegetables. Iv'e been smelling the cooking for the last hour, and it's been driving me mad... so much for the getting away from Dad, who always likes to talk about sailing. When I say talk about sailing, he talks about the technical parts of it and the historical parts. Of course, i like sailing too, although I talk about experiances... oh well. Bye-bye hermit crabs. It's dinner time!

About three o'clock in the morning, all of a sudden i hear "scratch, scrape, creeck" ... the boat's moving! I seem to fly out of bed and my dad gets ready to move the boat to where we want it. We knew the water was shallow, we just hoped it was deep enough. We knew that the tide would go out, but not this far! Quickly, we start the engine, and move the boatout a few hundred yards. Dad puts down one anchor, and has some trouble getting it to hold on the oyster shells... again. We drift back, and Dad gets another anchor out ofr when the tide changes. He has me hold the flashlight as he connects the and disconnects anchors and ropes from each other. Everything is tangled up. We are both half asleep, and the deck light was knocked out during the last storm that we went through. How fun!

He tosses the second anchor, but something isn't right. It's not attached! My dad and i stare at each other for a long second. We both thought that we watched as he hooked the anchor up... but later we decide that we attached it to it's self. There's no wayt to get the anchor back- the water is over thirty feet, and not to mention a strong current, the lack of light, and the visibility quite unlike that in Mexico!

i will never let him forget this one. This is going down in our family history in the dumb file of stupid things that we have done. It's an interesting file, i will tell you that!

For the rest of the night we won't sleep well; we will have to check all of our anchor all night since the tide is going to switch in a few hours, and the boat will swing in the other direction, probably pulling out our only anchor. It's only hooked on shells. Good thing we finally reach land in the morning, Chincoteague! Maybe we will be able to get another anchor there. My dad is concerned that they won't have a big enough anchor for our catermaran, since only small trailer fishing boats are commen there. " Does anyone have a big anchor for a catermaran? we will pay well!"

Anyway, for now, it's time for bed. Again. I'm sleepy and i'm hitting the sack. Tomorrow i'll call mom and tell her about our "overboard anchor problem" as dad put it. I'll tell her the story over and over and over again.

I hope that we'll see dolphins on the way to Chincoteague.That's a different story to tell my frinds. And the ponies! Dad says that we can take the boat right up to the islands where they graze. Iv'e got my camera and aquarium ready! Let's hope that we can solve our floundering anchor problem!

Now, where did I put that hermit crab shell? i thought it was empty! Oh no, not another one that got away. Looks like this is another boring fishing story about "The one that got away" after all!

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