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  1. Roger Long

    Roger Long

    Joined Nov 22, 2008
    3,563 posts, 8 likes
    Endeavour 32
    US Portland, Maine
    I should have saved the title of my previous post for this one. Or, maybe it was prescient. Anyway, after over half a century of sailing and cruising, I finally ran aground. Oh sure, I’ve bumped before while poking around in places where that was an expected part of the game but, I’ve never had an experience meeting this forum’s definition of “Running Aground”.

    During my first trip, I counted off the states I went through without the keel touching bottom until I had to plow through a mud bank about 100 yard into Georgia. The many shallow spots that I’ve plowed through since show the accuracy of the definition we came up with then.

    As long as the boat keeps moving, it doesn’t count.

    Well, I can’t duck this one. We were coming around the infamous corner in the Amelia River at Marker 18 headed for St. Marys. I had the GPS zoomed too far out so it looked like I was close to the course I had laid over my southbound track. Dreameagle came up from below and, with that distraction and momentary blocking of the GPS, I swung too soon. “Squish!”, we were stuck. Backing off with a strong wind and current behind us clearly wasn’t going to work so I tried bulling through. The numbers on the depth sounder just kept dropping and Strider began to heel. I rolled out the jib but the additional heel and drive wouldn’t budge here even with the engine running hard. Nothing for it but to wait it out, stuck fast right on the line between the two red markers (the favored side here).


    We stuck at 1355 with about four inches of the minus tide yet to drop and the sounder reading 3.8 feet. By 1500, the heel was easing. A powerboat went by and I felt the keel bumping bottom with the wake. A lot of power and a bit of jib got the head around and she began to move. Ten minutes later, we were underway scraping and plowing over and through the other little humps in this section.

    We were still on schedule to make St. Marys in time for happy hour but the stiff west wind sending spray over the bow and the prospect of the current in the river turning us stern to it made me opt for the shorter run up inside Drum Point Island across from Cumberland. The shelter here is rather minimal and we are bouncing around a bit but the current is only setting us sideways with the chop broken by the low shore a few hundred yards away. Hopefully, the wind will go down with the sun.

    They say there are two kinds of sailors, those who have run aground and liars. I've been proud to be a liar for over half a century but I guess I'm not one anymore.

    Last edited: Feb 22, 2015
  2. Don Lucas

    Don Lucas

    Joined Jan 12, 2011
    698 posts, 15 likes
    Hunter 410
    US Salem MA
    Took 50 years? Someone hasn't been trying very hard to tuck into anchorages.

    BTW - I went aground the very first time I took my first boat away from the dock. It was in the channel that they had taken the markers out of.

  3. Stu Jackson

    Stu Jackson

    Joined Feb 26, 2004
    19,850 posts, 535 likes
    Catalina 34
    224 CA Maple Bay, BC, Canada
    Better later than sooner.

    Now that you know how to do it...


  4. Kings Gambit

    Kings Gambit

    Joined Jul 27, 2011
    2,687 posts, 472 likes
    Bavaria 38E
    US Alamitos Bay
    The attitude I saw in Florida (lots of shallow water around) was simply: "If you don't go aground a couple of times a year--you're not out sailing enough!" I must have been hard aground at least 5 times in 11 years so I guess I was not getting out enough by a factor of 4!

  5. Caboteur


    Joined Feb 21, 2010
    239 posts, 23 likes
    Beneteau 31
    CA St-Lawrence river
    Secure anchoring

    You may still say that you never ran aground... it was just an unplanned very secure anchorage! I've been securely anchored so many times I couldn't even think to start counting.

    Attached Files:

  6. BobT


    Joined Sep 29, 2008
    239 posts, 1 likes
    Gulfstar 37
    US North East River, Chesapeake Bay
    I prefer to think of it as calibrating the depth sounder. Preferably done with soft mud, of course. It is one of the few times we can be grateful for a power boat wake!

  7. Scotty C-M

    Scotty C-M

    Joined Apr 11, 2012
    316 posts, 20 likes
    Cataina 400 MK II
    US Santa Cruz
    Great story. The way we said it was, "There's two types of sailors, those who have run aground, and those who are gonna."

  8. Nils T

    Nils T

    Joined Jun 1, 2014
    44 posts, 1 likes
    Precision 23
    US Winter Park, FL
    Three types of Sailors: (3) Those that will not admit they have run aground.

  9. Ron20324


    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    6,108 posts, 541 likes
    Beneteau 323
    US Annapolis MD
    Roger, you’ve met my Singles on Sailboats (SOS) club people a couple of times in Galesville. One awards banquet, the MC asked all skippers to stand up and take a bow. We did, but then she added to “stay up”. (uh=oh). We have “Jibe-Ho” awards for those, well, “unusual happenings”, shall we say?
    She said the bay is not without its hazards, like running aground, so how about if anyone who has NOT run aground once in a day, “sit down”. No one sat down. How about those who HAVE run aground once in a day “sit down”. Most of us sat down, but a few stayed up. How about those who have run aground TWICE on the same day, “sit down”. All the others sat down. She said, wait a minute, someone should still be standing. “Bob, where are you?”. Bob got up with a quizzical look; “who me? What? Huh?”. According to her paperwork Bob ran aground THREE times in one day. Upon hearing that, Fritz stood up and said “oh, that’s mine”. Seems he had borrowed Bob’s boat for a club weekend cruise, ran aground three times, but never told Bob about it.

  10. Rasselas36


    Joined Oct 4, 2008
    103 posts, 3 likes
    Hunter 36
    US Mulberry Cove Marina
    No pride here. I can't count the number of times I have run aground since I began boating (1972) here in Florida. Both in the St. Johns River and ICW.

  11. rockingham


    Joined Sep 27, 2014
    57 posts, 1 likes
    Montgomery 17
    US driveway
    I find the abrupt CRUNCH!!! and stopping of forward motion so upsetting I refuse to do it. I will find some other way to "calibrate my depth sounder";-}}}}

  12. Misfits


    Joined Apr 14, 2009
    540 posts, 33 likes
    Sabre 28
    US NH
    Yea, yea, blaming it on your woman ;)

  13. Chris Patterson

    Chris Patterson

    Joined Oct 17, 2011
    2,775 posts, 65 likes
    Ericson 29
    US Southport..
    How about running aground on a boat move, with the owner aboard......yeah...good times..

  14. DAVA390


    Joined Jul 13, 2010
    853 posts, 111 likes
    Precision 23
    US Perry Hall,Baltimore County
    My first and only (so far) was last summer,Stillpond )Eastern Shore. I`m getting ready to get out and walk the anchor back to the channel to try to winch out, here comes a guy and girl on (1 standup ) paddleboard. They pushed us off while i closely monitored her movemnts.(Drop dead knockout, killer bikini)!!
    Afterwards , I`m inviting them aboard for drinks and dinner, insisting, They laughingly declined.Paddling away, we waving out of the side of the Admirals mouth "Think your smart huh?" "Just being neighbourly ,hun" She didn`t buy it I suspect.:D

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