My Lowest Emotional Point during my Cruising Life

 

Usually I write about different islands, locations, and events in this column, but this month I want to share with you my lowest emotional point during my cruising life.

I left Rum Cay around 8pm with the idea of sailing close haul in a 10-15 knot ENE wind to Samana Cay and arrive around 10am the next day, so I could have good light to enter the reef of this remote and uninhabited island. The winds did not cooperate being 15-20 knot from the east instead, so I had to motor sail because the wind was closer than I could sail. 

During the night, the six-foot waves shifted a little making it dangerous to enter the reef fringed bay of Samana Cay. Also, a cold front was only two days behind me. Therefore, I decided it would not be a good idea to make landfall and instead continued onto Mayaguana Island. Turning my 14-hour solo sail into a trip of 23 hours.

I don’t know what it was about that day, I have been in higher winds and seas and on longer passages, but I hit a pretty low emotional point. I think it happens to everyone in life, where you wonder what you are doing and why. I had thoughts of just selling the boat and going back to Colorado! I missed my family, friends, and playing soccer! I simply was not a happy camper and I just wanted to be done with the passage, take a hot shower, eat dinner, and GO TO BED!!!!

When I got to Mayaguana it was pitch black. Once I entered the lee of the island I found protection but had to creep closer to shore due to the depth of the water. Once I was in 45 feet I dropped the anchor and was done for the night. 

The next morning I started pulling the anchor up and had a bit of an issue….It was stuck and when I finally got it loose the anchor was not at the end of the chain!!!!!!! As you might imagine this did not help my mood from the previous day. I decided the best thing was to note the GPS and go 10 miles to Abrahams Bay and pay a fisherman/diver to retrieve it.

I found two guys to do it for only $100. Once we got to the coordinates, the first thing he grabbed was…..his fishing spear!?! He dove down twice when I got us to the exact spot and twice he found nothing but did have a big ol’ lobster on his spear. By the third attempt I was geared up and went in to “help”. I only swam 25 feet before I saw chain marks in the sand forming an arrow to my anchor. It was then that the fisherman was able “find” my anchor. Gee, thanks, Haha. He tied a line around the roll bar of the anchor and up it came. Once back to the Guiding Light, I asked if he was going to give me one of the lobsters since I was the one paying for the trip. He reluctantly handed one to me. Score!

The simple act of recovering my anchor turned my mood around. A wave of contentment washed over me and lasted for months. So, if you find yourself in a funk, no matter where you are and what you are doing, things will turn around.

Shane McClellan
Visit www.svGuidingLight.com to read more from Captain Shane about the Bahamas, Caribbean, life aboard, and more.