After leaving Moore Island we continued around to the southern most point of Abacos where it looked like it was extremely shallow. The color variations of water was gorgeous as slightly light blues changed to calypso then turquoise, cobalt and finally a deep blue.
We watched the charts carefully, navigating precisely on point to an area marked for anchoring, but the closer we got the more uneasy we felt. Just as we were turning Tanda Malaika because it didn’t feel right, one of the engines died and we hit bottom. (Even though it was high tide) Regardless of how Danny tried to maneuver our girl, she was not going anywhere. Jude and Mycah jumped overboard with masks to asses the situation while Danny jumped down in the engine compartment and I walked the deck, looking into the water around us trying to figure out an appropriate plan of attack.
The girls surfaced to say that not only were we solidly stuck on our port keel, but the starboard keel would soon hit the same flat rock and even worse, we were surrounded by coral heads.
We checked the tide schedule once again, noting that at 2am high tide would return, but wondered if we’d be able to get out at that point because we’d gotten into this predicament at high tide. We had the twins put the anchor in the dinghy, ride out and drop it into deeper water to see if we could use the windlass to pull ourselves out, but made no progress.
In fact, the anchor got so stuck that Jude and Mycah had to use their super ninja strength to dig it out and then unhook it every few feet as I pulled it back in to Tanda Malaika. After radioing for assistance with no response, Danny took the dinghy around the southern point of Abacos to try find someone to pull us out. While he was gone Tanda Malaika made awful noises as she gently bumped back and forth between the keel and the rudder, and I dove down to check on her underside. There was no way I could dig down because everything under us was solid rock, and the girls were right, coral heads surrounded us in every direction. It was overall deeper off to starboard where as off port was even more shallow, and directly ahead of us was a hole with tall coral heads around the entire circumference. The fiberglass of the keel was slowly getting chipped and damaged.
I finally climbed back aboard, realizing there was nothing I could do but enjoy the scenery, pray the boat is not damaged too badly and get started on dinner. I figured the least I could do was cook a delicious meal for everyone to enjoy in our beautiful surroundings.
After over an hour I saw two power boats speeding around the corner of the island and headed in our direction. Just then the cell phone rang with Danny on the other end telling me to flag them down down. As I stood waving my arms, I spotted Danny in the dinghy in the distance flying across the water at lightening speed. Several local men who worked for a waterspouts business were on board the boats, and tied ropes to Tanda Malaika’s bow to try pull her off. I told them we were sitting too high out of the water at this point and that they were not going to pull us anywhere but they politely smiled and went to work.
Danny soon arrived and also saw that their efforts were getting us no where, and before long they told us they’d be back around 1am and were on their way back to where they’d come from.
We set our alarm for 12:30am, and called everyone up for a sincere prayer asking for safety, guidance and insight. We knew it was still 90 minutes from high tide, but Danny fired up the engines and I stood on the bow with a flash light shining down on the coral heads. My dad came to mind and I wondered if he was watching as Danny pushed the throttle forward on both engines, and without one single scrape or bump we shot forward across the shallow water with Danny calling out, 4 feet, 8 feet, 15 feet, 30 feet….
What a relief it was to be in deep water again. We gathered together once more and gave a prayer of thanks, and when we were done I quietly looked out over the rolling swells and spoke quietly into the wind, ‘and thank you Daddy for your help too.’