We’ve miraculously survived all of these calamities and are heading back to the North Dock at the Yocum Sailing Center when another situation befalls us. We run aground. I immediately throw the throttles in reverse and try to back off the imaginary “sandbar.” Wrong move.
“First shut down the engines and make sure no one in your crew is hurt,” Pete says. Then check the bilge to see if you’re taking on water. If no one’s hurt and the boat looks OK, assess how you’re going to get off. If you’ve hit hard and dug in, you might have to wait for the tide to rise and lift you.
Since we’re not really stuck, I power up, put the throttles in reverse and start heading for home. “Don’t just get up and go,” jeff says. “Start slowly and feel for vibrations.” If something feels or sounds amiss, shut down. There could be a problem with the shafts, props or engine, and you’ll do more harm than good.
For scholarship’s sake, we determine that one engine is too damaged to use and start limping home with the other.