Today began with raising anchor in the wee hours of the morning and settingall the sails as we made our way South.
We were sailing in relatively light airs, so we had the drifter flying. At times, we were barely moving, then we would be charging along making wonderful progress.
For long periods of time, we were sailing along between 6 to 7 knots, and the electric motor was able to recharge the batteries the whole time.
Our fridge is the biggest consumer of amps on the boat. When drawing off of the engine bank of 8 group 31 batteries, it will consume about 10% of the bank over the night. A few days of this and the batteries begin to run low. This is why fast sailing days are so highly appreciated on board Wisdom. The motor acting as a hydrogenerator is our only method of recharging.
That morning, we gained nearly 30% in the engine battery bank! The equivalent of 3 nights of running the fridge. This was all possible thanks to the drifter that was able to power us along on such a light air days.
As the day grew on, the winds began to build. When the winds were sustained around 10 knots, we decided to drop the drifter and raise the jib to continue our journey South. This was also the end of our progression for the next few days, we just didn't know it yet.
I released the halyard and lowered the drifter, but didn't pay any attention to the sheets. The port sheet fouled the prop and our speed decreased from 6 knots to a mere 3 knots.
We decided to get away from the ship traffic along the western shore and head over to the eastern shore to sort out the issue.
The wind continued to build and we sailed across the bay with 1 reef in and the stay sail in winds of 20 to 25 knots while moving along at barely 3 to 4 knots.
We dropped the anchor on a shoal and I got into our dinghy "Tooth" to try and free the fouled line. In my optimism, I figured that the line was merely looped around a blade and then wrapped around the propeller. I figured it would just as easily come free.
I spent two hours fighting with the line trying to free it, but to no avail. It was a calm sunset on the bay in unprotected waters. I called Boat US to schedule a tow in the morning.
I was to be towed to Deltaville marina to be hauled out and to free the prop from the fouled line.
We settled in and rested up as we had no idea the drama that the morning would bring.