After spending a calm night at anchor, we awoke to have breakfast and headed over to the De Soto National Memorial. After the quick dinghy ride to shore we walked the trails of the park and explored the memorial. There is a quite good video (in a welcomed air-conditioned room) which chronicles the history of Hernando De Soto’s arrival in Florida and his 4 year, 4000 mile trek through the southeastern United States in search of gold and riches. Unfortunately for De Soto (and his crew) his expedition never found the gold for which he sought. De Soto, himself, did not survive the expedition, but died of a febrile illness.
Our routine was interrupted by the unexpected as we were asked to come to the aid of a fellow boater. Another sailboat in the anchorage was experiencing difficulty. Their anchor had dragged and they were extremely close to another vessel which was tied to a mooring ball in the anchorage. In an effort to pull up anchor and avoid hitting that vessel, the prop of the engine somehow became entangled in the line from the mooring ball. The line wrapped around the prop and the boat could not move.
I entered the picture because I had scuba equipment on my boat. This is already the second time that having a full set of scuba equipment has saved the day (The first being when I wrapped a dock line around the prop of my port engine… you may remember that story). I hurried to Beatitude and picked up my scuba gear and tank and took them over to the other boat. The captain of the other vessel donned the gear and made his way into the water. A little while later he emerged triumphantly from the water with his vessel cut free from the line.
It was a nice feeling being able to help a fellow sailor. I am certain that I will stand in need of assistance on multiple occasions in the future. I trust that someone will be there to come to my rescue. Sailors and cruisers are among the most helpful people you’ll meet. Most stand ready to offer whatever assistance is necessary, since they have already or will need similar assistance in the future.
After that little bit of excitement, we had lunch and made our way back to the marina. We docked Beatitude without issue (I’m sure my neighbors are missing our previous displays of incompetence at docking). Beatitude received a thorough cleansing and our two day sailing adventure was done.