It has been a busy week in Noank. The excitement from the recent Michael Steele incident at a local lobster restaurant was simmering down when the Schooner Alabama of Vineyard Haven ran aground in the Mystic River on Wednesday.
This is a ship I know very little about. Two years ago, on a sail to Martha's Vineyard, I had spotted her anchored in her home port. I took a few photos, and looked up some information online, but that has been the extent of my knowledge of her. It's unfortunate to see her in my local waters under such poor circumstances.
There is a saying that states 50% of all sailors have run aground, and the other 50% are liars. Like all good quotes, there is a certain element of truth to that phrase. There are however, different degrees of running aground. Sometimes a boat can be freed by simply putting the engine hard in reverse. Other times, a rising tide will lift the hull off the bottom and provide clearance. These scenarios did not work for Alabama; she was hard aground, and would require a tow.
The Mystic River is fairly shallow and causes difficulty for the large ships at Mystic Seaport. Many of them draw too much depth to navigate the river. Alabama was no exception: she ran aground within the channel, with almost a full tide. The one positive is the river bottom is mostly mud, and damage to her keel from rocks, seems unlikely.
I will have more on this later.
Black Dog Tallships: Alabama
Soundbounder: Alabama Aground part two
Soundbounder: Alabama Aground part three
Soundbounder: Alabama Aground part four
Soundbounder: Alabama Afloat
New London Day: Schooner Runs Aground Near Mystic