Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Alabama Aground

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


Lisa said...

I hope the boat was on the correct side of the marker. I believe the boat would be fine. I've seen the keel of a boat that was on full sail when it hit a concrete stump and even that was repairable.

That is a beautiful boat.

Baydog said...

Matthew: I am a Seatow member, which basically doesn't allow me to lie. And if you have enough people on board when you run aground, like EVERYBODY will do at least 7 times in their lifetimes, all they need to do is all get to one side and hang on the shrouds as far overboard as they can, and you can usually squirm off of the bottom with a little handy rudderwork and throttle management. If all else fails, then it's Seatow to the rescue....

Jeannette StG said...

Don't know in how far you read your comments on your previous posts, but I think you did the right thing in running away from these crazed security guards (probably) at the Shoreham nuclear powerplant:)

Hope though that you will complain (to whoever has the most say-so) that these guards really went beyond their scope of authority - you can't just "arrest" someone without any grounds!!! If it's illegal for policemen, for sure it's illegal when one doesn't wear the badge. Enough said...

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Ocean Girl,
She was in the channel when she ran aground. She draws 12'6".

Sounds like you know all the tricks.

Turns out the jetty is private property owned by the power plant. But still, the fence and posted signs were not anywhere near this.

I apologize for not responding sooner. I have a very weak wifi signal aboard the boat, and leaving comments just locks up the computer.
Same goes for visiting your blogs. I visit, but leaving comments is a problem unless I am at a coffee shop or library.