November 23, 2013 – Sylvan Goes On Walk About


IMG_1055We decided to do an over night run down the Chesapeake to Norfolk. We left about 5 PM and figured we would get all the way down. While we were out there a small craft advisory kicked up and we were stuck out there in 20+ kt winds with about 10 to 15 foot waves. At day break, Florence takes over so Bill can get some sleep. He has been up for 24 hours and is tired. The winds are horrible and the seas are bad. At a few points I am looking down at water off the front bow of the boat. They boat that is following us can see our props at times. As we are going by Wolf Trap Lighthouse the front tow hook on the Sylvan broke completely off and it the Sylvan got loose. In the seas as rough as they were we could not get her back. After this we started looking for a place to anchor as quickly as possible out of the weather. We found Back River was the closest place and we set a course. We anchored in the Back River and prepared for a rough couple nights. We had to stay there for 2 nights until the winds and seas calmed down. We called the Coast Guard after anchoring and reported the Sylvan adrift. They said they would put out a report to mariners to keep a eye out for her. At about 4 am I woke up out of a sound sleep and thought for sure they Sylvan was going by our boat. I went out on the deck, but could not see anything in the darkness of the night. I just had a feeling she was out there. The Coast Guard called the next morning to say that a commercial boat had spotted her near the Cape Henry lighthouse commercial anchorage. For those of you who don’t know the area that is approximately 30 miles from where we lost her and past the Chesapeake Bay/Bridge tunnel. She was only spotted, so we only knew that it was still floating and nothing more. On Tuesday (three days after she went on walk about), we got word from the Coast Guard that the Navy had located the boat on the beach at Fort Story. Bill was able to go out to the beach and get a few things off it and see that it was safe and secure until we could figure out what to do with it. Bill and I both went to look at it on Friday. Thank you to Don M. for coming to help us. We had a fun adventure in the Navy truck going down the beach and then hitting the quick sand and coming to a dead stop. We were able to take some time and go though the Sylvan with a fine tooth comb. We opened up the bottom hatch and it was full of water. The battery was dead from trying to keep the bilge empty on its walk about. We are lucky we have two batteries. We emptied it, but we discovered the bottom of the boats seem had come apart, apparently on landing. The Sylvan had also hit a red marker, because it had a big dent in it with red paint all over it. She was a good boat and got us out of some situations on this trip, but it appears her adventures have come to an end.






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