Our "vacation" turned into a nightmare. On the second night out, the engine quit right in the worst possible spot in the Neuse River so we bobbed up and down all night long. We got towed in to Oriental the next day and it took all day for "M" and a friend of his who lives there to make repairs. We had planned to head to Wilmington but that day messed us up so we went to Cape Lookout. But as soon as we got there, we had a new problem. The engine was overheating so we couldn't use it anymore. So the rest of our trip was under full sail (which "M" loves, but it makes for a lot of heeling over.....which makes me feel a little on the sick side). Then the kicker........the dog went overboard.
We had been under high seas (which she doesn't like) coming in from Lookout but we had returned to calm water and just after we went under the highrise bridge in Beaufort, we realized Honey was not onboard. She couldn't have been gone more than two minutes before we realized she was missing. She didn't have her life jacket on because she had been down below with me and she has never offered to jump in the 4 years she has been on the boat. With no engine, we were limited on how far we could look but we turned around and used the sails and anchored right in the middle of the channel thinking she would eventually drift or swim towards us since the wind and tides were pushing our way. But we looked for over an hour and there was just no sign of her anywhere.
I called the coast guard but they don't rescue animals so I gave them our contact information just in case someone found her and called. I called the local shelters and authorities as well. So we cried and sailed all day and into the night and figured she had drowned even though we know she is a strong swimmer. I was upset because we had left the area but with no engine and needing the winds to get us home he said we had no choice. What an awful feeling and day that turned out to be.
BUT........later that night, the coast guard called and said someone had rescued her from the water and she was with a lady who is involved with animal rescue and fostering pets. The guy who found her said she had swam against the tide and wind and was in the 60 ft. deep turn basin between Morehead City and Beaufort struggling to stay above water. At that point, we couldn't sail back to Morehead with the winds pushing us away and towards home and we knew they were going to shift 48 hours later and it would take us that long to sail home with no engine. The foster home kept her for 3 days until we could get ourselves home and rent a car to go get her. We wanted thank him but we just weren't in a position to offer any money other than their expenses incurred. But we were so grateful for their help. It's like the guy was just in the right place at the right time on the right day.
Some vacation huh? But at least it ended well and we have Honey back. You can believe she will have her life jacket and ID tags on anytime she is on the boat from now on. We finally got the overheating problem fixed last weekend and went out for the day. I figured she'd be scared but it was as if nothing had ever happened!