NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

March 28, 2013

Always be on the alert at sea


Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

I have a cautionary sandbar tale for small-boaters. In late September of last year my wife Wayne and I took our seaworthy and able 22-foot Sea Nymph for a last run before haul-out. There wasn’t much wind and the seas in the inlet of the Merrimack were just humpy enough to be interesting. After a few minutes in the inlet, we headed north around the north jetty to get into the calmer water we’d always found there. As we continued north at 12 knots or so, not far north of the jetty, a huge (to us!) breaking wave suddenly loomed up to starboard. I cried, “Hang on!” and turned quickly into it so as not to broach. The boat leaped off the top of the wave, and after a few seconds when it felt almost as if we were airborne, slammed down hard into the trough. The boat, luckily, was OK, but the impact threw Wayne to the cockpit sole and injured her.

The moral of the story: “At sea never take anything for granted and never let your guard down.”

Jon Wells

Newbury