Today we leave South Carolina and head into our 4th state up the East Coast – North Carolina! What should have been a nice easy day was anything but as shortly after leaving our anchorage in Calabash River, our wheel fell off.
I (Elliot) was navigating from our flybridge when I shifted to port in the channel and the wheel kept spinning. It kept spinning then rattled and fell off the bolt. Immediately I went into action fully awake even though it was just past 7, I geared into neutral, compensated for the port turn by firing up our bow thruster to starboard, and banged on the side of Pivot notifying Jen of an emergency.
I thought we might have lost all steering as our interior and exterior stations are connected and yelled to Jen “Is your steering working”? She replied somewhat confused, “Yes?” and I was relieved. “One moment” and I grabbed the wheel and brought it inside. She was incredulous…
Of course this had to happen during our first class A inlet, Cape Fear, and our first time docking in foul weather. This evening I found out that it was just loose, and I had to buy a very large socket and wrench to put it back together. Oh the things we learn!