Sure enough, the entire stern was underwater; the outboard was half submerged. Rob was already in his dingy seeing what could be done to raise the gunwales above the surface. Before long David and Amy were there to help. Kelton was there, too. Then Hank and Joe, island visitors and boat owners, showed up. Before long James and Van were there with a gasoline powered pump.
With some effort, pulleys...and ingenuity we raised the stern above the surface. David positioned the hose in the bilges, and Van and James fired up the pump. Rob steadied the stern. It wasn't long before the skiff was nearly fully bailed out. Joe used his boat to tow my skiff to the boat ramp. Juan lent a hand at the ramp. By then Tom had arrived to help David and Rob get the boat on my trailer.
Just one more example of people helping people on Ocracoke Island. Many thanks to everyone who pitched in to help me out!
By 11 am my skiff was in my yard. By 5 pm I had my outboard drained of salt water, and running smoothly. I haven't checked the boat yet, but I think Van might be right. I am wondering if the wake from the dredge sent a wave over the transom and swamped my old wooden skiff. If it put enough water inside to bring her down where the planks weren't swelled tight the bilge pump may not have been capable of keeping up with the influx of water.
Below are a few photos:
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of midwifery on Ocracoke. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news082112.htm.