If you read our previous post from July 2022 “Mobile Marine POTA Assault on Old Island” https://www.tridenthams.org/marine-mobile-pota-assault-on-old-island-k-3906/ then you are aware that I enjoy boating and POTA, and what could be better than doing them together for another adventurous marine mobile activation.
But this time it was different. The mission was to conquer Lighthouse Inlet (K-8148) and Fort Sumter (K-0932) in high seas. I needed a hand, literally, as I just had surgery done on my left hand. I was searching for a First Mate and Control Operator for the SC POTA weekend, and who better than John, KK4JS, who conquered inhabited Old Island in a Walmart inflatable raft. https://www.tridenthams.org/assault-on-old-island/
So on 16 Sept 2023 at 9:15am, we launched my trusty 19’ Bayliner from Rivers Edge Marina on the Ashley River and dropped the anchor at high tide next to the Morris Island Lighthouse around 10:30am. The GPS showed that were sitting right over the park boundary at 11 feet depth. In no time at all, we hoisted the 17’ whip and we’re calling CQ on the IC-7300. Once John had us spotted, we had a constant pile-up.
After 25 QSOs were completed, we brought down the antenna to head back up the harbor to drop anchor next to the Fort Sumter pier around noon. However, after only 12 QSOs, the engine quit and the strong current dragged the anchor (and us) away from the Fort at a rapid pace towards the breakers. I figured that somehow the anchor line got caught in the prop, but there was no time to deal with that as we were being tossed in the waves and headed right for a large concrete and steel structure – with no engine.
John’s Marine Corp training kicked in. He pushed us away from the structure with a pole to keep us from crashing, then jumped in to the water to untangle the line from the prop while I was on the phone calling Sea Tow for help. John yells “start the engine” as I see him slowly drifting away from the boat as he was being pulled out to sea by the strong current. Good thing he was wearing his life jacket and was able to get back onboard. The First Mate saved the day.
With the mission being a success, we called it a day and headed to California Dreaming restaurant to celebrate and plan our next MM adventure – next time with a larger anchor!