We were still stuck.
It was too late to call after Always to come back and help us again. Besides they did not have their VHF radio on. We were on our own, grounded in the middle of a shallow creek with the threat of a storm coming.
Damian got back on board the Gem&I, and he brainstormed what to do next. After having some time to think, he told me that two ideas had come to mind. Before long, Damian was back in the dinghy, asking for his fins, scuba mask, weight belt, and gloves. He explained that he would go under the sailboat to see how stuck in the mud the keel was and then dive under to dig us out.
He jumped out of the dinghy and yelled up to me, “Hey, look! I’m standing!” The water came up to about his collar bone, and he was standing on the bottom beside our grounded boat.
“I’m going to push us out,” he informed me. And with that, he placed both hands against the hull of the boat and began heaving it towards the deeper water. The boat rocked and then settled. Then he dove under to dig out the keel; thus, he commenced a process of digging and pushing until the keel was free at last.
As soon as we were free, he instructed me to start the engine immediately and head toward deeper waters leaving him behind in the water. He told me that he would catch up later. So I cranked the motor and steered back up toward the Wye East River, where Gem&I could find shelter from the impending storm.
I watched behind the stern of the boat to see Damian swimming strongly against the current after our boat. All of what his dad had taught him came into use in that moment with each swim stroke as he caught up to the motoring vessel.
Back on board the boat, Damian and I chose a hidden cove around the next bend of the Wye East River on the chart that looked both deep enough and well protected from the upcoming foul weather. This un-named cove on the chart would be our next anchorage and our refuge during the thunderstorms that were readily approaching. Already the sky was changing from a sunny summer day to something a bit more threatening.