It was wrenching to watch, and a reminder that when you are on a boat—even Christmas cruising in the relative safety of the Caribbean—a moment’s inattention can mean disaster. In this case, there was no redemption, no way out. The 3-foot chop and gusty winds quickly drove the boat, a 32-footer with a canoe stern, hard onto the shallow reef. There was no danger to life. The passage between Culebrita and Culebra, known as Canal Del Sur, is protected from ocean swells, and the water over the reef is no more than waist-deep, meaning the crew could easily walk ashore if need be. We didn’t have a working VHF to reach the crew, but within minutes called the wreck into the local marine police, who said they were on it.