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Old 07-24-2009, 05:56 PM   #1
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Well I have to say... If you've never seen a dinghy fly it is quite a sight... not something I ever expected to see... but now I have and I'm just glad my solar panels... and boat survived...

So it's been especially windy and blustery for the last 16 hours or so... no problem... I've got down lots of chain 6 to 1 easy, she's sitting nicely...

I new the dinghy was filling with water from the rain and waves but didn't think too much of it as she's only ever sunk once before, which was my own fault (i stepped in her at the front when she was half full of water, putting the front under and sending her deep six... fortunately she was tied on so I was able to salvager her with a halyard and she was none the worse for wear)... this time however when the dinghy went under and the wind was a blowing she acted as a sea anchor... the boat suddenly stopped swinging in the wind, went beam on and started dragging anchor sideways straight into the nearby mooring field... crap...

so I get ahold of the painter and heeve-ho I get up along sides, still upside down underwater, but she's no longer holding the boat beam on... as the boat swings back around on her anchor the solar panels (mounted on davits) actually pass over the side rails of one of the moored vessels, thank the gods for my high sheer or they no doubt would have gotten cought up in his stantions with disasterous results... so shes back straight, now in tight quarters between several moored boats... on goes the halyard and up comes the dinghy... just as she cleared the water along came a gust and away she goes.... my 70lb aluminum jon boat soaring at masthead height (46feet) like a kite... and just as fast as it came the squal passed and down down down she comes directly towards my solar panels. Seeing the imminent disaster at hand I pay out the halyard as quick as I can and splash... the dingy plops down right-side-up in the water, I'd guess she missed the solar panels by less than 6 inches....

so one disaster averted now the bigger one... I've maybe got 10 feet on each side as the boats swing dangerously in the wind coming at times within inches of each other... hmm.. .alone at anchor in a force 6 gusting force 8 just me and my manual windlass... no way am I going to be able to get the anchor up and then back to the helm before she pays off in the wind into one of the very nearby boats... so what's the other option... more chain.... so I drop out another hundred foot which lets the boat drift back nicely back into clear water.. suddenly she bites dragging my hand into the cleat tearing the flesh away from the joint of my thumb across my palm, just sinew and muscle underneath.. it doesn't even bleed.. ignore it stop the chain before it all goes out and you find yourself in between a new batch of boats... another disaster averted... for now... but what happens if the wind shifts... I've got so much chain out now that if the wind shifts she'll swing right across probably more than one boat... aye yai yai... all I can do is wait and watch.... I stand vigil on deck with the boat hook fending off any boat that swings too close...

soaked my hand in honey (antiseptic) and superglued everything back in place wrapping it nicely... should be fine...

no wind shift... the eye of the storm passes over and a moment of calm... ish... and I'm up on deck cranking away with the simpson lawrance... anchors fouled... keep cranking... bang, she's loose... were off... spinning, beam on, stern-to, drifing down quickly onto other boats... to the helm... and we're off... safely away from the other boats....

back on the hook now in safe water (i hope) with plenty of extra chain...

makes a good arguement for those unsinkable dinghies don't it... .... and next time be sure I won't forsake my gloves...
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:02 PM   #2
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Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Hope you're doing better now. Please be careful!

If you're still at anchor--sounds like you want to reset further away from all that mess. You have a couple of possibilities to get off anchor in the wind w/o totally messing up you and the other boats or having to make that mad dash back to the helm from the windlass.

You don't want to go swinging into all those other boats! All the things you could do to set another anchor and reset the one you've got out take wayyyy too much work IMHO and involve getting out there in the tender to set the other anchor, so I won't go there...

Depending on how much line you have out, and depth of water as it relates to length of boat you might be able to, in a lull, simply bring the chain in to a much shorter scope (w/o breaking out the anchor) and quickly run a line from a sheet winch (hopefully at the cockpit) up to your anchor chain--bend the line onto the chain, get back to the cockpit and use the winch to haul chain equal to the distance from your winch to the anchor chain in---maybe 30'ish feet or so? This is easier on a bigger boat (e.g. we have about 50' from the winch to the anchor roller on the bowsprit) but if you're not in really deep water, it will get your anchor up to merely "dragging in the water" length--or if you're luck, you'll get the anchor up to the roller

Anyway--that can put you back there working in the cockpit rather than running all over the place and once you break out the anchor you can get yourself situated somewhere else with more room (I hope!)

Of course, using a variation of this method is what you do when your windlass breaks, too...

Wishing you luck!

PS--the only reason I know this works is because, on our other boat--30' length, which was very squirrelly at anchor--the only way I could bring up the anchor solo and safely (in control of the situation) get going was to do it this way. Umm...perhaps I'm a little...slow...getting from the foredeck back to the helm perhaps shall we say...a bit clumsy? Where there's a will there's a way, though
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:55 PM   #3
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yeah.. believe me I was looking for another way out but as you say most of them meant going out in the tender, which as it had already been sunk once today I figured was a very bad idea... The option I was leaning towards if it got worse or the wind started to shift was to lasoe an empty mooring bouy, tie to it with one of my super long lines and then pull anchor paying out that line and then when she broke free bring that line from the bouy back in as quick as possible pulling her to safe water (in theory) at the bouy... fortunately I didn't have to resort to this...

as for the hand, didn't hurt at the time, too much adrenaline I suppose, but you can bet she's paining me now... soaked her in some epsom salts now that things are peacefull and sunny (never fails to amaze me how quick the weather can change so radically so fast), put some butterfly bandaides on her to hold all the skin in place, and gave her a new wrap. Not so bad now as long as I don't try to move my thumb.... Looks like I won't be doing any sailing for a while...
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Old 07-25-2009, 02:24 AM   #4
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Glad to hear that all is well--except your hand. Ouch!

Someone here on the boards posted that they anchored using a stern anchor simply because they were often solo--I can't recall which person though. Anyway, you might consider setting yourself up to use a stern anchor as primary if this can be seen as a better long term solution.

Regards,
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Old 07-25-2009, 03:44 AM   #5
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Pick up:

"Complete Guide to Anchoring and Line Handling" by David C. Brown, published by Hearst Marine Books

It's really a terrific book, and has a lot of tricks regarding anchor recovery. One of the things you could have done (if I'm understanding your situation correctly), was put an over-sized shackle around your chain with a buoy / fender attached to it. Then, motor at a 45* angle from your anchor. This should sink the buoy to the anchor, and the pull of the boat should unset the anchor for the buoy to raise to the surface.

You could simply trail the anchor behind you while you re-anchor with the secondary.

In theory, anyhow. It likely works better with rope than chain!
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Old 07-25-2009, 12:29 PM   #6
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I'll have to add that one to my arsenal....

but yeah, in this particular situation I had down a good 200ft of chain (I had over 100 out when she drug in less than 20ft of water) and would have to slip between wildly swinging boats to recover it no matter what other slick maneuvers I might be able to use for the last few feet...

for me the biggest lesson here is to make my dinghy unsinkable... if she hadn't gone upside down under the boat and sea-anchored the stern so that the wind could pin the bow and force her off I never would have drug in the first place... I'm leaning towards dinghy dogs... although first I'll try and engineer something with my fenders lashed horizontally... it'll get them off the stern and be free, so worth a try.
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Old 07-25-2009, 09:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seafarer View Post
Pick up:

"Complete Guide to Anchoring and Line Handling" by David C. Brown, published by Hearst Marine Books

It's really a terrific book, and has a lot of tricks regarding anchor recovery. One of the things you could have done (if I'm understanding your situation correctly), was put an over-sized shackle around your chain with a buoy / fender attached to it. Then, motor at a 45* angle from your anchor. This should sink the buoy to the anchor, and the pull of the boat should unset the anchor for the buoy to raise to the surface.

You could simply trail the anchor behind you while you re-anchor with the secondary.

In theory, anyhow. It likely works better with rope than chain!
It didn't seem that atavist has space for such maneuvers. Even so-- that sounds like a really weird maneuver...Do you think it works? If the fender/buoy has enough flotation to raise the anchor and rode...how can one possibly get it down 15 ft 20 ft or more? We wouldn't have a buoy or fender--even ALL of our buoys or fenders together that would be likely to raise the 105# anchor plus the heavy 1/2" bbb chain...maybe it works for small boats and small anchors on rode not chain???
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:11 PM   #8
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This technique is used all the time on the Columbia River and in SE Alaska by salmon / halibut fishermen. Thing is, they use a 3' - 4' foot ball and a couple of 200 HP outboards... I'm not sure that it would work in a displacement sailboat.
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Old 07-28-2009, 08:40 PM   #9
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I learnt a similar lesson last week whilst anchored in Gloucester, MA during a lashing northeaster ... Tadpole was well clear of other boats & the holding was good ... my problem was that the sheer amount of rain swamped my dinghy ... it's a fibreglass 8 footer & (fortunately) has a moulded-in enclosed bow section so it cannot actually fully sink ... I have my topping lift rigged with an up & over line from the tip of the boom down the mast to the halyard winches so I can use the boom almost like a crane ... tipped the water out no problem ....

The real lesson for me is to check how much water is in the dinghy anytime it is raining & to be ready to pump/bale it out anytime ... even when underway & even during a storm since that is when it will fill up quickest ... if I had enough deck space the obvious answer would be to secure it on board upside down ...
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:23 PM   #10
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hey this was last week and I'm in Hull, MA... whata ya wanna bet it was the same lashing northeaster... Wednesday.. if I can remember back that far.
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Old 07-28-2009, 11:02 PM   #11
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Yep ... the same northeaster .... Tadpole came through the Cape Cod canal last Tuesday ... I sailed overnight & sought shelter in Gloucester on Wed ... I am heading north & currently in Kittery ... I assume you are heading south ? ... when you leave Hull ( I anchored in there last year & found good holding just south of spinnaker island - it says "special anchorage" on the charts - I had the whole area to myself for 4 days & nobody approached me to shoo me off) avoid Scituate (crowded & very little anchorage area) ... also avoid Plymouth (long way in & out & poorly marked channels through the mud flats) ... also avoid Sandwich marina at the eastern end of the Cape Cod canal (the charts say "anchorage of refuge" but they'll sting you for $2.50 per foot ) ... however, as you pop through the canal turn to port & head for Barlow's Boatyard in the Pocasset River ... very cozy & reasonably DIY-friendly boatyard ... they usually have a transient slip available ... groceries, gas & diesel & a hardware store like an Aladdin's cave all within walking distance ... tell 'em Tadpole sent you
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:02 AM   #12
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HA!... I'm in the exact spot you anchored... I started out at Spinnaker Island but couldn't find a good dinghy dock so I moved about a mile south close to the WaveLand Marina, the public dock is next door. They have a 30 minute limit posted but I've left her there for most of a day and no one minds, they also have a pile of dinghys on the beach where I left mine for a week when i went back to KY to get rid of my truck.... they have a mooring field set up just east of the anchorage... that's the mooring field I got blown into last Wednesday thanks to my dinghy and my inattention to it... I've been here for over a week and no one has bothered me, Harbor Master waves when he goes by...

What's your timeline coming north? I'm planning to stay here for at least 2 more weeks then leave Enchiridion hear for a couple weeks while I take a trip to Albania, so here till September basically...

And you are correct I am headed south... but what's this about a canal?? I'm going around Cape Cod First stop Nantucket.
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