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Old 06-23-2016, 01:26 PM   #41
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Now in part one several points were glossed over. Like for instance my brother loaning me a 20L fuel container that leaked like a sieve, or the brand new syphon that failed after its third use. But day one was relatively successful so we'll leave that be.

Today I awoke and, with a glance at the sky, almost stayed put for another day. Then I got the weather report on the VHF and they were predicting strong winds for Friday, and I'd rather be up a river when that happens than out in the open. So I arced up the motor and we were off again.

Caboolture River is more of a creek in size than a river. Where I was going the width gets down to 100 metres in places. The yard provides a map and general instructions - like "stay to the right of the signs telling you that the river shoals" and stuff like that. For the first part - about two miles - there are standard maritime signs and lots of yachts moored, after that it gets a bit iffy. I had almost four miles to travel, right into "maybe" territory.

Things seemed to be going well though. Maybe too well, in fact, since I was within one turn in the river from my destination and feeling fairly pleased with myself when disaster struck. At first we skewed to starboard and I figured the engine had rotated a bit again and reached over to correct it, but it was fine. Then we went HARD to starboard as if running into an enormous current. No amount of tiller would correct it so I stopped fighting it and attempted to do a turn in that direction. But we were no longer moving.

I had run into a wall of mud.

Now the mud in the Caboolture River isn't your regular mud. It's grey, smelly primordial ooze and it sticks, especially to hulls. I was aground and side-on to the flow. Dayyum.

Luckily I remembered that the night tide at 2.43 metres is higher than the day tide at 1.88 metres. The solution was to wait 12 hours until we drifted off again. And that's what I just did - with a bit of help from Mr Mercury - between the last message and this one.

It's pitch black out there. I'm miles from civilization, there isn't even a house within sight. The sky would be alight with the glow of the full moon, except that the coming storm has covered the sky with black clouds. Fortunately for me, the glow of the town about 5km away reflected off the clouds enough to give basic visibility.

So I motored another 100 metres or so and dropped anchor. But the ooze didn't hold that, we dragged like mad. I threw out more chain, each time getting covered in mud. Finally she held, which is fortunate since I just can't put any more out in such a narrow river.

Toworrow I'll catch the daytime high tide and finally get to the yard. I hope to goodness there's somewhere to drop a pick. I've been told it gets to 40 feet deep there.
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Old 06-23-2016, 01:36 PM   #42
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Here are a few photos I took while I was bored waiting for the tide to cycle. The little yellow sign says: "SHOALS Depth less than 0.5 metres at low water." Should read "Depth less than 0.5 metres at high water as well."
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:45 AM   #43
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Safe at anchor near Montys marina, Caboolture River.
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:07 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haiqu View Post
It all has to do with my anchor winch, which had to be bolted to the anchor locker lid because there was no place else for it to go. But even though I reinforced the lid there was a distinct possibility that while anchoring a drifting yacht could yank the lid - winch and all - into the water. I really needed to solve that.
You should never have your anchor winch taking the weight of the chain while you're at anchor. That's not what they are designed for.

Did you see my setup? I'm not sure if I ever anchored with you on board, perhaps once in NZ somewhere. I have a nylon line that I run between 2 of the samson posts amidships. From the middle of that line runs another nylon line forwards with one of those rubber tension / shock absorbers in it, and a chain grabber hook that hooks onto the chain (hence the name). After hooking the chain I release the tension on the anchor winch and the weight of anchor and chain is now supported by the samson posts. The anchor winch is still there as a fallback should the nylon fail.

What you're doing sounds similar but you should consider a permanent solution. I believe that it's better to use nylon because it stretches a bit and has a high breaking load (spectra would be higher but doesn't have the stretch so it can't work as a shock absorber).
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:55 AM   #45
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Good to hear you made it okay. And with a minimum of disasters. Did you enjoy the first trip
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:37 AM   #46
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You should never have your anchor winch taking the weight of the chain while you're at anchor. That's not what they are designed for.
I think you missed the point of the issue I was solving. Yes, the chain is tied off to a steel post at anchor, but there's a finite time - several minutes in fact - where all that's holding the yacht is a combination of feeble muscles and the winch. In that situation a drift could have yanked the whole winch and locker lid into the water.

I try to only anchor at slack tides but there may be occasions where doing otherwise is unavoidable. This is all a lot easier if you have a reliable diesel that will purr away and match the yacht's movement of course, and someone to operate it. Or an electric winch.

Nope, I don't think we ever anchored. What you've described sounds like a fancy kind of snubbing line.
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:41 AM   #47
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Good to hear you made it okay. And with a minimum of disasters. Did you enjoy the first trip
Haven't felt so alive in years mate. I just spent the past 30 minutes fending off a houseboat that has 25 metres of chain out (in a 40 metre wide river) and more windage that the Queen Mary. In gusts of 50 kt.

I'd say "in the rain" too (who was the author who used that line?) but I'd be lying.
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:00 PM   #48
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Well done for overcoming all the problems and getting where you wanted too
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:12 AM   #49
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Cheers Steve. But it goes to show that even with the most careful planning some small detail can ruin everything. I had a mud map, I knew that I had to go to port of the last yellow sign, and yet it somehow slipped my memory at the end of the journey. If I'd made that sort of mistake in a light plane I'd be dead. In anything but a bilge keeler I'd have lost the yacht.

As I sat there reflecting for 12 hours and waiting for the tide I blamed federal government agencies and local councils for not erecting proper signage, cursed Alan Lucas for not having any details of the Caboolture River in his book "Cruising the Coral Coast" and generally behaved like an utter prat for the first couple of hours. Then it dawned on me what responsibility actually means with respect to being the captain of a vessel. It means eating all that and still getting to the destination regardless.

A sobering experience. I don't deserve the title "skipper" just yet, but I can see it from here.
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Old 06-25-2016, 12:34 AM   #50
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Here's a copy of the "mud map" referenced above. Official title is hydrographic survey C7-318-1 (Qld). It shows the two miles of the river directly behind the suburb of Beachmere. I went to starboard of shoaling sign No. 5 (top left).

As you can see, large sections of river have no depth at all at low water, and in fact are bare mudflats. Not what you'd call the easiest first journey.

I'm also very glad I decided to drop anchor at 11pm after floating off rather than continuing in the dark. The last mile is an obstacle course of moored boats, crab pots and mad teenagers in aluminium runabouts without lights.
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Old 06-25-2016, 02:52 AM   #51
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For Del - just finished scrubbing the fur off the chain then took a photo of the winch and anchor locker lid. The lid was reinforced underneath when I bolted the winch down, and the reinforcement acts against the locker frame. But as you can see there was nothing holding the lid down until I added the small safety chain.

Note also anchor chain is wound around the Samson post.
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:28 PM   #52
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Some journey stats (yeah, I know I'm making a big deal out of nothing but I'll be on the hard now for months):

Distance: 30 nmi
Avg speed: 3 kt
Time taken: 2 days
Total running hours: 11
Night hours: 2
Engine: 6hp Mercury ME6ML (2-cyl 2-str, rebadged Tohatsu)
Fuel used: 25 litres, 92 octane w/ 50:1 oil mix
Economy: 2.3 litres/hr
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Old 06-25-2016, 10:40 PM   #53
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It takes a lot to surprise me these days. Yeah, I saw a pod of dolphins as I came around the point at Scarborough on Wednesday, yawnies. But Friday morning I was fast asleep and a tiny blue bird flew through the open hatch above my head and landed on the bunk. I opened my eyes and it flew out the companionway, stopping briefly to take another look inside. Now that surprised me.

This morning the bow looked like an aviary.
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Old 06-26-2016, 06:58 AM   #54
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Picked up the van today, but Sunday was a bad choice. No buses from the marina and the service I wanted to use from the city wasn't running either, so I did a fair bit of hitchhiking and walking. At least I'm finished the move and can go shopping at leisure too.
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Old 06-26-2016, 03:48 PM   #55
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So you are going to be there for a while? When is haul out day?
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:24 AM   #56
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Haulout day is July 5th unless they can do it earlier. The MSQ order wants me out before the end of June but that may not be possible. I expect to be here up to six months, and will also need to go to Sydney in the meanwhile to attend to Keppelena.
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:12 AM   #57
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Quote:
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For Del - just finished scrubbing the fur off the chain then took a photo of the winch and anchor locker lid. The lid was reinforced underneath when I bolted the winch down, and the reinforcement acts against the locker frame. But as you can see there was nothing holding the lid down until I added the small safety chain.

Note also anchor chain is wound around the Samson post.
OK that makes more sense. I can see your problem in that there's not enough holding the anchor winch down. Mine's bolted through the non-movable deck, you have yours on a very movable hatch lid.

I would definitely add a snubbing line to that. Not sure what you have aft of that anchor winch but a line run from the anchor, through a snubber and then back in a V to the winches in the cockpit. A good hard snag could snap that samson post off and pull the whole lot overboard. Ask me some time how I know.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:36 PM   #58
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When there are winches in the cockpit I'll give that some consideration.

Not likely to break that Samson post, I think the concrete below the bow would collapse first, or the chain would snap (as happened recently). In fact that's one of the reasons I needed to haul out.
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Old 06-28-2016, 05:31 AM   #59
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The money has come through, I'm no longer impecunious. Thread has moved here:

http://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/f29...html#post44573
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