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Old 01-10-2012, 04:08   #1
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Beached Az!

Sometimes in the sailing life, despite best laid plans and all due diligence, things just don't go as planned.

At dawn this morning we left a lovely anchorage at Jumpin Pin just north of the Gold Coast at South Stradbroke Island, QLD, Australia. The eastern channel from the Broadwater to Moreton Bay has a couple of very shallow patches, but we'd been told it is much prettier than the main channel and from the look of the charts we would have enough water for our 2 metre keel. We timed our departure with the rising tide as we knew at least if you run aground the water will rise a bit more and pop you right off again. Right?

Long story short, we ran aground. Oh, the shame. There is nothing worse than feeling the boat lurch to a stop with a "chhhhhhhhhhhhhh" sound as the keel digs into the sand. Annoyingly we were following the charts and were right in the middle of a marked channel. Our big mistake was getting to the shallow patch a little too early in the tide.

We tried reversing and motoring forward but Bass Voyager was stuck tight and leaning over at a 15 degree angle. Michael sounded around the boat with our portable sonar to find a safe path out, and then we ran the anchor out using the dinghy and with a combination of the anchor winch, engine power and the rising tide we got free.

We were surprisingly calm through the whole experience and worked together well to get us out of the situation. The weird thing was, three other boats came pass while we were stuck and not one of them checked to see if we were OK. Who would do that?

The rest of the passage was fine. Michael scoped our course ahead using our handheld sonar and I followed a few hundred metres behind. The feeling of entering the deeper water of Moreton Bay was a huge relief and we cracked up laughing about the crazy experience.

One thing's for sure, the life we've chosen is never boring!

Anyone with a similar draft should consider taking the main channel, or moving with a big high tide over the shallow parts of Tipplers/Canaipa Passage.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:17   #2
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Re: Beached Az!

No shame in running aground in Moreton bay, or The Broadwater on the Gold Coast, or anywhere in between the two. Except going via the ocean of course.

Have sailed on a catamaran in both places and the sands and their shiftiness even got us in that. Have run aground on a TS in the broadwater many times, but easier to get going again in those. basically, not a good area for relaxed sailing.

Coops.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:28   #3
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Re: Beached Az!

I would say because your grounding was benign and the other boats knew that. If it had been a hard grounding your attitude would be different and likely that of the other boats.

I have sat in the mud for two high tides on a semi-diurnal coast. Pour a favorite libation, have lunch, dinner, rest. The tide will come.

Grounding on hard sand on an outgoing tide was embarrassing even when a child. But kids get a pass.
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Old 01-10-2012, 22:12   #4
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Re: Beached Az!

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No shame in running aground in Moreton bay, or The Broadwater on the Gold Coast, or anywhere in between the two. Except going via the ocean of course.

Have sailed on a catamaran in both places and the sands and their shiftiness even got us in that. Have run aground on a TS in the broadwater many times, but easier to get going again in those. basically, not a good area for relaxed sailing.

Coops.
Thanks Coops! Glad we weren't the first, and I'm sure we wont be the last! What is it they say? "There are two types of sailors: those who have run aground, and the liars"
We head to the Great Sandy Strait next - here's hoping its a little less ... ummm... scrapey!
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Old 01-10-2012, 22:15   #5
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Re: Beached Az!

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I would say because your grounding was benign and the other boats knew that. If it had been a hard grounding your attitude would be different and likely that of the other boats.
Thanks Richard5. Youre probably right. I just thought it was weird because they didn't give eye contact and just flew past just metres away from us! (a very narrow channel). Anyway, I'm trying not to take it personally *sniff*
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Old 01-10-2012, 23:52   #6
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Re: Beached Az!

G'Day Blue Sun,

Good onya for trying the Canaipa! We never have (2.2 m draft)... but have managed to touch a few times in the main channel, mostly just south of Jacob's Well. That spot has been dredged (yet again) and a month ago was a piece of cake, passable even at half tide, maybe even less.

Sandy Straights has always been easier for us. Usually the only tricky spot is a short dog leg by Stewart Island (near Garry's anchorage). It's shown correctly on the MOT charts. We try to start out a couple of hours before high water from either end and sometimes get favorable currents all the way, hitting the mid point just at local HW. That takes some good luck, though, because the point where the tides meet seems to move around a lot.

And having boats go past without offering help is not uncommon... but better than having a fleet of idiot Riviera's come past at flank speed, bouncing you on the bottom (but maybe getting you off the putty).

Anyway, don't fret about grounding... it happens to everyone who does much cruising.

Cheers,

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Old 02-10-2012, 01:26   #7
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Hi there Bluesun,


Read your post and saw your boat name.

We met whilst you were in Nelson Bay tied up to the public wharf.

I was in my Swanson 32 "Sweet Chariot" but left the following day due to the bad weather forecast predicted for the weekend that was to follow.

Anyway, whilst off Newcastle, the wind swung around to the SW, a day earlier than predicted, so I headed for Newcastle and secured the boat there until the blow passed. Took about 10 days before i got back to her to take her home.

Safe sailing,

Steve.
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Old 02-10-2012, 23:28   #8
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Re: Beached Az!

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G'Day Blue Sun,
Good onya for trying the Canaipa! ...
Thanks Jim! Its a beautiful spot, particularly the trickiest bit between Jumpin Pin and past Sipping Sands. Would be fantastic with a shallow draft. We're glad we did it, despite the grounding, as although it was busy (being a long weekend) it was felt very "out of the way".I guess we should have been glad there wasn't a QLD team playing in the rugby grand final! Glad to hear the GSS is a bit less demanding, and we'll look out for the dog leg at Stewart Island.

Cheers!
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Old 02-10-2012, 23:58   #9
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Re: Beached Az!

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Hi there Bluesun,


Read your post and saw your boat name.

We met whilst you were in Nelson Bay tied up to the public wharf.

I was in my Swanson 32 "Sweet Chariot" but left the following day due to the bad weather forecast predicted for the weekend that was to follow.

Anyway, whilst off Newcastle, the wind swung around to the SW, a day earlier than predicted, so I headed for Newcastle and secured the boat there until the blow passed. Took about 10 days before i got back to her to take her home.

Safe sailing,

Steve.
Hi Steve

Glad to hear you made it safely to Newcastle. That was a nasty blow! We stayed in Nelson Bay for a week before heading north. Not a bad place to be stuck though!

Hope to cross paths again

Michael and Caitlin
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Old 03-10-2012, 00:02   #10
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Re: Beached Az!

... and for anyone that didnt get the reference in the title...

Beached Az: The Seagull. Ep 1, Series 1 - YouTube
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Old 03-10-2012, 00:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSun

Hi Steve

Glad to hear you made it safely to Newcastle. That was a nasty blow! We stayed in Nelson Bay for a week before heading north. Not a bad place to be stuck though!

Hope to cross paths again

Michael and Caitlin
Sure was a nasty blow. Kicked up 5m seas on 6m swells so was sure glad Sweet Chariot was safely tied up in Newcastle during it all. Safer there in the sheltered marina than on her own swing mooring exposed to it all.

Safe sailing,

Steve
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:13   #12
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Re: Beached Az!

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Originally Posted by BlueSun View Post
Sometimes in the sailing life, despite best laid plans and all due diligence, things just don't go as planned....

We were surprisingly calm through the whole experience and worked together well to get us out of the situation. The weird thing was, three other boats came pass while we were stuck and not one of them checked to see if we were OK. Who would do that?

....
In all the times I've been grounded, and there have been a few, save for members of our own Club that knew our boat when they saw us, the only people that have stopped to offer help were commercial fishermen, sometimes with boats half our size. Of the power boaters that passed, few have even slowed down tho' their wakes were clearly and obviously worsening our situation.

We always slow to offer aid tho' with our draft (6.5') we can't give much help unless we can swim a line to a grounded boat.

FWIW...
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Old 03-10-2012, 14:19   #13
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Re: Beached Az!

Yes, although we didn't need help (and may have been exuding an aura of zen-like calm!), putting ourselves in their shoes we would have at least called out and said "need any help?" as we charged past within metres leaving huge wake!!
Meh, Im over it. Not a big deal at all, just a passing observation.

Its comforting to know that we're not the only people in the beached az club!
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Old 03-10-2012, 21:45   #14
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Re: Beached Az!

Hi

Had to put the link on incase some may what to watch!

Beached Az



Scott
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Old 14-10-2012, 04:13   #15
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Re: Beached Az!

Thanks Scott, that cracks me up every time!
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