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Old 20-07-2009, 18:00   #1
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Boy am I LUCKY!

Friday was all work on the boat. From morning till the wife and son arrived at 1745. Supposed to be around 1530.....oh well, errands.

We made it to the bar north of Anclote Key around 2200.
Yahoo! Maps, Driving Directions, and Traffic

There is a bar north of the island and it is a popular anchorage.



It took three tries to get the Delta anchor to hold. It kept coming up full of grass and mud. Just a giant ball. Finally it held to a good strong backing down and we were happy and tired. All this in 5 feet of water with 40 feet of chain plus 20ft of bridle out. High tide would lift us another foot, maybe 2.

I got up the next morning first and I don’t know why because I needed more sleep but I got up anyway and was quiet as a mouse sitting in the cockpit waiting for the coffee water to heat (hint on the timing of my luck) when I noticed the boat drifting.

I started the engine and that of course got the wife and son up like a shot. We tried three more times to set the anchor with no luck. I then tried the fortress and it choked up too. Useless.

By then there was enough light to make out an area I was pretty sure was just sand and we went over there and spent most of the day with no issues.

How lucky is that?

If we had drug all night it would have been over a bay of about 9ft at the deepest and 3 miles till 2ft of water where my rudders would begin to feel the damage. Not much traffic either. But then there was the current. It could have pulled me North a mile or so but so what. The water NE of me was 5ft to 0 in 4 or so miles.

But hey, that is just more good news. Florida is a good place to brush up on skills………..err, luck.

My next plan is to make sure I leave the handheld turned on and set up properly as I feel I will not have that luck again.

I do NOT, repeat, DO NOT want to start another anchor war here but I am not comfortable now. I will spend more money I suppose.

I have read so many times about diving on the anchor but what of that at 2230, 2 knot current, anchor in cloudy water. Someone got a plan for that? Other than moving. There were other boats within 100 yards of me. Were they just lucky too……..Prolly not.
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Old 20-07-2009, 20:24   #2
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Quote:
How lucky is that?
Being lucky still counts. You can get a few but it's not without offsetting pushes that go the other way. Something dropped on deck and in one bounce goes over - not lucky. Maybe it's payback or maybe arthritis (don't laugh).

Sure the "another" anchor would have set better. You come to the fight with the anchors you bring. If you have two then it was because you used the wrong one. If you brought only one it was because you didn't set it right. Of course my anchor would have set properly - it was tied to the dock on the boat. There is always a reason except when you drag and then being lucky matters more. You take the lucky break and be a fool not to. Such is a sailors lot.

Being lucky means you get another chance to be unlucky for free. It's not much but you can't opt out of the anchor game. We could all try a little harder to make sure the anchor was set properly or that someone wasn't diving and decided to play a trick on you. Could happen! Giant sea monster decides there is something tasty under the anchor and pulls it out for the snack. Bye Bye! Possibilities are limitless.

Had you not dragged you would have just taken it as a normal drop the hook, set it, forget it - perfect execution with no post on CF for that kind of stuff. No one likes to read about how you anchored and didn't drag. I'll take a lucky story any day. It's hope.
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Old 20-07-2009, 22:21   #3
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I've been lucky twice! :cubalibre

First, I anchored in an open cove at night and didn't have out enough scope. When the tide came in it lifted my chain up enough to loose the bite and drug it off a shelf. Fortunately, I drifted straight out to sea and woke up to swells rocking the boat (my first boat).

Second, I was down diving on a rocky bottom and a wind storm came up creating some swells. Fortunately again, the anchor and chain got fowled in the kelp keeping it from washing up on the rocks. That was a lucky day!
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Old 20-07-2009, 23:09   #4
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…the anchor and chain got fowled in the kelp…
What do birds have to do with this?
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Old 21-07-2009, 03:37   #5
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Vigor's Black Box Theory* states that:
“There is no such thing as fortuitous luck at sea. The reason why some boaters survive storms, or have fewer accidents than others, is that they earn their "luck" by diligent and constant acts of seamanship. According to Vigor, aboard every boat there's an invisible black box. Every time a skipper takes the trouble to consult the chart, inspect the filters, go forward on a rainy night to check the running lights, or take any proper seamanship precaution, he or she earns a point that goes in the black box. Then, in times when human skill and effort can accomplish no more, the points are cashed in as protection. The skipper has no control over their withdrawal. They withdraw themselves, as appropriate. Those skippers with no points in the box are the ones later described as "unlucky." Those with points to spend avoid the mishap, but must start immediately to replenish their savings for the sea offers no credit.”

* From ➥ The Practical Mariner's Book of ... - Google Books

"The Practical Mariner's Book of Knowledge" ~ by John Vigor
The Practical Mariner's Book of ... - Google Books
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Old 21-07-2009, 05:58   #6
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What do birds have to do with this?
It was covered with s***
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Old 21-07-2009, 08:37   #7
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This one reminds me of the time in the BVI on a charter that the mooring line parted at the Bitter End (the one under the ball!). Fortunately, it was 10am, and we were cleaning the boat. It didn't happen at 2 am in a rainstorm.

Thanks for the "Black Box" quote, Gord. I'm emailing that one!
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Old 21-07-2009, 09:15   #8
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Therapy, when did you get your Gemini? Sorry I missed it, but congratulations are in order - I suspect that she will prove perfect for you and your family. As to being lucky, perhaps finding the right boat after all of this time was the start of a streak !

We've all had anchoring nightmares and very weedy (or rocky) bottoms have on occasion bested better men than me. That being said, I suspect you could have used a tad more rode. As you no doubt are aware, in measuring depth you must include not only the high-tide water depth, but also the height of the bow roller.
Hence, 7 feet depth plus (I am assuming) at least 4 feet to the bow roller equals 11 feet. Consequently, for a 7:1 ratio (IMO ideal), you would need at least 77 feet of rode from the end of the roller to the anchor.

And that is assuming your depthsounder measurement was accurate. In heavy weed, you can get a false (shallow) reading from the weeds themselves. Hence, if the top of the weeds were around 5 feet from the surface, the bottom could have easily been another 4 feet down. That would have increased the length of the rode required for a 7:1 ratio to 105 feet! Indeed, if it was that weedy in only 5 feet of water when you anchored, I can virtually guarantee that the weed would have been virtually brushing the surface and entangling your prop.

Anyway, just a couple of thoughts. Once again congrats and continued good luck!

Brad
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Old 21-07-2009, 18:20   #9
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Therapy, when did you get your Gemini? Sorry I missed it, but congratulations are in order - I suspect that she will prove perfect for you and your family. As to being lucky, perhaps finding the right boat after all of this time was the start of a streak !

We've all had anchoring nightmares and very weedy (or rocky) bottoms have on occasion bested better men than me. That being said, I suspect you could have used a tad more rode. As you no doubt are aware, in measuring depth you must include not only the high-tide water depth, but also the height of the bow roller.
Hence, 7 feet depth plus (I am assuming) at least 4 feet to the bow roller equals 11 feet. Consequently, for a 7:1 ratio (IMO ideal), you would need at least 77 feet of rode from the end of the roller to the anchor.

And that is assuming your depthsounder measurement was accurate. In heavy weed, you can get a false (shallow) reading from the weeds themselves. Hence, if the top of the weeds were around 5 feet from the surface, the bottom could have easily been another 4 feet down. That would have increased the length of the rode required for a 7:1 ratio to 105 feet! Indeed, if it was that weedy in only 5 feet of water when you anchored, I can virtually guarantee that the weed would have been virtually brushing the surface and entangling your prop.

Anyway, just a couple of thoughts. Once again congrats and continued good luck!

Brad
Brad,

Thanks for that.
Bought in April. Delivered to the Left coast near home in May.

The weeds there are 6-10 inches tall. The math I did at high tide using the fancy-dancy garmin plotter with tide info said it would be a max of 2.2 ft above mean low water which was about 4ft so I fudged on the numbers and came up with 7 ft max. I am sure it was less all night as the tide was going out for part of it. So I calculated about 7 or 8 to 1 scope. Certainly enough for the conditions.....................NOT!

It was the grass/mud/Delta combo that cost me the "points" (Thanks Gord - I had seen that before here somewhere, probably from you)

I did a bunch of checking, maintinace etc on that day after finding "real" sand so hopefully I am not completely out of points.

Brian - are you out there? I want to anchor out there next to you with your anchor and see what happens.
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Old 21-07-2009, 21:31   #10
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Thumbs up Therapy, we MAKE our "luck", imho;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
We made it to the bar north of Anclote Key around 2200.

-snip-
It took three tries to get the Delta anchor to hold. It kept coming up full of grass and mud. Just a giant ball. Finally it held to a good strong backing down and we were happy and tired. All this in 5 feet of water with 40 feet of chain plus 20ft of bridle out. High tide would lift us another foot, maybe 2.
-snip-
Therapy,
Just want You to know, BTDT...EXACTLY the same location. started dragging w/a wind change, pulled up the plow & thought I should cry...enough green grass to "sod" the foredeck. Wife was laughing over the windlass "dunking" technique I developed to try & clean it off...same thing an hour later(it was blowing a steady 5, & occasional gusts to 15 & direction swung 270 deg. in 5 hrs (anchored, like ALWAYS before dusk). Got so stinking fed Up I drew up the plow, (CQR) a 4th time, payed out 150' of chain shackled on ANOTHER Plow we have & payed out Another 100' set the 2nd 1 REALLY Deep.
No more problems & slept like a baby.
Up at 1st light (w/coffee brewing and the suspense just KILLING me...went north to the cockpit, lo & behold now calm as could be, 2-4mph winds & 180deg. opposite of when I gave up for the night. we'd rolled over the 2nd hook, stretched out the chain & 1st had held, mostly I believe due to all the scope out & 2nd holding it all on the bottom. There's lucky, and then there's smart. Neither of us was "lucky", as doing the best You can do (although I had another 300' of chain & 3 more anchors including a Fortress and 2 Danforths...at some point it IS Overkill,,,I just haven't found that point yet).
FWIW,
We've been thru Tropical Storms w/3 hooks out & drug less than that night N. of Anclote Key....it's anchoring HELL I tell ya CQR's were MADE for Sand & MUD...dragging isn't "suposed" to happen...it does. There, right where you were is the worst we've ever experienced on the W.Coast of FL (of which we have cruised extremely extensively).
We MAKE our "Luck" is the punchline, & Anclote Key is a bear...now You know.
Wish I could count the # of times we ran aground (or bumped) at low tide before the chartplotter (Even With a Depth Finder) IN that Area, while smack dab in the MIDDLE OF THE CHANNEL. We live, we learn.
Keep Making Your luck out of the good stuff!
-Mick
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Old 21-07-2009, 23:48   #11
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A northhill or the tradional fisherman anchor are about the only anchors that have sharp points to penetrate through weeds. The problem is having the money to buy and space to store such limited use anchors. I almost bought a 75# cast bronze Luke Fisherman simply because it was such a work of art. Finally decided against it cause I really had no easy place to store it.

I had a similar experience dragging. We'd been anchored off of Long Beach for a couple of days. My wife was running an errand in town and I'd shortened the scope in anticipation of leaving when she got back. I went below and put some things away in anticipation of the sail and took a shower. Heard someone yelling after I finished the shower. It was my wife who'd been chasing me down the shore as I dragged parallel to the coast. I'd gone close to half a mile. Really fortunate the winds weren't blowing on shore like they normally did 300 days a year.

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Old 23-07-2009, 10:16   #12
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CaptMick39

Thanks for that!!

I don't feel quite so bad now.
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Old 23-07-2009, 10:22   #13
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At least you're getting out on the boat. When ever I have doubt on the bottom, and depth I throw out my trusty leadline. Have you marked the rode yet, or do you have a counter as it pays out?.......i2f
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Old 23-07-2009, 10:30   #14
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At least you're getting out on the boat. When ever I have doubt on the bottom, and depth I throw out my trusty leadline. Have you marked the rode yet, or do you have a counter as it pays out?.......i2f

I am trying for every other weekend. I haven't taken 25 weekends off in over 4 years.

The chain and rode are marked. Needs to be redone but OK.
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