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Old 26-12-2009, 06:06   #1
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Grounding !

While sailing Lake Ontario this summer ( shake down of new systems before heading to the Bahamas) we pulled into Port Hope. This is a harbour we go to often...an elderly parent lives there. The water was at it's highest, and there was a large tree right across the channel. I was on the bow of the boat, when my other half turned to avoid the tree. I looked back and was about to say I dont think we can go here when all movement stopped!
No backing off we were well and truly stuck. We got a long line ashore and were proceeding to use the manual windlass to try and move ourselves off the sand. Retrieved the line so other boats could get past. Get the line ashore again...a chap shows up in a truck..along with three other guys. The pull us with the truck, then back and forth on the line until the bowsprit is almost touching the cement wall...and voila we were off. This was embarrassing because we knew better than to go that far off the wall. Besides how often does a boat in the water get towed by a truck!!! We had a lovely week at the yacht club there...great folks.
We watched 7 other boats ground that week. The channel has always been narrow, but this year the town decided NOT to dredge.
It was a little adventure, that has been the cause of many giggles and much head shaking.
Fair winds
witchcraft
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Old 26-12-2009, 07:13   #2
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Glad you got off without any damage, shipmate!
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Old 26-12-2009, 11:54   #3
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so now ye are a true sailor LOL---every sailor has had a grounding---good to get it over with in a convenient place lol.....fair winds....
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Old 26-12-2009, 13:02   #4
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I don't know that you'll have much occasion to use a truck, but this was excellent practice for the Bahamas.
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Old 26-12-2009, 13:56   #5
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Hoping not to get too much practice at this sort of thing.
Fair winds
witchcraft
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Old 26-12-2009, 13:58   #6
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My first boat, a Grampian 26, had one of those spinning LED fishfinder sort of depth sounders. It worked well for half the summer and then died, and I was too poor at the time to get a new one.

What I did was take on of the fishing rods we had on the boat, put a lead weight at the end of the line and set a very small bobber on the line at grounding depth plus one foot. In this case it was 6'4". When we needed to go into someplace I wasn't sure of, one of us would stand on the foredeck and cast as far ahead as possible, and see if the bobber sank. If it did, we were jake and if not, we were far enough off to stop in time or at worst gently bump. To this day I have a rod on board set up the same way. Sort of a go/no go gauge


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Old 26-12-2009, 16:59   #7
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You shouls market that as a Green, Energy efficient, Zero Carbon Footprint Depthsounder with zero electrical draw.

You Could call it a GONOGO Sounder.
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Old 26-12-2009, 19:57   #8
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The Swedes say every Norwegian touches the bottom at least once in his life ... ;-)

The Norwegians say the same of Swedes ;-))

Our count: 4 ;-)))

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Old 27-12-2009, 07:35   #9
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I went aground my first time out on my boat. The only thing, good or bad, is that it affects how you sail for a while.
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Old 27-12-2009, 08:19   #10
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How's things in the Bahamas Witchcraft? You'll definitely not want to get practice in that area! Where are you now?
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Old 27-12-2009, 08:27   #11
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Sabre, Thank you very much that was very smart and something i will remember a very long time.

My wife has grounded us a number of time on the ICW, needless to say I nolonger go below while on the ICW.


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Old 27-12-2009, 10:40   #12
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Ah well - how many to count? For any of you who know the English East coast, it notoriously has brown water and a lot of drying sandbanks. I put my first boat aground for 7 hours from watching a seal over the transom, and not the gulls wading ahead of me! I put Roaring Girl aground, some years later, by trying to be too clever in Walton Backwaters (the Secret Water of the Arthur Ransom books) - at a spring high tide! It was too muddy even to try and clean the bottom.

On both those occasions we were rescued (and stranded) by the tide. Our first real stop in the tideless Med was at Smir, where Pip put us aground coming out of the harbour. There is a line of very small red cans marking the channel. Pip ignored them, thinking they were too small to be relevant. I assumed she'd noticed them; to this day she blames me, on the generic principle of blaming the skipper, even if she, Pip, was on the helm! It took the marina boat quite an effort to get us off ...

That doesn't count all the touch-and-go's! Going aground happens to us all.
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Old 27-12-2009, 11:29   #13
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Back in the early 80s on Guam, our typhoon refuge was a place called Piety back bay....the only way in with a displacement boat was a very narrow dog-leg channel.
It was always bump and grind getting in and out....after a while it became so ordinary.
With a full keel it surly made the maneuvering much more difficult, but at the same time now worries about hitting.
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Old 27-12-2009, 13:51   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnar View Post
Sabre, Thank you very much that was very smart and something i will remember a very long time.

My wife has grounded us a number of time on the ICW, needless to say I nolonger go below while on the ICW.

Dutch
You're welcome. I've always thought that knowing whats in front of you "before" you plow into it was a useful thing. Depth sounders are great to let you know that its getting shallow but they don't have the ability to see whats up front. Even a lead line used in the traditional manner will only give a depth as you pass directly over the spot, so if its shoaling rapidly you may get stuck. So the ability to get a good idea 20-30 feet ahead of you as you move slow ahead is invaluable. I find that making a decent cast takes a bit of learning but once you get the knack you can regulary get upwards of 30 foot ahead of the boat. Of course the deeper your draft, the longer the amount of line the lead sinker is on, makes it a tad more difficult. Spend $10 on a real cheap rod n reel, and practice a bit.

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Old 02-01-2010, 08:21   #15
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We were motoring our Cw 32 (20tons) up the Trieux River in Brittany france to go to Pontrieux at the top of the river. Just as we were about 400 metres from the lock I asked Sally my wife for a cup of tea. She left the helm to me and went below and withing 5 mins I had planted us in the mud on the side of the river. The best thing was that we had to spend 4 days dry as it was nip tides and the temp was -11 so we had a lovely 4 days on the mud. Several people that pased on the tow path offered to take us to the shops but we were ok as we always carry plenty of food so central heating on and nice and snooky. After 4 days the lockkeeer called us on the VHF at 02:30 to say he would open the lock to let us in which he did.As we tied up to the jetty in Pontrieux it made us realise that there are people in this world that want to help but most important is that I now let Sally take us up this river and I make the tea.
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