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Old 18-08-2010, 14:21   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Buzzards Bay
Boat: Marshall 22
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My First Sea Tow - Bleh

I went out from Monument Beach at the northeast end of Buzzard's Bay today to take the parents fishing. We planned to cut close to Mashnee Island and perhaps anchor next to Hog's Island Channel (the entrance to the Cape Cod Canal).

Wind forecast was 5 knots, but that meant little to me. Regularly this year, I've seen 15 knots when five was forecast.

We started out with a light breeze and things never really changed. I got into the channel thinking we could just sail slowly and fish, but when it came to turn out of the channel, I realized the current was too much for sails in such light wind. We fired up the motor, but it seemed to lose power as the day went on and we still couldn't get out of the current. I hadn't realized that the current would be so strong there, but if you look at the chart, you'll see how silly I was. There's not much to weaken the current between Mashnee Island and the Canal.

Finally, we dropped anchor and called the local sea tow (the tides would change three hours later and my parents are old enough to become uncomfortable in that time). The motor does not seem to be pumping water, so we had to give up on it before we did more damage to a hard to replace small two-stroke outboard.

Not a very exciting addition to the confessionals, but it is my first contribution here (this is my second year sailing). Next time (once my motor works), we're following the usual southwest route and avoiding that damned channel near Mashnee. Or, at least, catch it on a falling tide, with the current going away from the canal into easier waters.

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Old 23-08-2010, 19:01   #2
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Great story. Sounds like you kept your wits about you, handled it well, and learned a lesson.

I think we can all imagine how the story could have become "exciting." It's much better this way.

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Old 24-08-2010, 16:53   #3
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Location: Wash DC
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I got hammered there in a single screw downeaster. caught those currents going into the bay with the wind coming opposite. OOOOps thought I was going to drop the motor through the bottom the waves were so steep and tall. I can no longer say I have never used sea tow either. I ate a pot in the prop off The mouth of buzzards bay but sailed into cuttyhunk and cleaned that up. Then 2 days later I stuck the boat hard on a bank in the connecticut river. It was one of those this could get a whole lot worse really quickly things. Almost waited too long trying to kedge and blow the boat over. In a great marketing moment the boat US guy reminded me that my situation could wind up being a salvage job. credit card came out and
I didn't look back. He was right it could have gotten worse I put us in a bad spot and paid up. Glad you got out okay as well.
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Old 25-08-2010, 07:54   #4
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Location: Buzzards Bay
Boat: Marshall 22
Posts: 40
The funny thing is...

The funny thing about my first tow was that the problem was too damn little wind, not too much. Buzzard's Bay was a lot windier this year than last, and so it was a bit more challenging for a novice like me. (Not too challenging, since I'm a very conservative -- read: chickenshit -- sailor.)

The one day with too little wind caused me more trouble than the windier days.

Well, unless I can get my motor running (and I doubt that I can without removing it, which is damn near impossible in the water), I guess my sailing season will end a little early. I regard my motor as a safety feature and I don't want to sail without it. I'm a li'l paranoid when it comes to sailing with my boy on board.

I haven't had a good look at the motor yet, though, so perhaps the problem is not as bad as I think.
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