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Old 31-08-2010, 21:41   #1
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Responsible

I caught myself looking for help from an authority figure. I mean in no way disrespect to those that serve upon our water ways (US).
I anchored in mass for a 4th of July thing I know Im putting my boat at a higher level of risk when I do this. I had a good spot on the edge and the harbor master was enforcing the zone. So I felt good I wasn't packed in and there wasn't space for another boat to think about anchoring. A 50' foot power boat went fwd of the boat in front of me and chopped the anchor line. They ditched their anchor but were riding a short rode. The motor boat has its prop wound up on the anchor line of the small sail boat and so is hooked to the power boat. the power boat is on a short rode. I cant pull anchor and git out because they are right on my bow. I called on the vhf to the harbor master who responded pretty quickly but would not /could not attach to either boat. I found this interesting my landsmen mindset was that the civil servant on seen would stand by and assist. Not. I was able to let off abit more rode otherwise I had limited choices. I prepared a second anchor (fx-37) that I could deliver to the other boats if needed. I put fenders out. THe harbor master and DNR were prepared to enforce the law. Which I thought was meant to protect life liberty and property. They could not how ever protect the property liberty was never in question and certainly earlier and later I watched as they enforced the law. I dont have an issue with this in fact appreciate the expectarion that we are all responsible. I am a little confounded as I saw the harbor master not only as a authority but as a boater.
Equally I have been amazed at how floating debris drifts among our channels and is reported but the response to retrieve the refrigerator, stove, or crustacean pot in mid channel is slow if at all. For days you could track a piece of debris across an inlet with endless alerts but the retrieval seems to never happen. Ive pushed grounded boats off of banks with my dink, Jumped on one guys boat who lost control of his boat because of a fowled halyard and bad engine in an anchorage, Towed a few dinghy's etc.. Im good with Ill take care of myself Ill help you if I see the need why cant our civil paid servants do the same. Not being political just a mind set check.
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Old 31-08-2010, 22:08   #2
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I try to never allow myself into a situation where I will need someone else to bail me out. I have never seen authorities bail out a yachtie except in a Mayday situation, especially offshore.

Civil authorities would be totally overwhelmed if they had to sort out all the random acts of stupidity perpetrated by people who have no clue as to what it means to behave in a seaman like fashion. In many locations, there are only a few true mariners and lots of overly optimistic rookies wreaking havoc on the rest of the fleet.

People in authority generally are not going to act unless they are out on patrol looking for people breaking the law, or unless loss of life is imminent.

It would be nice if clueless boat owners were required to put a sticker on their yacht labelling it as a potential weapon of mass destruction and a second sticker that said they are clueless.

On the other hand, I find it's fairly easy to recognize the totally clueless skippers as they operate their weapons of mass destruction.
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Old 31-08-2010, 22:27   #3
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I agree and dont expect help but it is odd that a boater with authority could and did leave. I had many options if things got worse. I didn't ever think I was in dire straights. I could have dumped the hook with a float. dropped back more given a spare hook to the others. I was prepared to do all of the above. Mostly I wrote this because I found myself slip into a mindset that an authority was present and would handle the other boaters mistake while allowing me protection. That's why its in the confessional section. It was a great fireworks display and the guests aboard had a great time Sometimes we understand the risk but want to share an experience. I had been in the same anchorage a few years back and watched as a thunderstorm came through and boats went gliding past me dragging their anchors. So I was aware of the risk. I confess I understand that this had some risk. That was the jist any way Im sure others fall for that same trap another reason I thought I would ask for forgivness
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Old 31-08-2010, 22:36   #4
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Come on guys. Life is risk and you have to start learning to boat somewhere. I guess you never drug anchor before you learned what "rode" really was. I feel sure the motor boater learned a lesson that night. If you don't want any risk, stay at the dock.
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Old 31-08-2010, 23:08   #5
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Hanging out with drunken idiots on July 4th in a busy harbor is not the kind of risk that makes you a better mariner. It's the kind of risk that has some idiot smash into your boat and if you're lucky no one gets killed.

Every year in San Diego harbor, as long as I've kept track, there are injuries and/or deaths on New Years Eve and 4th of July. Like clockwork.
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Old 31-08-2010, 23:33   #6
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uhh not what anyone said Capt pat what I said was I caught myself. Confessing here. I have enough water under my keel to be very self reliant. What surprised me was that a fellow boater with a skiff and a big motor who was paid to be there left. It was a good reminder I am responsible for me. Not whining a bit we all handled it well. Just saying for purpose of conversation. Yes I went and anchored in a 4th of july parade knew that risk as well. Thats why I was on the edge of the pack. If you had seen my son glued to the deck while it all went off you would know why occassionnally I do things that may not be my cup of tea but a 8 year old anchored right by the barge thinks sailing rocks.I should be able to do that and did the DNR did a good job nabbing idiots and drunks.
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Old 01-09-2010, 18:44   #7
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It would be nice if clueless boat owners were required to put a sticker on their yacht labelling it as a potential weapon of mass destruction and a second sticker that said they are clueless.

On the other hand, I find it's fairly easy to recognize the totally clueless skippers as they operate their weapons of mass destruction.
This is the first time I've been wholeheartedly opposed to one of your idea's...they should DEFINITELY be flags and not stickers. High visibility is a priority and you need to be able to identify them from far...far...far..FAR...away.
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Old 01-09-2010, 19:09   #8
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In this case the guy had just bought the boat. He was abashed and acted humble accepting fault. One of the water Taxis did near about the same thing to the boat fwd and stbd of me. It was a good dislpay the fireworks I wasn't trying to be a better mariner and I shouldn't feal bad bringing my family into something like this. I warned sheila that this can get nuts I really wouldnt do this except the kids really like it. Thats a compromise. I did everything I could to mitigate risk and I knew it could be dicey. REally dont care if Im ranked better or worse as a mariner. Im confident in my skills and know Ill learn something new tomorrow. Yes I enjoyed the fireworks too didn't see too much drunk crap but then again I anticipated what I was in for and Anchored on the edge. Really though I was surprised the harbor masters vessell left. The actual harbormaster was not on board I know him from years back as a great boater (him not me). I understood not attaching to the vessell but leaving?
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Old 01-09-2010, 19:27   #9
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People in authority generally are not going to act unless they are out on patrol looking for people breaking the law, or unless loss of life is imminent.
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I agree and dont expect help but it is odd that a boater with authority could and did leave. <snip>

Mostly I wrote this because I found myself slip into a mindset that an authority was present and would handle the other boaters mistake while allowing me protection.
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Hanging out with drunken idiots on July 4th in a busy harbor is not the kind of risk that makes you a better mariner. It's the kind of risk that has some idiot smash into your boat and if you're lucky no one gets killed.
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What surprised me was that a fellow boater with a skiff and a big motor who was paid to be there left. It was a good reminder I am responsible for me. Not whining a bit we all handled it well. Just saying for purpose of conversation. Yes I went and anchored in a 4th of july parade knew that risk as well. Thats why I was on the edge of the pack. If you had seen my son glued to the deck while it all went off you would know why occassionnally I do things that may not be my cup of tea but a 8 year old anchored right by the barge thinks sailing rocks.I should be able to do that and did the DNR did a good job nabbing idiots and drunks.
This is by no means a criticism of you or anything you did or did not do.. It is also not an indictment of how you perceived the events. It's my take on things -

- 4th of July raft up. I expect too many boats, I expect drinkers, I expect idiots. I evaluate all that and look at my 11 year old son and say, "Son let's go to the raft up party." It's all over at that point. I have evaluated and accepted all that will happen next. I will anchor at the edge and if it gets unsafe I will leave.

- The authorities. They expect stupid boaters, they expects drunks, they expect fighting. They are not there to protect your paint or enforce 5:1 anchoring rules. They are short handed and are going to try and stop people from drowning, getting in fights and probably expect to arrest a few of the stand out idiots.

There were a couple of boats fouled, no one was drunk, no one was fighting and at that point the only thing at risk was gelcoat.

So you are the authorities. What do you do?

- a) the 4th of July party goes well every year. There are X boaters arrested for drinking, fighting and general stupidity. Let's keep the system the same.
- b) A couple of people are at risk every year. Let's close the anchorage and not let anyone raft up.
- c) Let's lay down and temporary mooring filed. We can get 40 temporary balls in there. That will cost the city $20,000 to set up. We will rent the balls out for $500 on a first come first serve basis. Anyone anchoring will get a $500 fine and be told to move.

It's hell being a city planner. I wouldn't want to make those choices. But my choice as a boater is still option 1. I don't like the nanny state telling me what to do and I don't expect the nanny state to keep me safe from the other idiot boaters.
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Old 01-09-2010, 19:31   #10
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Oh - follow on thought. When the Volvo races came here the authorities set up a viewing area for private boats.

To be allowed to enter the viewing area you needed to fly a flag you got from the Volvo folks. You paid a big deposit for the flag and you heard a briefing on the area you could stay in and how you should behave while near the race course.

You returned the flag after the inshore races and got your deposit back. It was nice that you knew everyone there, and it was pretty crowded, had heard the brief and knew the rules.

You can see how close we were to the course.

Pre-planning by the nanny states is sometimes a good thing.
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Old 01-09-2010, 19:43   #11
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Boating is an unlicensed activity and you have to expect less than competent people running those boats. Mix in some alcohol and a party atmosphere and you have a recipe for disaster.

We like to watch the July 4th fireworks in Newport, Rhode Island. Boaters have an opportunity to anchor rather close and this makes for a more "thrilling" experience. Newport has about 6 or 7 (guess) harbor masters and several boats and they patrol and monitor the anchorage for the event.

But that doesn't mean boaters will not anchor to close or with inadequate scope.

So we try to find a spot which is not too close, because we KNOW that other boats will come to close after our hook is set, but not too far.

Of course when the wind kicks up boats will drag in a crowded anchorage and you HAVE to be prepared to respond and can only hope that the Harbor master is available and able to lend a hand.

The further you are from "things" the safer you are on the water.
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Old 01-09-2010, 20:03   #12
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No thats what Im saying confessing I should never have thought the harbor master would lend a hand. You get to figure the way out thats sailing the harbormaster left a boat with a 3:1 scope at best disabled with a wrap of cordage on his prop and a sailboat dangling off his prop with remnants of his rhode. The harbormaster will enforce the law within the anchorage. You put yourself there you get out and I hope we help each other while were on the way. A municpal employee might help out but they are so hamstrung by regulationan d liability you had better not rely on them. rely on your skills and help when others wont. For a moment I forgot this I really thought the harbor master would stand by and lend assistance if the fwd 2 boats fouled my hook and sent a good 45,000 lbs and 3 boats carreeing into a 68' ketch and then drift the wholelot into the barge loaded with fireworks. I enjoyed the show my lesson was an old one rely on youself forget about harbormasters and such. Help when you can.
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Old 01-09-2010, 21:33   #13
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something I have learned, is that most people, when face with confusion, chaos, or simply things unexpected, are grateful for a bit of direction...drunk morons being the largest exception..one can usually step in and take charge of a situation like the above and defuse it pretty quickly..not saying you had any obligation to, or that you should have, just that it is often easy to do so..at least the motorboat guy learned something.

I plan on getting in to Norfolk harbor next year for the 4th..I think before i go on the hook i'll rig a riding sentinal on the hawser to keep the line a little lower..might keep me from getting wrapped and strapped like that..
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Old 01-09-2010, 22:09   #14
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better yet use all chain. the 2 that got snagged had rope. I had an fx 37 ready as back up and 65' cqr in the ready. So many options were available. I like the fx becasuse its light and can be carried out to help another boat or set to help my boat.
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Old 01-09-2010, 22:44   #15
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Try anchoring a quarter mile from the crowd and forget the front-row seat.
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