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Old 12-07-2008, 19:21   #31
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Not I but my parents about 20 years back found themselves on a lovely sandbar. They set out 2 anchors to keep the boat(22' starwind 223) at a 5 degree list to starboard. With their boat you can be high and dry with a less than 3' tide.
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Old 12-07-2008, 22:10   #32
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Years ago when I made my first trip up from Florida, ran aground so many times kedging off became second nature. The first time was the most exciting. We'd had dinner on the north side of Charleston Harbor before continuing on. Dark when we left so we followed a fishing boat out the long and circuitous channel to deep water. Unfortunately, they were about twice as fast as us and we soon fell a ways behind and we came to a stop. Got my flashlight out and discovered we were about 20' to the wrong side of a marker tower with a non-functioning light. I dug out the anchor, put it on my shoulder and jumped over the side (boat only drew four feet). Just about wrecked my back as the water turned out to be only 3' deep or so. The tide was going out with a vengence. Realized we weren't going to kedge off so set out an anchor to each side using the halyards to keep the boat upright. When we were high and dry, climbed off the boat and walked around, inspected the bottom and generally took a leisurely tour of tidal bottom Charleston. After the novelty of the sojourn wore off, climbed back on board and broke out a bottle of champagne I'd been saving for a celebration. When that was gone, crawled into the berth and slept. Woke up in the morning with the boat gently rocking as the tide had come in over night. Fixed breakfast and then got underway to continue the trip outside to Beaufort.

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Old 13-07-2008, 10:15   #33
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There's an art to running aground, and then making it look like it was done on purpose..........................
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Old 13-07-2008, 13:08   #34
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There is something remarkably deficient in seamanship to make a habit out of running aground.

Either you are incapable or keeping a running fix and reading a chart…….or …you enjoy the Russian roulette of blindly sailing in uncharted waters.

Professional mariners are taught to prepare their charts and index themselves within a safe zone. When they screw up, as in the case of an Exxon Valdez, it is not a laughing matter as the consequences can be dire.

Why do some cruisers consider running aground almost like some “right of passage”?
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Old 13-07-2008, 14:00   #35
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There is something remarkably deficient in seamanship to make a habit out of running aground...
... Why do some cruisers consider running aground almost like some “right of passage”?
I agree that prudent seamanship would keep one in "deep" water (whatever that may be, for our boat).
Notwithstanding, sometimes I like a little (mildly) adventurous fun.
Some call it exploration, chasing the limits, or reaching for the edge.
Sailors sometimes call it "gunkholing".
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Old 13-07-2008, 14:56   #36
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Armchair sailors never run aground.
Sailors who are actually cruising, sooner or later find out that ship happens.
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Old 13-07-2008, 15:21   #37
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Sailing in Florida running aground is inevitable with the shifting sandbars and shoals. I now keep a scraper and a brush in my cockpit. If I run aground, I climb over the side and clean the bottom.
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Old 14-07-2008, 08:50   #38
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When the chart says 15ft. and you gently come to a stop. I am wonder what kind of blame can be placed on my poor soul????????
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Old 14-07-2008, 09:40   #39
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I became quite adept at running aground during my cruising career, so much so that I wrote about it a while ago:

http://www.saltyjohn.co.uk/resources...%20aground.pdf

I now sail on a deep lake; if I'm aground I can step ashore!
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Old 14-07-2008, 18:51   #40
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When the chart says 15ft. and you gently come to a stop. I am wonder what kind of blame can be placed on my poor soul????????
Yep.
Florida.
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Old 15-07-2008, 01:40   #41
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pirate Stranger things happen at sea...

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When the chart says 15ft. and you gently come to a stop. I am wonder what kind of blame can be placed on my poor soul????????
Whatever happens on/in/around a ship is the captain's responsibility!

The blame here is that you did not get the right charts and/or that you did not verify the information on them.

I have seen this in practice.
  1. There are some non-Greek charts - I will not name the company that prints them because I have no time for courts. One of the charts shows a depth of 80 m over what I know to be a slender sandbar on which I have seen people walking and another has completely missed the existence of a tiny rock.
  2. A ship was grounded within the dredged entrance to the harbour here in Nafplio, which is marked with a buoy.
The captain took the blame and was fined.
He was accused of taking the turn too fast which was supposed to have got him to the shallows. According to another interpretation he did not appreciate the wind.

As I saw it, he was clearly grounded on the deep side of the buoy.
Also I witnessed the buoy being replaced by the Navy a few days earlier, and as far as I can see it was placed a little further towards the shallow side.

When I pointed that out to the local coast guard - who fined the captain - I was told that the position was determined by GPS.
Who can argue with American military satelites?
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Old 15-07-2008, 05:20   #42
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The blame here is that you did not get the right charts and/or that you did not verify the information on them.
The blame is they presumed the charts were correct. Presumption of accuracy is a failure in seamanship - always.

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I was told that the position was determined by GPS. Who can argue with American military satelites?
The GPS is very accurate but the chart it was plotted on is not. When you accurately plot a point on an inaccurate chart does it matter which is wrong? Bathymetric data is never updated regularly. Here on the Chesapeake where the area of water too shallow to sail exceeds the deep safe water the base depths are mostly from the early 1980's and some late 1970's. It's never been updated, though for the past few years there is an update going on with data collection. Buoy locations are updated any time they are serviced. You can see the differences with each ENC chart updated. The buoys are located with great precision but the water is not.

In any maritime court blaming the chart is never a valid excuse. There is no history that has ever enjoy accurate charts. When considering safe distances away from a navigation aid you are already beyond the accuracy of the chart. While the context of a location may give you more confidence you never escape the possibility of erroneous information. The vast amount of data that goes into the best produced charts come from different sources. While there are processes for merging this information there can never be more precision to any data that did not have it in the first place.

Blame the chart or curse the darkness but they hang the captain. The court can presume the captain should have known. They never hang the judge.
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Old 15-07-2008, 06:00   #43
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I guess I should have gotten out in the dinghy to test the depths before me? As I said I gently came to a stop. I was practicing prudence by slowing down to a near crawl. From 15ft. to less than 4ft. is a big difference, but this is Florida, and it was on the ICW. I was not shirking my responsibility. I guess it was a poor attempt at humor.
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Old 15-07-2008, 06:34   #44
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Fast changing depths

When going up the Little Shark River to anchor for Hurricane Andrew, I wanted to try to get up a small side channel. A friend from another boat came aboard, and I rigged the transducer fron an old depth sounder I had, to a pole, and he went to the bow and held it in the water. He called out the depths to me. 7'....6'....2'!!!
It can change fast!
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Old 15-07-2008, 07:08   #45
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Going slow in unfamiliar situations can't be a bad idea. It's what saved me on each of the 5 times I've been aground. You can back away if you go slow enough, but at 5 or more knots you are between hard a ground and permanently planted.
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