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Old 02-09-2019, 04:34   #1
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Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

So I decided to anchor in a risky spot just inside the Bridge slightly behind a Barrier Island on the lower Chesapeake Bay.

The tide had been going out super strong all day and several times with the light wind I had to use the engine so as not to be pushed into the bridge

The tide had been up several feet all week and on this day it would go most all the way back to normal or even a bit below. (maybe a 5' - 6' change rather than our usual 3' or so) This I would realize after my return to my marina

Anyway I wanted to get in as close to land as I could to be out of the waves coming in off the ocean so I anchored with maybe 2' under the keel with about an hour or so of outgoing tide left.

The wind was suppose to drop to near zero over night but...….that didn't happen til maybe 3am or later

Near midnight with 3 hours left of outgoing tide I had 3' under the keel with the depth finder flashing 2 periodically so rather than wait until I was bouncing off the bottom I decided to move

Plus the wind had gone more South and I was getting knocked about quiet a bit

The problem was after I pulled anchor there was very little light except where I was headed maybe 3 miles away to the sunken ships at Kiptopeke

There are multiple fish traps that extend out into the bay for 100's of yards or more from the beach along this route. There was no moon. GPS is hand held with no light. It's just me and a small flash light

Long story short I almost ended up in a fish trap in 25' of water. The pilings to the traps are as high as telephone poles and are out of the water 10' or so at the highest. I happened to spot one of them with my light but had trouble getting the boat to stay away due to the wind and my 5 hp engine at a lower speed. Waves were popping it out also. I had furled the jib earlier to see better. I had to reverse course and go back out into the waves a while to get around that trap line

I could barely see the ships when I got to Kiptopeke so I went around the first bunch until I could see the light at the ramp and the fishing pier then I came in and anchored down near the first ship I past earlier

What a relief it was to be in a secure spot with some protection. Even then though the wind was pushing the boat against the tide so the rode was along the boat at least for the next 2 hours until tide change. It took about an hour and a half to move to this location

Next time I think I'll find a nice calm creek or just go directly to the ships which can be a problem also but not as bad as possibly being grounded in the middle of the night in waves
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:41   #2
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

Good example of an important anchoring/anchorage consideration: having and escape route and being able to use it in the dark.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:42   #3
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

I'm glad you came through it OK. Could you consider a few investments for night operation if you are going to get yourself into these situations? Like a fixed, lighted mapping GPS, and a hard-wired light that (in both cases) leaves your hands free?
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:52   #4
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

it's possible to sail through the fish stakes without problem.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:05   #5
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

Hey Tom,

Glad you made it through okay. We wouldn't want anything to happen to that lovely little Alberg of yours!

This story sure shows how local knowledge is gold. Imagine if this had been some visiting cruiser who didn't understand the current strength of your tides, was ignorant of the field of fish traps and also didn't know that there is a safe(r) anchorage potential amongst "the wrecks"...

Take a moment to appreciate how all of your sea miles have generated such a wealth of local knowledge that ended up being a key component in what got you through without incident.

Well done!
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:11   #6
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
I'm glad you came through it OK. Could you consider a few investments for night operation if you are going to get yourself into these situations? Like a fixed, lighted mapping GPS, and a hard-wired light that (in both cases) leaves your hands free?

I've never needed anything like that on a beach cat.
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:15   #7
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

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Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
it's possible to sail through the fish stakes without problem.
Really, I have never tried it and didn't want to chance it.

The last time this happened I was able to see the pilings but on Friday night there was no moon and the Kiptopeke Lights were really bright. I was down at maybe the second set of pilings from the SE most ship

It did get to see Orion come up though at about 3 am or so since I had trouble getting back to sleep. Totally clear night
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:16   #8
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

Stu!

You're incorrigible!

Not much going on in Papua New Guinea...?

Warmly,
LittleWing
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:16   #9
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

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I've never needed anything like that on a beach cat.
Ha!

I never anchored or slept on the beach cats even after a 20 hour sail but I was younger then...….

and I was usually racing and had my teenage son as crew until 2001 when I got the single handed boat since he for some reason would rather be with his girlfriend than sail a 100 mile race

(Btw, the two 20 hour races were due to a lack of wind...…..where we finished at 3am. Fastest was 12 hours on a sloop rigged boat)
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:19   #10
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

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Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
Hey Tom,

Glad you made it through okay. We wouldn't want anything to happen to that lovely little Alberg of yours!

This story sure shows how local knowledge is gold. Imagine if this had been some visiting cruiser who didn't understand the current strength of your tides, was ignorant of the field of fish traps and also didn't know that there is a safe(r) anchorage potential amongst "the wrecks"...

Take a moment to appreciate how all of your sea miles have generated such a wealth of local knowledge that ended up being a key component in what got you through without incident.

Well done!
Warmly,
LittleWing
Thanks M, but it makes you thing about folks that have maybe just come in off the ocean into a new area.

I did see at set of fishing trap piling earlier after only a mile and could have anchored but it would have been a rough and uncomfortable spot
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:24   #11
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

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Originally Posted by tkeithlu View Post
I'm glad you came through it OK. Could you consider a few investments for night operation if you are going to get yourself into these situations? Like a fixed, lighted mapping GPS, and a hard-wired light that (in both cases) leaves your hands free?
I have been thinking about that since....
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Old 02-09-2019, 05:35   #12
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Good example of an important anchoring/anchorage consideration: having and escape route and being able to use it in the dark.
Yeah, it's in my normal area but not a good place to anchor. The last time the wind really cranked up and swung South and waves started breaking nearby at 3 am since I was only a few feet from very low water. I moved after I took a wave that drenched me over the side of the cockpit. I was up trying to turn the boat as it was wind and tide pushing the boat past the anchor against the rode holding it and waves were hitting the stern

At that time, I went below for my glasses and the hatch board covers. Problem was when I decide to move the jib was on the foredeck having fallen the afternoon before due to a broken head strap

This cause me to just stop for the day. So getting the anchor up with that sail all over the foredeck and the boat being pushed toward the bar was quite exciting

Motor again was popping in and out of the water

That time though I was so tired that I anchored in the middle of two lines of fish trap pilings in maybe 25' of water since it felt as if the wind was laying down a bit. It was about 4am and I was about to blow chunks

Soon as the anchored grabbed and felt like it would hold I went below and slept til 0800 on the settee so the waves weren't to bad there and they were on the bow

Next morning before coffee, I whipped the jib halyard and it would come down an inch or so and finally would get into the main halyard and I would pull the main halyard down. This helped me get the jib head swivel down. It took about 45 minutes though in wind and waves but the waves were down a bit, I then tied the jib to the swivel head with the long broken strapped, taped it, and raised the jib. I was thinking later though that I could have used the topping lift and raised the jib immediately then gotten the jib halyard etc down in calm water. Lesson learned

Then I sailed over the ships, anchored and had coffee etc

Btw the first time I came into this spot at night I was maybe 5 years old and on one of the ferries before the bridge was built. My Dad had a job on one of the ferries after he quit farming. All I remember though from that time were the train engine headlights pointing out into the bay as you looked back after leaving Little Creek miles out…..and the big wrapped multiple pilings
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:09   #13
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

My original anchor spot was near the bridge in the background in the sailboat picture which the Atlantic Ocean is on the far side of. Barrier Island is to the left at the end of that section of the bridge

The sailboat is at Kiptopeke. The other picture shows a few of the piling but you cannot see that they are in a line

The far side of the picture showing the sunken ships you can see the Atlantic Ocean. This is at the bottom (southern most part) of the Eastern Shore Peninsula.

This guys video does include the pilings closest to the ships and Kiptopeke beach.....and shows the trails etc in the park There's a shower and bathroom also. it's a good spot for boaters looking for a nice anchorage unless the wind is out of the South strong or SSE

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Old 02-09-2019, 13:32   #14
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

[QUOTE/] Next morning before coffee...[/QUOTE]

Think I figured out a part of the problem! 😉
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Old 02-09-2019, 13:42   #15
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Re: Moving Off Anchor At Night. (Not Fun)

Quote:
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[QUOTE/] Next morning before coffee...
Think I figured out a part of the problem! ��[/QUOTE]

I think you missed it....
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