Thanks for the post.
At the moment I am loosing that loving feeling. Last night I got caught anchored in my first real gale. I mean it was seriously the first time I have been on the water
with spume blowing across whitecaps. Likewise, the front hit with an honest 60 knt wind
blast. It literaly picked my heavy steel
yacht up out of the water
shearing the daisy chained anchors out of the bottom and depositing me windward.
I knew the front was coming and would not have anchored there if I had realised it was so exposed. The accepted cruiser's bible over here reads, "In winter the visitor is warned that strong westerlies can make the cove untenable". What it should have said is NEVER NEVER EVER anchor
there in a southerly change. The geography will intensify the wind
and funnel it to the west causing even the most prepared cruiser to loose their boat onto the rocks.
Luckily I did not end up on the rocks although one motor
cruiser did break its permanent mooring
and meet this fate. Instead, my anchor
wanted to hold just as I was being dragged past another moored yacht. I had to play out line and ride its stern so I didn't sink the boat behind me again. While I did extensive damage to the pushpit of the solid old boat in front of me with my bowsprit
- OK, I did have a bowsprit
- had I have been pounded into the fibreglass production yacht behind me I have now doubt the sharp angles of my steel
stern would have sent it to the bottom. Then if I would have cut myself free there was a good chance I would have gone under a big cat to leeward and sunk both of us.
I am insured, but I still feel rotten. I know some on here probably can't wait to comment about idiots dragging into other yachts. However, until you have been in that kind of weather
you cannot really understand the situation. Then anywhere elsea southerly wind in such a cove would have sent me out away from the moorings.
It was devestating. My home was a wreak trashing one boat on occasion while I watched the bow of another rising up over my stern. The boat behind was seriously that close that while I had my dingy pulled in as far as I could it started to meet the other yachts hull
. I let the dingy go to keep the motor
cruiser on the rocks company.
Any moment I was waiting for my old girl to break free and for it all to end. Half of me was saying, "it's nearly over, if I live I can claim the insurance
and never set foot on a boat again". The other was saying, "hell I have put everything into this boat and I am about to loose it all". After I agreed with the Water Police that it would be too dangerous to extract my vessel till the gail subsided I had a lot of time to juxterpose these thoughts.
I am off now alone on a sheltered emergency mooring
pouring over similar thoughts while the wind and rain intermitently sounds on the coachroof and through what is left of the rigging
. Seriously, the sea can be a horrid and harsh Mistress. You almost have to ask yourself do you do this because you love it or are you just mad?