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Old 10-12-2011, 20:06   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif

Just a bit insensitive IMHO. The beauty of this forum is that many times our members feel "safe" enough to share real world bad experiences with their on-line friends. Mr B was under no obligation to tell us anything, or to tell us any more for that matter.

When it devolves into a list of coulda, woulda, shoulda by monday morning quarterbacks it is certainly no fun for the OP. I am certain Mr B has his own list and doesn't need our list as he hasn't asked. He has answered questions asked of him which is nice.

Here's what I glean

- it was near the end of a 3,000 mile delivery. The crew was likely fatigued
- the ground tackle came with the boat. Mr B has already condemned it's shortcomings
- bad weather came up and a sheltered cove was recommended and taken after a tough sail
- a decision was made on where to anchor based on best shelter vs. proximity to beach. I don't think we learn anything second guessing location
- a decision was made on scope, number of anchors and anchoring method. Second guessing this situation clearly won't help anyone unless future conditions are the same
- conditions shifted while the fatigued crew was sleeping
- an anchor alarm was set and subsequently turned off

Could things have been done different? Of course. Everything could be different. Would the result change? Who knows?

I also believe Mr B has a smart head on his shoulders with a good unedrstanding of anchoring techniques and is probably second guessing hinself. But even if he gives us his list it may have worked in that situation but may not work in a future situation that he, you or I may have.

I have my woulda, coulda, shoulda thoughts but it would be stupid of me to share them. I wasn't there...

Well, when you quote just that line, yes a bit insensitive. My earlier posts clearly state sympathy. But remember many novices read this forum as a source of learning material, and such novices could be anchored next to you, or at very least have an impact on your insurance premiums down the road.

I just wanted to point out that the OP's main lesson from this really unfortunate event is to now obtain monstrously oversized anchors. I respectfully insist that when caught on a lee shore in bad weather, the best tactic is removal from situation. You could deploy a helical screw anchor but something is going to give if you have breakers crashing into your boat at anchor.

Finally, winds tend to back after a front or storm passes through. I have myself been close to driven aground by this when I tactically anchored based on existing storm conditions much like OP's situation. However, you have to plan for the wind backing and not anchor 100 feet off the beach in case wind clocks 180 deg after front passes, as often happens.
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Old 10-12-2011, 20:15   #47
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pirate Re: Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

OK.... you've had the 'Kissy Ass Stuff...'
No sympathy... **** Happens... but you got off lightly so alls good...
Go forth and have a ball....
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Old 10-12-2011, 22:01   #48
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Re: Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Just a bit insensitive IMHO...I have my woulda, coulda, shoulda thoughts but it would be stupid of me to share them. I wasn't there...
Well, FWIW, I think you're missing the whole point of the forum - which is to learn from each other.

The range of views posted about how to deal with real life situations at sea like the one faced by Mr B provides us all with ideas to consider and sift, according to our own experiences.

And I think Malbert73 is right; if the only responses acceptable by moderators to such posts were expressions of sympathy, then few of us would bother signing on. Further, (and while it may be none of my business), I can't see how M73's posts could possibly be regarded as "insensitive" when viewed in their proper context.
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Old 11-12-2011, 14:43   #49
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Re: Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

300 feet of the beach and I would have been sitting in the bay,

The bay was not an option, The Tasman Sea rips into there and the waves and chop are truly horrendous, And it has a 4 knot southerly current which throws up really bad chop and very tall waves.

Pacific rollers get squeezed and concentrate into the Bay, They get slammed back and forth between the walls of the cliffs.
It is not a nice place for any thing, Let alone mooring in it,
Marine Rescue boat coming out, we were sitting on top of 7 metre waves in the bay,

Hind sight is a wonderfull thing,
If I had to do it again, would I do it different, Even after listening to all of you and your different views.

NO, I would not, It was the best I or any one could do at the time, considering the circumstances,

Two other options, Risk in excess of 35 knots with a dodgy steering,
Or just drive all night till the storm passed on the leeside of the Island, With no mooring any where.

I was single handed and on the point of total physical collapse.

My passenger was just that, A passenger, She knows absolutely nothing about boats of any Kind, So was no help in any way,

And I do have 45 years experience in Speed, ski, and fishing boats, So I am not really a novice in boating, Just sailing ones.

After 3000 Nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean, I still cant sail for ****,
But I did get it here successfully, And in some horrific weather,

Cheers,
Mr B
Brian.
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Old 11-12-2011, 14:53   #50
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Again, sounds like you were stuck in between rock and hard place. In retrospect, running at sea would have been less stressful and tiring than what you went through it sounds.... But I probably would have done the same.

When I was referring to novices, I didn't have you in mind btw. By being where you were you are far from novice. Was referring to folks who barely are sailing if at all, who read this forum as they plan their cruising.

Since GPS has taken away the prior hurdle of navigation that forced newbies to start small and local, folks are starting out full bore right away. If this forum (and your misfortune) helps others learn....



BEST OF LUCK and hope everything turns out okay. Any updates?
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Old 11-12-2011, 16:31   #51
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Re: Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr B View Post
300 feet of the beach and I would have been sitting in the bay,

The bay was not an option, The Tasman Sea rips into there and the waves and chop are truly horrendous, And it has a 4 knot southerly current which throws up really bad chop and very tall waves.

Pacific rollers get squeezed and concentrate into the Bay, They get slammed back and forth between the walls of the cliffs.
It is not a nice place for any thing, Let alone mooring in it,
Marine Rescue boat coming out, we were sitting on top of 7 metre waves in the bay,

Hind sight is a wonderfull thing,
If I had to do it again, would I do it different, Even after listening to all of you and your different views.

NO, I would not, It was the best I or any one could do at the time, considering the circumstances,

Two other options, Risk in excess of 35 knots with a dodgy steering,
Or just drive all night till the storm passed on the leeside of the Island, With no mooring any where.

I was single handed and on the point of total physical collapse.

My passenger was just that, A passenger, She knows absolutely nothing about boats of any Kind, So was no help in any way,

And I do have 45 years experience in Speed, ski, and fishing boats, So I am not really a novice in boating, Just sailing ones.

After 3000 Nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean, I still cant sail for ****,
But I did get it here successfully, And in some horrific weather,

Cheers,
Mr B
Brian.
G'Day again Brian,

My friend, I hope that with the passage of time you will reconsider your thinking that you did the best that could be done considering the conditions, and that other newbies will realize that there were options.

I understand that you were knackered, that you didn't have useful crew and that your steering was dodgy. But, if you were in Esmerelda Cove as you stated, you most certainly could have anchored much further off the beach without being out into the Tasman. If you were to have a look at Alan Lucas's canonical cruising guide, he shows the preferred anchoring spot as being about a thousand feet off the beach at the head of the cove, out in a depth of circa 6 to 8 metres. Had you done so, when the big SE squall arrived you would have bounced around a bit, possibly dragged, but have had time to get under way before you were on the beach.

Esmerelda Cove is not at all good in any sort of S'ly conditions, and you would have been wise to get out when the change arrived. But if you had done so you wouldn't have had to "drive all night... with no mooring anywhere". You could have circled around to the N side of Broughton and reanchored in North Bay which is excellent in s'ly wx, and is easily entered.

Again, Brian, I'm not belittling your experience and I do hope that you manage a speedy and complete recovery. But for others following in your wake, I reckon that exploring the possibilities is a good thing.

So hang in there, mate... better times coming.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 12-12-2011, 00:56   #52
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Re: Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

Sad story, and hope the boat is fixed quickly for you. Jim's post above is good. Just one other thought.

Your passenger could have saved the day, or night. You said she was awake at 3 am anyway - if you had asked her to stay awake (keep watch) while you got a few hours sleep, look out for the wind changing direction and to wake you immediately if it did, then I think you could very likely have been able to stay off the rocks. There's always something a passenger can do to help, and they usually appreciate the chance.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:33   #53
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Re: Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armagh View Post
Sad story, and hope the boat is fixed quickly for you. Jim's post above is good. Just one other thought.

Your passenger could have saved the day, or night. You said she was awake at 3 am anyway - if you had asked her to stay awake (keep watch) while you got a few hours sleep, look out for the wind changing direction and to wake you immediately if it did, then I think you could very likely have been able to stay off the rocks. There's always something a passenger can do to help, and they usually appreciate the chance.
She drops off to sleep all the time, Something that cant be relied apon.
I did ask her to do a watch. As we were sailing down the Tasman, Just to watch for ships as we were almost in the shipping lane.
Also she is not young,
She said she went back to bed at about 3-50 AM, Dead calm .4-00 AM, we were on the beach.

What can you do in ten minutes in Total darkness.

It takes me 15 minutes to unload the dinghy. Then put the Motor on it,
Dinghy's dont operate in 2 metre waves all that good, and in Total darkness.

I tied the boat to the picnic table in the dark. only because I knew it was there from the previous night.
there was nothing else on the beach.

Next time I anchor for the night to avoid a bad storm with a dodgy steering from one direction,

I will get on the internet and ask every one for their opinion on what storms may get up in the middle of the night, and what direction other than the direction this particular storm is coming from.

This coast is totally unfamiliar to me, The bay was very bad as I came in there, about an hour before dark. I sailed around the edge of the bay, staying out of the middle as it was very bad, 4 to 5 metre waves and a very nasty chop.
.
all the edges of the bay had huge breakers,

That beach was the only safe place that I could see. I moored on it and came unstuck,

What I should have done, is run it up onto the beach, onto the sand. and none of this would have happened,
I would still have a sea going boat with no damage,
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:03   #54
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Re: Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes not. You certainly can't rely on weather forecasts.

The only time we dragged anchor was in a very well sheltered inlet, conditions were glassy smooth when we went to bed, and we did check the BOM website for the latest forecast before going to bed. Have to admit I was pretty lax didn't really dig the anchor in, and didn't fully allow for the rising tide (4 metres) with the amount of scope I put out. It was GLASSY....

The forecast showed the wind for the next day to be 10-15 knots. No mention of the 30-40 knot change preceding it. Even more annoying, this change had wreaked havock all the way up the coast including sinking a trawler - but still the BOM didn't see fit to mention it.

We got lucky, dragged across the inlet and the anchor re-set as the water started to shoal close to the other side. It's even possible the dragging anchor saved the boat - a huge steel schooner also dragged, (a LOT of boats dragged that night) and went right through the spot we had been anchored.

Main thing is, you guys are safe, and the boat wiil be fixed.
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Old 12-12-2011, 03:47   #55
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Re: Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

Mr B,
I have been in your shoes in so far as being awoken by the keeling slamming on the bottom on a lee shore (western side of Fraser Island) in the "middle of the night" and also experiencing the East Coast Southerly Buster which sounds like what you experienced. Northerly winds (often strong) usually with clear skies followed by a dead calm and often overcast sky minutes before a violent southerly wind shift.

I haven't sailed around that area (Broughton Island) and so I don't know exactly what happened for you but one thing you can take away from this experience is to be very careful when a strong northerly dies away and is replaced by a dead calm anywhere south of southern Qld. Especially at night if the stars quickly disappear from view. There is a good chance it will go from nothing to 25+ knots in a minute or two.

The only question I have (and others have already raised it), why did you anchor bow and stern? If it was to keep the boat from swinging onto the beach then I for one would think I was just to close to the beach for comfort.

However I confess that I am not a multihull sailor so I am not familiar with anchoring in very shallow water close to the beach so perhaps there were other reasons to anchor for and aft but as others have posted, this can put enormous forces on the main anchor if caught beam on to the weather.

Again, I am glad you are safe and it looks like the boat will sail again - so its all good
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:14   #56
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Re: Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

I'm not sniping at Mr B and take his point that his passenger wasn't able to help, but like others posting would hope that some readers can take away lessons out of the broader discussion. So on this theme and following on from Wotname....

Years ago, in the mid 80's, I spent some time as a VMR skipper. Every Easter we had to deal with half cabin boats partially submerged in Horseshoe Bay (southern side of Peel Island, Moreton Bay) and it was always after the 'southerly buster' type events at late night/early morning. ie anchored in calm water, protected from NW to NE winds, go to sleep. To complete the picture, the bay is relatively shallow, typically small boats with short scope and day-trip anchors.

Boats anchored far enough away from the shore to swing 180 degrees on their anchor without touching bottom had a rough time, but typically weren't grounded or submerged. They had enough time to get themselves organized. The ones who were anchored close-in were woken up when bouncing off the bottom, and were swamped or had insufficient time to do anything before there were high waves on top of them from a quite long fetch bouncing them into more shallow water.

Perhaps a sound question to ask yourself before ever dropping the anchor is: Where will the boat end up if we swing off the initial anchor direction - think full 360 degrees on this.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:29   #57
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Re: Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

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G'Day again Brian,

My friend, I hope that with the passage of time you will reconsider your thinking that you did the best that could be done considering the conditions, and that other newbies will realize that there were options.

I understand that you were knackered, that you didn't have useful crew and that your steering was dodgy. But, if you were in Esmerelda Cove as you stated, you most certainly could have anchored much further off the beach without being out into the Tasman. If you were to have a look at Alan Lucas's canonical cruising guide, he shows the preferred anchoring spot as being about a thousand feet off the beach at the head of the cove, out in a depth of circa 6 to 8 metres. Had you done so, when the big SE squall arrived you would have bounced around a bit, possibly dragged, but have had time to get under way before you were on the beach.

Esmerelda Cove is not at all good in any sort of S'ly conditions, and you would have been wise to get out when the change arrived. But if you had done so you wouldn't have had to "drive all night... with no mooring anywhere". You could have circled around to the N side of Broughton and reanchored in North Bay which is excellent in s'ly wx, and is easily entered.

Again, Brian, I'm not belittling your experience and I do hope that you manage a speedy and complete recovery. But for others following in your wake, I reckon that exploring the possibilities is a good thing.

So hang in there, mate... better times coming.

Cheers,

Jim
Hi Jim,
Appreciate your comments, But on thinking back and the conditions and the weather and wind direction at the time,
The way we washed up onto the beach was extremely lucky for us,
The way the wind blew us sideways up onto the beach and the rocks,
I tied the boat to the picnic table to stop the boat going sideways.

If I had of been anchored further back away from the beach, The wind direction would have blown us sideways onto the rocks before the beach, putting us in extreme danger in deep water and a steep rock wall that we would have had to climb up. or go over the side into the water to get to the beach.
Both very risky in the dark and with a screaming wind and high waves,

Thats not some thing that I would like to think about, Its starting to sink in, just how lucky we were on the night by going up the beach.

The storm that came from the north west arrived about 8-00 PM or so on the Wednesday night, and from what people in Port Stephens later told me it was a real doozy,

From 6-00 PM we were in a dead calm waters, you dont expect a storm to change direction to the opposite direction in less than 8 hours, Well I didnt any way.

But the people in Port Stephens say thats the way it is there, Local knowledge,
That part of the NSW coast is notorious for the wind and weather changes,

But it is good to get all the different opinions, And under the circumstances on the night, I still am firmly convinced, That I did the best I could at the time,

Its just pure luck that I was as close to the beach as I was, As I usually do park further out,
Brian.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:39   #58
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Re: Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

FWIW.
The Big Bust - Southerly Busters Explained - Bureau of Meteorology
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:46   #59
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Re: Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

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What I should have done, is run it up onto the beach, onto the sand. and none of this would have happened,

I would still have a sea going boat with no damage,
Firstly can I say "good on ya!" for posting up your experiances - especially as a given that some would give you an internet kicking Some of which may even be right

Probably why most keep schtum.....

....anyway, I appreciate you are on a cateraman so not totally comparable to a Mono that can take the ground (and not fall over) - but nonetheless few boats are built / designed to cope with sustained pounding into a shore (including sand) whether from surf or simply swell. (there is a reason why on lift out boats aren't simply dropped to the dock for the last couple of feet - well, not intentionally ).

Appreciate that running her ashore may be the best option from a bad bunch - but wouldn't be a favoured one for me in a storm / surf - unless my insurance was up to date

Of course rolling up onto a beach for lunch on a nice day is a different thing especially with a kedge out (to keep from turning beam on) - but in this scenario if someone had an anchor out that was holding they wouldn't "need" to be on the beach .

Anyway, cheers for sharing and the above not meant as a "Kicking"
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:19   #60
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Re: Just When You Think You're Safe . . . CRASH !

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That certainly explains a few things, We had the evil black cloud coming from the north west, Wednesday evening,

It was raging while we were in the dead calm water in the Cove,

It was dark Thursday morning, so had no idea that it was coming, And both asleep,
But it was nasty when it hit from the south east,
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