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Old 26-02-2014, 15:48   #1
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Lee Shore - Too Many to count - is it just me?

I have a followup question to Lee Shore what to do? (Lee shore... What to do...)

I have a pretty nice searchable database I create from my sailing logs. I looked for anchoring situations we have been in during the last 19 years in which the wind was at least 25 knots onshore. I found at least 50 locations covering over 200 nights in locations from the north part of Vancouver Island to as far south as Zihuatenejo, Mexico.

I am a pretty good weather observer, I diligently monitor weather forecasts, and I carefully pick my anchoring locations (I think!).

Between April 1995 and September 2010 we spent at least 100 days a year anchoring and during 2001 thru 2004 we spent almost every night at anchor.

My "windy onshore anchor ratio" is therefore about 200/2100 or about 9.5% of the nights at anchor are problematic.

We have had to abandon at least six of those anchorage or at least haul anchor and find a less "wavy" location in the same anchorage. There have two occasions where I desperately wanted to leave in the middle of the night but was unable to get out of the anchorage.

Am I picking the wrong anchorage or suffering bad luck or is a windy onshore anchorage once every 11 nights about normal.

What is your "windy onshore anchor ratio?"
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Old 27-02-2014, 09:21   #2
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Re: Lee Shore - Too Many to count - is it just me?

I couldn't tell you as it's frickin' hard frozen winter here and my logs are still aboard my decommissioned vessels...but your ratio sounds reasonable.

Can you define "windy onshore"? If you are in a three-sided anchorage, would onshore mean directly onto the beach facing out to sea, i.e. perpendicular to the shoreline?

I would be concerned in such a situation (not that I haven't experienced it) about the hobby horsing, the need to act quickly in skinny water inshore, the surf issue, etc.

It would put me off doing it at all if I couldn't tuck in behind a headland for protection.

Have you considered (if the goal is sleep) heading out to sea and heaving to? That would demand keeping a watchstander, but I would rather a good three hours down than eight hours getting air under me in my bunk as the boat pitched...never mind that it's hard on the gear.

I wouldn't like the 3 AM deck work motoring up to the hook and hauling in rode that wants to dump itself back into the sea much, either.
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Old 27-02-2014, 09:27   #3
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Re: Lee Shore - Too Many to count - is it just me?

In my experience, that is definitely not normal!!!

I follow the principle that it is simply not acceptable to anchor without shelter. Not comfortable, not safe, even in calm weather. I just don't do it. If I can't find a properly sheltered anchorage, I go into a port, or stay at sea.

I can't tell you the exact ratio, but it only happened to me once in strong weather. Maybe in very calm weather it happened a couple of times. But we're talking about a few times out of hundreds of nights at anchor.
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Old 27-02-2014, 09:41   #4
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Re: Lee Shore - Too Many to count - is it just me?

I think I'm far below that, but I'm awful conservative on site selection. If it's a beautiful day and the prediction is good, I still wont anchor in a bay that is open to the direction of prevailing winds.... even if they arent predicted. etc. I just like a good nights sleep. I chosen many a good looking anchorage while under way, only to motor through and decide I dont like the look of it... ususally if it's too open, no headland to hide behind etc. My mind always wants a backup plan; "OK, if i get to anchorage A and dont like it, where's anchorage B? and how much time do I need to get there?"
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Old 27-02-2014, 10:15   #5
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Re: Lee Shore - Too Many to count - is it just me?

I can't recall ever anchoring in a "lee shore" situation. Sailing ground being the Chesapeake Bay, all the Lesser Antilles, Bahamas, and Bermuda.
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Old 27-02-2014, 10:19   #6
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Re: Lee Shore - Too Many to count - is it just me?

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I can't recall ever anchoring in a "lee shore" situation. Sailing ground being the Chesapeake Bay, all the Lesser Antilles, Bahamas, and Bermuda.
Hud, you must have had a mid-night wind change at some time?
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Old 27-02-2014, 10:30   #7
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Re: Lee Shore - Too Many to count - is it just me?

i dont care to remember how many sleepless nights i have had anchored on the leeward side of atoll lagoons,or inside coral reef anchorages,where their is no option to leave in the dark.

though not exposed to ocean swell the fetch inside a lagoon can be quite fierce,when the windward fringing reef is a few miles away.

having good ground tackle,and lots of it offers some piece of mind,setting a second anchor is an option,but if there is anything worse than dragging one anchor it is dragging two at the same time!
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Old 27-02-2014, 15:14   #8
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Re: Lee Shore - Too Many to count - is it just me?

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Hud, you must have had a mid-night wind change at some time?
Not that I can recall. Well, maybe one.

Anchored in Great Bay, Peter Island, BVI, right up against the eastern beach because it's a swift drop-off. Not much breeze at all from the east to hold us off, so I dropped a stern anchor. Sure enough, the light breeze shifted west overnight. The stern anchor kept us off the bottom, though the breeze was so light it wouldn't have grounded us hard.
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Old 27-02-2014, 21:21   #9
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Re: Lee Shore - Too Many to count - is it just me?

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In my experience, that is definitely not normal!!!

I follow the principle that it is simply not acceptable to anchor without shelter. Not comfortable, not safe, even in calm weather. I just don't do it. If I can't find a properly sheltered anchorage, I go into a port, or stay at sea.

I can't tell you the exact ratio, but it only happened to me once in strong weather. Maybe in very calm weather it happened a couple of times. But we're talking about a few times out of hundreds of nights at anchor.
It is my understanding that the West Coast of the United States does not really have a whole lot of places that would be considered good anchorages. Maybe your ratio is not that unusual for that area.
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Old 27-02-2014, 23:14   #10
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Re: Lee Shore - Too Many to count - is it just me?

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It is my understanding that the West Coast of the United States does not really have a whole lot of places that would be considered good anchorages. Maybe your ratio is not that unusual for that area.
25 knots on a lee shore. That IS a good anchorage on the West Coast
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Old 28-02-2014, 07:19   #11
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Re: Lee Shore - Too Many to count - is it just me?

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It is my understanding that the West Coast of the United States does not really have a whole lot of places that would be considered good anchorages. Maybe your ratio is not that unusual for that area.
FWIW, from the San Juans 1000 nm northwest on up through BC and SE Alaska, there are hundreds of protected anchorages. One reason we so enjoy cruising there. Only twice I can remember in 20+ summers cruising have we found ourselves anchored on a lee shore - and those only when we misinterpreted the weather forecast.
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Old 28-02-2014, 15:37   #12
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Re: Lee Shore - Too Many to count - is it just me?

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FWIW, from the San Juans 1000 nm northwest on up through BC and SE Alaska, there are hundreds of protected anchorages. One reason we so enjoy cruising there. Only twice I can remember in 20+ summers cruising have we found ourselves anchored on a lee shore - and those only when we misinterpreted the weather forecast.
OH.

And I thought it was all fraught with dangerous passes that close all the time.............and rocks.
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