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Old 26-02-2014, 15:28   #16
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

Pick an anchorage suitable for the expected weather. One of my favourites is open to the northwest, I have avoided it at times.

When you pick your spot to anchor make are that you have sufficient swing room from other vessels and from hazards in the water. Account for tide.

Listen to the weather. Watch the barometer and the sky.

When you do anchor make sure that you have sufficient rode, 5:1 minimum and more if you expect the winds to build. Put out two anchors if you are still concerned.

Set you anchors with the engine in reverse. As mentioned above.

If you do start to drag, let out more rode - if you have room. Start your engine and take some pressure off the rode.

Pick up and reset.

Leaving the anchorage may not be an option if the winds and seas are worse outside.

I have dragged anchor twice; both times on Isla Espiritu Santos on the same day in 45 knot winds n a Norther. I eventually went into 8 feet of water, dropped two anchors and 180 feet of rode. We sat an anchor watch, but stayed put.

We endured a Meltemi in Gümüşlük (Turkey) in one anchor and lots of rode. Another boat told us where the good holding was.
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Old 26-02-2014, 15:39   #17
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Get a bigger anchor. 2lbs per ft of boat length minimum and 300ft of chain ...
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Old 26-02-2014, 17:02   #18
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

i anchor in lee shore situations because this is one grande leeshore...i set anchor while heading towards beach so if i drag, i am hopefully going to reset before beach, and i give myself plenty of room between me and beach. zihuatenejo is a classic example, as is the anchorage at la cruz de huanacaxtle in banderas bay. in those anchorages i anchor in 20-25 ft, into sandy or muddy rock infested shore....there are a few beautiful anchorages down this costalegre coastline of mexico that are absolutely beautiful and very lee shore with cliffs..... there are not many sudden storms in high season, aka winter, so, so far, this hasnt been an issue to anyone. beginning in may, however, when currents clock around to coming from south and spinning creations begin to become a weekly thing, i would not anchor anywhere from acapulco north to ensenada. some folks continue to sail in summer..just avoid the tormentas....
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Old 27-02-2014, 03:27   #19
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

I concur with most of what has been said, particularly being prepared to slip your anchor if you have to (particularly if you have been forced by circumstances to lay a second anchor; it's usually a no-brainer to leave at least that second one behind if you need to get out. Good point too from robert about preferably leaving under sail if possible, due to risk of fouling the prop otherwise)

And motoring ahead to ease the strain can help, but in rare circumstances it might actually pay to do the opposite, if (say) your snubber fails and the seas are more problematic than the windage, and/or an unfortunate frequency resonance is slamming your chain tight:

Very occasionally it might pay off to motor in reverse. In extreme cases you may need to continually vary the engine revs to keep the chain taut (or as taut as feasible) without applying too much load as big waves (or gusts) hit.

This tactic is particularly something to consider if you have a big, effective anchor (which will handle the extra sustained load) and a small chain (which may be at risk in severe snatching, more so if the chain is very high tensile, because high static strength exacts a price in terms of toughness, or impact resistance).
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Old 27-02-2014, 04:09   #20
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

That exact thing happened to me in Studland Bay, and the wind was a gale. Wind backed right around from SW to E during the night.

What happens is you lose your shelter, and suddenly you're battered by waves. My snubber broke. We found ourselves in breaking surf. It was quite frightening.

What we did was to fire up the engine and pull up the anchor and bug out. It was one time when I was very, very, very happy to have 100 horsepower on tap to punch through the swell, and a variable pitch prop. If I remember correctly, 3000 RPM got us about 3 knots of headway, with waves crashing over the bow and running down the side-decks.

To get the anchor up, I had a crewman motor carefully ahead, avoiding overrunning the anchor. I pulled up chain in the troughs of the waves; then waited while the crests passed, then pulled up more, repeat until the anchor was up. The conditions were frightening to be wrestling with 55 kg anchor, and riding the bow like a bucking bronco; I was clipped on of course.

It was very fortunate that we were in deep water -- about 10 meters IIRC, and with about 100 meters of chain out (it was already stormy when we anchored). If it had been shallower water, we would have been in really serious trouble, perhaps banging the bottom with the keel in the troughs, plus the surf would have been much worse in shallower water.
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Old 27-02-2014, 07:04   #21
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

We've all been there , close one Dockhead , falls into my category of " remind me not to do that again"

Lee shores leave me continuously nervous. Usually I'm gone by the time anything happens. Id prefer to spend the night at sea.

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Old 27-02-2014, 07:34   #22
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
I've spent a number of nights anchored in this crescent shaped bay.
We've anchored at S. Manitou multiple times as well. We usually stay near the middle of the crescent, about 100 yards off the beach. We hooked the wreck on accident the first time and had a heck of a tussle pulling anchor at 3am on our way to Mackinac Island. I've now got it marked on the plotter.

I won't go there unless I feel confident about a no wind or light W/NW wind forecast. You're awfully exposed if the wind has any east to it at all and the water is deep right up to shore, so a lot of scope is required.

Fun little island for exploring when the weather is right!
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Old 27-02-2014, 08:27   #23
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

Many are saying " start the engine ". I disagree , start the engine and then hoist the main . I am usually afraid to depend on engine alone in a " real " emergency . When you rush out of some spot in a hurry is when you wrap the prop with dingy painter ,motor over anchor line or stir sediment in fuel .
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Old 27-02-2014, 08:32   #24
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
We've all been there , close one Dockhead , falls into my category of " remind me not to do that again"

Lee shores leave me continuously nervous. Usually I'm gone by the time anything happens. Id prefer to spend the night at sea.

Dave
Indeed!

That incident really taught me a very rough lesson about lee shores and how terrifying they are in any kind of weather.

I made a colossally stupid mistake -- not leaving in the middle of the night the instant the wind started to shift. I knew it was happening, and decided to stay in bed. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Never again.

As Dave said: A night hove-to at sea in bad weather is 1000x better -- the lee shore is your worst nightmare when things get rough, especially with an anchor out.
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Old 27-02-2014, 08:36   #25
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

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Many are saying " start the engine ". I disagree , start the engine and then hoist the main . I am usually afraid to depend on engine alone in a " real " emergency . When you rush out of some spot in a hurry is when you wrap the prop with dingy painter ,motor over anchor line or stir sediment in fuel .
It really depends on the situation.

I avoid using the engine in bad weather to the absolute maximum possible extent -- sails are better in almost every way when things are really rough.

But if you need to claw off a lee shore in a situation like what we've been discussing -- and if you need to go dead upwind to do it -- then your engine is much better, if you have a reasonably powerful one.

Because in enough wind, you can't make much progress dead upwind, all the more under main alone. It's a lot of work to claw upwind under sail in a blow -- if you can do it at all! And that takes time getting just the right amount of sail up, and you might be getting blown ashore all the time.

No, in that situation, I will always use the 100 horsepower I have. 3 knots dead upwind in a gale is a lifesaver, literally. You just have to be damned sure you don't get anything in the prop, and you had better have clean tanks (which you'd better have anyway).
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Old 27-02-2014, 09:20   #26
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

Quote:
Originally Posted by pistarckle View Post
Many are saying " start the engine ". I disagree , start the engine and then hoist the main . I am usually afraid to depend on engine alone in a " real " emergency . When you rush out of some spot in a hurry is when you wrap the prop with dingy painter ,motor over anchor line or stir sediment in fuel .
Someone who screws up the donk by turning it on will screw up hoisting the main too.

Engines are not 'auxiliary' anymore. They are main power.
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Old 27-02-2014, 09:35   #27
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

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The strong onshore middle of the night wind scenario happens on a regular basis in many Sea of Cortez anchorages. It is almost a nightly occurrence in Ballandra, on Isla Espiritu Santos, Isla Partida, and Isla San Francisco. It is also common on Isla Carmen and Isla Coronados. We've also suffered 20+ knots onshore in El Gato, Puerto Refugio, BLA, Ventana, Salsipuedes, La Cruz, Tenacatita.

During 1000 nights of anchoring in Western Mexico - I suspect we spent over 150 with dead onshore winds exceeding 20 knots.

We have set for weeks in exactly the situation you describe with nightly onshore winds of 15 - 20 knots gusting to 35 or 40 knots. The wind chop often builds to three feet.

You set a good anchor with lot's of scope (usually 8:1 all chain and a 66# Spade on a 40' boat), test it carefully with the engine (3000 RPM in Reverse with a Maxprop is equivalent to 30 some knots of wind) and keep a close eye on the wind/waves the first night or two. I also suspect I've spent 20 or 30 nights sleeping, or not sleeping so much, in the cockpit while keeping an eye on things.

The Salsipuedes Islands in the Sea of Cortez - about 120 miles NE of Santa Rosalia- translate to "Leave if you Can" in English. I've spent several nights there, wide awake watching the leeward rocky cliffs just 10 yards away, as the wind and waves build to scary levels. The problem is the current runs fast and strong between the islands and as soon as the wind builds onshore it is impossible to even motor into the current.

We (four boats) got trapped there when we anchored close to shore for protection from the predicted 15 - 20 knot NE wind. What we got about mid-night was 15 knots from the SW - dead onshore and directly into the 2 knot current for six hours.

Two years later went back to Salsipuedes and did the same thing again.

You do have to trust your ground tackle!

And, have an escape route. At least one GPS is always running with a waypoint set to get us safely out to sea. And, if is really windy, I keep the radar in standby mode. The escape waypoint displays on the radar and the GPS will drive the autopilot to the waypoint as I scramble around cleaning things up.

Tried all that once in 55+ knots dead onshore with waves breaking over the dodger at 3 AM - it did not go so well!
Yep. What's the bay with the little ghost town on the beach? I was blown out of there shortly after it got dark. Flat calm when I went in and very strong winds and 3-5 foot chop when I left. Fortunately my rule of taking hand bearing readings and an exit course paid off.
What do I do in that situation?, get the engine started, get the main up immediately and motorsail out before the engine starts to pick up sand from the bottom being churned up by the waves.
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Old 27-02-2014, 14:47   #28
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

If you practice sailing off the hook, you will be in a better position to short-tack out of a nasty situation. For us, we'd use the staysail, and a full (or reefed) main, depending on wind strength, because the staysail can be tacked quicker, and once we've a reef in, we don't have to tack the runners, making that sailplan the best for us in a tight spot.

In our previous Insatiable, one time anchored on a lee shore with a reef to port and mud banks astern and to starboard (in Port Boise, New Caledonia), in tradewind conditions. The engine quit just after Jim dropped the hook. It had leaked all its oil out. So we had to sail back to Noumea the next day to fix the problem, and buy oil. It was scary sailing out, particularly getting the boat to fall off on the tack we preferred, but we managed it. It would have been a lot more difficult had we not been in the habit of sailing all the time, not motor-sailing, and had practiced the maneuvres we used..

PS, we now carry at least one oil change worth of oil, always; often two.
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Old 27-02-2014, 15:03   #29
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

I agree wholeheartedly with those who say "hoist the main."

That brings up another bugbear I have. How often do you see boats at anchor with a sail cover on? It does no good at night, UV damage occurs during the day. I also leave the halyard attached and held off the mast by passing it through a sail tie.

This is also one of the reasons I do not like stack packs that prevent the stowing of lazy jacks. Raising a sail in a breeze with battens catching the lazy jacks is a pain; at night it is an invitation to disaster.

And practice sailing off an anchor. I prefer to raise the main while at anchor; you are head to wind and all hands can assist.
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Old 27-02-2014, 15:04   #30
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

from anchor you want jib before main as jib is your STEERING sail.,.. you point with jib, not main.,. try picking up buoys both under jib alone and under main alone. count on steering with main alone, you will eat rock soup before being able to quickly get boat out of trouble., btdt. i learned.
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