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Old 26-02-2014, 13:06   #1
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Lee shore... What to do...

You're single-anchored in a bit of a crescent bay. A big wind comes up, enough to worry you and putting the beach directly to leeward. What goes through your mind and what steps do you take (personal experience, not theory)?
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Old 26-02-2014, 13:12   #2
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

if y!ou cant sail out of it don't sail into it..............

having been in the situation as you describe,best to sleep with one eye open!

when the dinghy hits the back of the boat due to the wind change,get the f out of bed,start the engine,haul the anchor,and power out to safer water......easy......if you wake up
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Old 26-02-2014, 13:14   #3
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewEnglander View Post
You're single-anchored in a bit of a crescent bay. A big wind comes up, enough to worry you and putting the beach directly to leeward. What goes through your mind and what steps do you take (personal experience, not theory)?

Get the f&ok out of there, that's what you do.

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Old 26-02-2014, 13:15   #4
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

Had that happen to us at Cape Bowling Green. Yep, we upped anchor and left. If the wind is enough to worry you, you're not going to sleep, so no point staying.
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Old 26-02-2014, 13:30   #5
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

We have occasionally anchored for the expect wind change, so that we would not have anchored there but on a lee shore at the time that would give us protection when the change comes. This works where there is good weather forecasting, not so much in isolated areas.

Once when a cyclone did not follow its predicted path 300 mi north of us and came over us instead, we had to motorsail out of a lee shore situation, the motor by itself was not powerful enough and we needed to tack upwind with the storm jib plus the motor. It is ironic that the island where we were has a met station and regular comms with the mainland. It came as a total surprise. Long time ago, though.
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Old 26-02-2014, 13:36   #6
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

Does this scenario assume that if the anchor holds you'll be fine? Or are you saying the anchor scope is going to put you on the beach in a matter of minutes/seconds?

If the hold of my anchor is in question because of the wind, I'm doing this:
1) starting the engine ASAP
2) rousing the crew
3) weighing anchor and motoring out off the lee shore
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Old 26-02-2014, 13:47   #7
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

First check the weather and anchorage protection before choosing a spot to anchor.

Won't solve every problem but staying out of harms way in the first place solves a lot of them.

Otherwise, as people have said, may as well move on.
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Old 26-02-2014, 13:51   #8
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

Your question only becomes truly interesting (in my view) in the situation where you do not have a motor, or it is inoperative, or incapable of meeting the challenge.

Otherwise the answers already given are, I think, valid and sufficient.
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Old 26-02-2014, 13:55   #9
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

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Originally Posted by Andrew Troup View Post
Your question only becomes truly interesting (in my view) in the situation where you do not have a motor, or it is inoperative, or incapable of meeting the challenge.

Otherwise the answers already given are, I think, valid and sufficient.

As Manuel says , issss simples ( or is that the meerkats ) 1 of 3 things happens

You have enough wind angle to sail out .. And you promise never to that again.

Your anchor holds and ... you promise to never do that again

You hope there's a cell connection from the rocks / beach to ring your insurance .... You promise ......

Dave
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Old 26-02-2014, 14:06   #10
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

Great post, Dave. Shows genuine filigree...

Option 4, if you have some air in a dive tank: walk another anchor out (or even a waratah/piton, or both). Bundle up some chain with the anchor, gives you better traction. Best on sand, not doable at all in gloopy mud.

Even if it doesn't work, it might be an excuse to spend a bit of time in more peaceful surroundings!
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Old 26-02-2014, 14:37   #11
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

When I anchor in an open roadstead or bay where the wind can change and make untenable as soon as I drop the pick I will plot a course to get me out of there.

In 1993 my first trip to the med and first to Turkey i was teaching a guy to sail on his own boat. We were anchored in a very long funnel necked bay with about 50 other boats. I think it was Ekincik.

At dinner on the dock i could feel something in the weather 'not right' but because I wasnt familiar with the area I dismissed it. But later back on the boat there was definite waves coming into the bay but no wind at all. I told the owner and said I think we needed to move, but he dismissed it. Then at 2 am all hell broke loose as a quite severe storm hit. Because I had my outbound course already plotted we were first out of the bay. Six boats went ashore.


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Old 26-02-2014, 14:51   #12
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

I've spent a number of nights anchored in this crescent shaped bay. I would always park as far away from the lighthouse and the park dock as possible.

Really the best spot is in the middle back of the bay where you can see the shoal water, but I would park over to the right. I would do this thinking that for picking such a poor spot I would get enjoy some solitude, which never worked. Someone would always come and park right next to me anyway. Funny how that works.

Anyhell, point being that out there on the end like that, the wind never blew past parallel to the shore and the only time I would end up close to the beach was on windless nights. Summertime mind you, fair weather. Couple nights I was nervous, but rather than move I would stick it out and ended up never having a problem.
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Old 26-02-2014, 14:52   #13
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

There may be a situation where you have left it too late to get your anchor up and if thats the situation you should throw a fender on the rope end and cut yourself loose after you have your main up reefed and storm jib ready with engine going. Find some open water where you can safely hove to and when things die down go back and get your anchor and gear. If you are with a bunch of other boats its often prudent to use sail power as in these situations there will be lines all over the place so its best not to depend on your engine. If you anchor in an open roadstead its not a bad idea to have the reef already tucked into the main and a small jib ready. I always get ansy on real clear nights and I notice the stars are twinkling.
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Old 26-02-2014, 15:05   #14
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

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!
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Old 26-02-2014, 15:12   #15
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Re: Lee shore... What to do...

As MarkJ mentioned its always good seamanship to plot an escape route that you can use in the middle of the night in open road-steads. If I'm in that situation and some clown anchors right on top of me I will move to where I know I can get out if need be.
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