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Old 18-01-2020, 21:21   #46
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Re: At anchor signal?

Welcome aboard, Montanan! As you can see, the boat is being held stable against the wind by the sea anchor at an angle of about 45 degrees off the port bow. At this angle, the pitching and rolling are both about equal and we're not backing straight against the rudder. Rudders don't like that. But hang on, because we're still pitching 30 degrees and occasionally rolling 45 degrees. My boat, like most, is more stable in pitch than it is in roll.

Too bad NOAA got the forecast completely wrong, but here at Point Conception, the conditions can be very different than the area forecast. And it can turn bad in a heartbeat. There's a reason why Richard Dana called this the "Cape Horn of the Pacific."

You can see the shore 10 miles to starboard. Without the sea anchor, we will be blown up on that shore, and in these conditions certainly die. But the boat will get smashed to toothpicks before we get there after it's been rolled a few times.The sea anchor is holding the boat so it's only moving 0.4 knots alee - you can see that on the GPS. It will take more than 20 hours at that speed over ground before we are in the surf. The blow will be over by then.

Yeah, wild ride, isn't it? But I've angled the sea anchor using a pendant to get the best ride possible. Hold on! Wee! Weightlessness! Good thing I've got enough reserve buoyancy that getting dropped 10 feet from a swell doesn't turn us into a submarine. These swells have formed up to pyramidal shapes because the 12 foot wind waves and wind are blowing 38 knots steady out of the north, and 15 foot swells are coming in from the west from seaward. Nasty conditions. Hit your head on the overhead? Here, put on my spare helmet. Without the sea anchor we'd get rolled in these seas. I only have an 8 foot beam. That 1 inch diameter rode on the sea anchor and that cleat on the deck are strong enough to lift the entire boat in the air. It's 200 feet of stretchy nylon, so we're being held here by a big rubber band that's absorbing the forces. Damn glad I have it! Otherwise, we'd be goners. You don't want to even think about how bad it would be without that sea anchor. There are two big orange floats on a retrieval line that extends out from the parachute. It's intended for retrieving the parachute but it won't work for us because...

Oh look! Here comes a boat! What are you doing? Trying to release the sea anchor? What? Are you nuts! Why?! Because your interpretation of the rules says you should? You're crazy! Did your mother feed you law books for lunch? We'll die without that sea anchor!! It's essential to our survival!

Great. Now you've done it. Our boat is now zipping along downwind at 5 knots under bare poles - that's 8 feet per second - toward the shore, presenting her beam to the cross seas, and the swells are definitely going to roll or pitchpole the boat. And how do we get back to sea anchor? With the engine? What engine?! I told you mine was a sailboat - not an auxiliary sailboat! I don't have an engine. And besides, even if I did, do you know how hard it is motor directly upwind against a gale?

Here, take out those oars for the dingy and start paddling back to the sea anchor. Do that while I write my will.
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Old 18-01-2020, 21:40   #47
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Originally Posted by Cpt Pat View Post
Welcome aboard, Montanan! .........
......Here, take out those oars for the dingy and start paddling back to the sea anchor, you twit! Do that while I write my will.
I can hardly wait for the tome in response.
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Old 18-01-2020, 22:00   #48
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Re: At anchor signal?

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It takes very little time or effort to recover a parachute anchor.
Now that you have written a small encyclopedia on the hazards of sea anchor retrieval, I must wonder why you previously wrote the above quoted line?

Seems like kinda false advice to be giving novice sailors/boaters.

Jim
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Old 18-01-2020, 22:17   #49
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Re: At anchor signal?

P.S. I tried heaving to first in my story above. But I became concerned with my spreader arm dragging in the water and my mast slapping the water. There is a point, especially in cross seas, where laying beam-to while hove to no longer works.


I had a series drogue, but didn't deploy it because I would still have been beam to the swells from the west. You can't adjust your angle to the seas with a drogue - you're stuck with stern-to-the-wind attitude. And my friend above would probably object to my towing a drogue without a yellow light astern indicating I was towing.
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Old 18-01-2020, 22:20   #50
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Now that you have written a small encyclopedia on the hazards of sea anchor retrieval, I must wonder why you previously wrote the above quoted line?

Seems like kinda false advice to be giving novice sailors/boaters.

Jim
When the gale is over, you can just winch the whole thing aboard (actually, winch the boat to the parachute). But releasing the rode and trying to sail upwind to the retrieval line is highly impractical. I have in fact since removed the retrieval line for that reason. It's only useful for motorboats (and wind-assisted motorboats, aka, auxiliary sailboats). If you'd read the rest of my quoted post, you'd have read that explanation.

I use my sheet winch to crank in the rode. It takes a while since it's 200 feet long. Once the parachute is up along side, I use my boathook to capture one parachute suspension line, and pull it aboard. That dumps all the water out of the parachute.

Actually, it is easy.

My advice to novice boaters is to sail with someone experienced. I don't write textbooks. I just sail.
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Old 18-01-2020, 22:42   #51
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Re: At anchor signal?

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I'll ask some folks who share our marina if I'm in the way of something. People go north and south from South Haven and Saugatuck. But as far as that I've noticed they are much closer to shore.

No particular slam but on the occasions of irritation they were motor boats. It really seemed that they were confused/frustrated that my boat wasn't moving.

As far as anchoring, that spot is 150' deep or more. It drops off quickly from shore, so as a result you end up anchoring a couple of hundred yards from shore, so with shore waves and typical wind direction, the state of Michigan is one giant lee shore. I've done it, but it wasn't a relaxing afternoon.
Hi, Tmacmi,

Don't let the thread hijackers get you down.

I understand about the difficulty of really anchoring. Lying to the sea anchor and displaying the anchor ball should be enough. However, it is uncommon to see, even in coastal areas, and I don't believe required in inland waters in the US. Therefore, using the US diver down flag might be the better alternative in that at least divers will recognize it, and some powerboaters, and even some yachtsmen.

Ann
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Old Yesterday, 00:09   #52
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Diver flag. Pop your head under water at least once. There. You're diving.
Beat me to it, this would be recognized. Having the lawyers decide in the court room after a death which is the technically correct flag combination...who cares.

Also, diving does not necessarily mean SCUBA.

As far as why? I'm sure there is more to it. A couple of guesses:
- It's common along Lake Michigan to go out a mile or so and then run up the coast to the next harbor...result, you are basically parking in the prime travel route.
- Were they boats out fishing? If the salmon/lake trout running close to shore you may have been forcing them to route around you while trolling.

Neither is technically justification to get mad at you but would help explain

It could be as simple as...it's not a common place to find a boat stopped, so they figured you were just a slow boat and would be out of the way by the time they got there...but you weren't and they had to take evasive action and it startled them that there were swimmers in the water. A lot of people lash out when surprised.

My recommendation: In the future, go out 4-5 miles but away from the salmon/lake trout fishermen. That will typically thin out the boat traffic. That or swing in behind the break waters and anchor closer to the beach (conditions permitting)
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Old Yesterday, 19:34   #53
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Re: At anchor signal?

Privileged to be aboard CptPat. Nasty weather out here.

Say, let me hold your beer while you go forward and fend off that boat head our way.
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Old Today, 05:42   #54
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
As far as why? I'm sure there is more to it. A couple of guesses:
- It's common along Lake Michigan to go out a mile or so and then run up the coast to the next harbor...result, you are basically parking in the prime travel route.
- Were they boats out fishing? If the salmon/lake trout running close to shore you may have been forcing them to route around you while trolling.

It could be as simple as...it's not a common place to find a boat stopped, so they figured you were just a slow boat and would be out of the way by the time they got there...but you weren't and they had to take evasive action and it startled them that there were swimmers in the water. A lot of people lash out when surprised.

My recommendation: In the future, go out 4-5 miles but away from the salmon/lake trout fishermen. That will typically thin out the boat traffic. That or swing in behind the break waters and anchor closer to the beach (conditions permitting)
I would find this to be my guess as well.

Motor boats exiting a channel, tend to go along the shoreline most of the time, but fishermen are the exception, and usually head out. Sailors will run the coast if they are headed off to a destination, or pick a beam reach and run one long tack out, and one long one back.

I have been known to pick a boat way out in the general direction as a heading point, and use that as a heading marker, until it no longer works..

I would put up a diver flag, as most people know it well, ball shapes on Lake Michigan, not so much.
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Old Today, 07:30   #55
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Re: At anchor signal?

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
The OP is lying to a sea anchor. He is not under command.
I don't have the Colregs in front of me, but I am 99% certain that NUC implies a lack of choice. It is an exceptional circumstance that requires that you are Not Under Command. Years and years ago, it was referred to as "Captain Dead", because the captain was the only one capable of operating the ship; everyone else was a landlubber. It did not mean "Captain having a nice time swimming"! That is why it is not appropriate to fly when simply taking a nap, or for singlehanders to fly when sleeping. Or eating, etc. Or swimming. It's not a parking signal, but something much more uncontrolled. And deliberately abused, it would seem.


An anchor ball is appropriate when you are fixed to the bottom, not attached to a sea anchor. That would be underway, which is not fixed to the bottom or a dock.



The best definition for the sea anchor situation would be restricted in ability to maneuver. The best choice for swimming would seem to be a dive flag.
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Old Today, 08:47   #56
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Re: At anchor signal?

It seems the biggest issue around the proper day signal (two balls, and no not side by side) is that few would understand it.

I wonder if we're overthinking it. There are other signals for indicating a stationary boat (and why it's stationary)



This, plus a papier mache parrot, a Jolly Roger, Jimmy Buffett blaring... then again it might be taken more as an invitation to approach than a signal to avoid. Depending on your tastes of course.
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Old Today, 10:44   #57
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Re: At anchor signal?

I am starting to think I am setting inside of the Goldilocks zone. I am neither close enough to shore nor far enough out for people going up and down from harbor to harbor.

I'll run an "at anchor" ball as appropriate and a diver down flag. I'll also set up further out when at sea anchor.
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Old Today, 13:08   #58
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Re: At anchor signal?

Yup, that makes good sense. Enjoy.

Ann
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