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Old 16-10-2011, 10:18   #1
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Anchoring in Exposed Shallow Water: How Quickly Things Can Change . . .

A pair of very experienced cruisers got caught anchoring in place they didn't really want to be, and then the weather turned:

http://sv-footprint.blogspot.com/

Sail Delmarva: How Quickly Things Can Change...

No injuries and great insurance response, but still great trauma. Worth sharing, if lessons can be learned.
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Old 16-10-2011, 10:30   #2
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Re: Anchoring in exposed shallow water: How quickly things can change.

with prevailing winds from the nw in the area,anchoring in a bay exposed to the nw is not somthing an experianced sailor would do....................at any time of the year.

at this time of the year in the med when fronts can bring strong wind from any direction.................
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Old 16-10-2011, 10:31   #3
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Re: Anchoring in exposed shallow water: How quickly things can change.

some good thoughts/lessons in there on all chain rode and snubbers.
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Old 16-10-2011, 18:49   #4
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Re: Anchoring in Exposed Shallow Water: How Quickly Things Can Change . . .

They have a really nice blog - thanks for posting it. As far as the grounding - very unfortunate.
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Old 19-10-2011, 11:02   #5
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Re: Anchoring in exposed shallow water: How quickly things can change.

Sobering indeed. A good reminder for those of us traveling full time on our vessels the risk we sometimes take when the anchorage we find isn't as solid as we had expected or the conditions aren't what we expected.

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with prevailing winds from the nw in the area,anchoring in a bay exposed to the nw is not somthing an experianced sailor would do....................at any time of the year.
They did do that. Unless you are arguing they aren't experienced, your statement is by definition incorrect. Experienced sailors make lots of errors especially those that are out there sailing full time and sailing in new territory. They have more opportunity to make the errors
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Old 19-10-2011, 11:12   #6
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Re: Anchoring in exposed shallow water: How quickly things can change.

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They did do that. Unless you are arguing they aren't experienced, your statement is by definition incorrect. Experienced sailors make lots of errors especially those that are out there sailing full time and sailing in new territory. They have more opportunity to make the errors
Exactly.

Smart mountain guides are trained to do everything they can to eliminate risk, since the more you climb the more the odds against you pile up. If you're playing russian roulette every day and plan to survive, you've got to take ALL of the bullets out of the gun.

I posted this, in part because I have a similar boat and have been watching their travels for years, but also in part because I have resently switched to an all-chain rode and now have something more to consider. I traded chafe resistance and ease of handling the windlass for lose of shock absorption. I will now be keeping very long snubber in reserve.
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Old 19-10-2011, 12:01   #7
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Re: Anchoring in exposed shallow water: How quickly things can change.

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If you're playing russian roulette every day and plan to survive, you've got to take ALL of the bullets out of the gun.

I like that. Did you come up with it on your own? It may be a famous quote someday. Let it be know that I was the first to recognize it
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Old 19-10-2011, 15:51   #8
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Re: Anchoring in exposed shallow water: How quickly things can change.

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I will now be keeping very long snubber in reserve.
Snubbers are important . . . but . . . the correct answer for this situation is to always be ready and willing (day or night) to immediately go to sea when you find yourself on a lee shore in a building wind. . . . Even if you are tired or have other plans.

Ground tackle is sized for wind loads but breaking wave loads can be an order of magnitude bigger. So you have to take this sort of situation very seriously.

But we do all screw up, and we do all think "we can break the rule just this one time" and usually you can get away with it but that one time it will really bite your ass. I could well imagine being in their situation. Its sobering and a useful prod for us not to cut corners.
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Old 19-10-2011, 16:16   #9
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Re: Anchoring in Exposed Shallow Water: How Quickly Things Can Change . . .

a lee shore is nowhere to anchor -- at night usually on pacific coast wind changes direction --is easy to all too quickly find yourself in a lee shore battle even with engine running. the farther out to sea you are, the more comfortable the storm will be and you may feel no reason to heave to---- seas are worse when closer to shore as you have shallower water and you have opposing currents as the waves come back as rip--rebound makes chop. surfline anchoring is asking to be surf fodder--no fun in any kind of boat.
tall seas in shallow water are boxy and nasty .out in deep water, they are more comfortable swells and wind is a fun sail.
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Old 19-10-2011, 18:25   #10
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Re: Anchoring in exposed shallow water: How quickly things can change.

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Snubbers are important . . . but . . . the correct answer for this situation is to always be ready and willing (day or night) to immediately go to sea when you find yourself on a lee shore in a building wind. . . . Even if you are tired or have other plans.

Ground tackle is sized for wind loads but breaking wave loads can be an order of magnitude bigger. So you have to take this sort of situation very seriously.

But we do all screw up, and we do all think "we can break the rule just this one time" and usually you can get away with it but that one time it will really bite your ass. I could well imagine being in their situation. It's sobering and a useful prod for us not to cut corners.
Absolutely correct.

I should have qualified my "long snubber" comment by adding that I sail primarily on the Chesapeake Bay, and that a lee shore is generally only an anchorage with a longish fetch, not true open water.

And I have bailed in the middle of the night, but only once; the holding ground was poor and a squall came from an unusual direction. We saw it coming and made an uncomfortable departure. Everyone else stayed and most of the boats in the cove were in the marsh that morning. That was the last time.
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