I suspect that most of us rehearse in our minds what we might do in various situations (ie. what if my motor
failed NOW?). Recalling past situations and analyzing what we might do if it happened again can help us prepare to act decisively.
I had a situation last month, and I was wondering how others might have acted.
Last month, I came into a new harbor for the first time. We draw 8', and the chart shows soundings of 7'-9' on the entrance to the harbor, and 9' in the large anchorage (2000'x1500'). Because of the skinny water
, I planned my arrival for high tide (about 3' range). There may have been some shoaling since the charts
were prepared as even at high tide I saw only 9' of water
We picked a spot at one end of the anchorage in about 12' of water. There were perhaps 4 or 5 smaller sailboats and powerboats at the other end of the anchorage. With plenty of room to swing, we put out 125' of chain and set our anchor
was out of the southwest at 12-15 knots, but forecast
to shift to the northwest that afternoon. I felt confident that we were holding well and we had at least 300' to swing in any direction. I packed my crew into the dinghy
for a 1 mile dinghy
ride to a marina and then a 2 mile walk into town. As we were leaving I saw another large sailboat, perhaps 50-55', a new beneteau
into the anchorage.
We were gone for about 5 hours. When we returned, now nearly low tide, we noticed that the Beneteau
had anchored very close to us. They were less than 50' off our port beam. After cursing them for a for a few minutes (in such a big anchorage, they had to anchor
so close?), we observed there was no one on board. Furthermore, the Beneteau was dragging (backwards, obviously) at a significant rate.
What would you do? Our boat
was not in danger
, but the other boat
had 300' (now decreasing to 250' as they dragged behind us) until they were on the beach. If I were to take the dinghy back to the marina and ask around for the boat's owners, the other boat would probably be on the beach before I returned.
I didn't know these people and could imagine they would be very upset if I tried tying up along side them and hip-towing/re-anchoring to hold their boat off the beach. Even if I were comfortable doing that, at low tide now, I might go aground myself. Things might go from bad to worse if the attempt at saving their boat failed.
I had a good dinghy, but am not confident that I could reposition a 50' boat with it. Never mind that they might get upset that I had tried. They weren't asking for my help.
What would you do in such a situation?