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Old 18-01-2013, 17:36   #31
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Re: Marco Island to......

Rocketman said I should post this up, so here goes.

Yesterday, a few of us here in Marco decided to have some lunch over at the Dolphin Tiki. It was Jason from the Seafarer Facebook page, Rocketman, Jamey & Char ( sailboaters passing through going to Islamorada) and myself.

We all sat around feeding our faces and chatting up boats, routes, and sailing stories. Rocketman had to leave after the meal, and Jason had to run an errand. So it was just us three. We chatted a spell, and noticed that the wind had really picked up from the north as the cold front was moving in. We commented that Jason sure was taking a long time to run his errand, and his cell phone on the table would ring occasionally, but no one answered it. Bout an hour had passed, Jamey had excused himself to the mens room, so Char and I just small talked. Suddenly Jason came rushing up with a look of desperation on his face. He said that boats are sliding in the bay and Jamey's boast was about to go into the seawall. We told Jason that Jamey was in the head, so Jason darted down the sidewalk to get Jamey. Char and I just looked at each other for a second, then I headed for the dinghy dock on a run, tripped on a chair, almost landed on my face, but managed to stay upright. I could here people around me asking each other what was going on as I headed out the restaurant. I got to my dinghy, and looked across the dock to see Jamey and Char in their dinghy, and Jamey was having trouble getting it started. I went to get out of mine to go over and help, (like what was I gonna do, push start him?) I dont know, but before I get out of my dinghy, I saw Jamey charging out of the slip. So I fired up mine, and followed him. The wind was really blowing hard, the water real choppy, I could see Jamey's boat ahead, the stern about 30 feet from the concrete/rebarb seawall. By the time I got close, Jamey and Char was already climbing up their stern ladder with Jamey headed to the bow, and Char in the cockpit. I could see jamey start his windlass, and watched the anchor chain going up. " Is there anything I can do Jamey", I shouted. " Naw, we're ok for now" he replied. So I hung around anyway, just in case. Then I remembered I had a sailboat too. So I looked off to the north near the condos where Rocketman keeps his boat docked. My boat looked like it was still in the same place I had left it, but I headed off to check on mine. Earlier that day, Rocketman and I had taken my boat over to the marina to get some fuel, water, and I learned how to use the pump out thing. As I headed for my boat, I kept looking back towards Jamey's boat, they were well away from the seawall, and draggin their anchor headed to where they had orginally anchored. They probably had enough chain up to safely move the boat I guess, but getting away from that seawall was the main thing to get done and fast.

I got to my boat, actually bounced off of it a few times before I could get a good grab. I aint that good in a dinghy witha motor yet, but getting slowly better. At first I just slowed down real good, but realized the wind kept pushing me back away from my boat, so I just gassed on it, bounced off the stern, got along the right side, bounced off that, turned the dinghy around for another go, and it was bounce, bounce, grab, bounce, grab. I scrambled onto my boat, and looked around. I could see 6 or 7 other boats had drug their anchors and were close to the other seawalls, but not getting any closer.

I stood in the cockpit of mine, and scanned around to see if I was moving for about 10 minutes to make sure I wasnt moving. Then I remember that it was Rocketman who was at the helm when we got back from the marina, and he set the anchor. Hell, I thought to myself, he's a professional, I got nothing to worry about.

All night long I could hear the wind howl, and feel my little boat being tossed around. Ocassionally, I would look out the windows and see I was still in the same spot. Well, I thought, this little boat aint going anywhere, and slept through the night.
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Old 18-01-2013, 19:03   #32
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Re: Marco Island to......

Ah... Never a dull moment whilst cruising. Keep's you young!
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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Old 18-01-2013, 20:30   #33
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Re: Marco Island to......

Hey BO, bet it felt good to be on the giving help end this time. Way to go, mate!


Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II, still hanging out in Port Cygnet. Spring has sprung and we're back aboard at last.
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Old 18-01-2013, 20:58   #34
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The continuing saga ...... :-)
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Old 19-01-2013, 05:10   #35
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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post

The Yacht Channel is a somewhat tough route in a 5'+ draft.
Good point especialy this time of year
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Old 19-01-2013, 06:14   #36
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Re: Marco Island to......

The saga continues!

A few things will help you keep a good anchor watch. First, do you have a hand bearing compass? It is a small compass with a hand grip underneath it and provisions for taking sight bearings. If you have at least two bearings with a good split between them, you can tell pretty accurately if you have drug anchor or not. Another trick is to set an anchor watch on your GPS. Most modern GPS units have that feature. You drop the hook and set your anchor position, then decide how big a swing circle you want and then you set the GPS to sound the alarm if you go outside that circle. It is NO REPLACEMENT for visual bearings but it is a very very good backup. I suggest trying it first, with an impossibly tiny swing circle just to make sure the alarm will go off and you will hear it. Then you know you can sleep a little more soundly at night. Most new radars also have an anchor watch function. Chart plotters, too, both the hardware kind and some PC chartreader programs, too. And back to the radar... radar bearings are always slightly suspect, but radar ranges can be relied upon fairly well. So two or three ranges can be used in similar fashion to two or three visual bearings.
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Old 19-01-2013, 22:57   #37
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Re: Marco Island to......

Also there is a nice app for smartphones called "DragQueen" that does the anchor watch also. I like it better than my other electronics because if I'm coastal cruising my phone is on anyway.
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