Losing One’s Grip

We’ve been here seven days now. Anchored in the same spot. With the forecast for today’s weather, at least two dozen boats joined us yesterday and the day before. One, a 47 foot catamaran, dragged anchor yesterday morning and almost clobbered a 30+/- foot Compact.

Catamaran name removed to protect crew.

Janet saw it evolving and sounded five blasts on our horn. Both boat crews came topsides to deal with it. The catamaran crew had no idea they were dragging.  They were 150 feet from where they anchored and drifting fast. Apparently there was no damage. And after a chat, the catamaran left White Sound.

One can’t gloat. This can happen to anyone. We did express happiness with the fact we had been dug in through pretty blustery stuff and Perigean Spring tides for six days.

This morning, I was woken from a not so sound sleep by five blasts and went topsides to see it was us who had dragged…about 120 feet toward limestone outcroppings. This happened at low tide when our holding should have been best.

More Evil Eye than Sailor’s Delight–Wednesday p.m.

As we started the engine, five more blasts; the Hans Christian to windward had just lost its grip on the bottom and was moving our way fast. We got out of there and headed farther upwind. There were no suitable spots. We turned and went back and re-anchored pretty much where we had been; we held after quite a bit of engine in reverse to set us.

We weren’t entirely happy with the spot knowing what the radar showed was coming. So we decided to monitor things closely.

The first squall hit with 38 knot winds from the SW, and we held. A waterspout warning report got our attention, but it was behind us when we received the warning.

Light smudge to left of ketch’s bow shows where their anchor lost grip-again. They are motoring back to try to re-anchor in 38 knot wind.

There’s a waterspout down there somewhere. We saw a bit of rotation but at least a1/4 mile from us and moving away.

We don’t have upwind pictures of the 42 knot squall that followed. We couldn’t risk the camera.

Waves knocked completely flat, visibility forward nearly zero. Every zipper leaking.

Our anchor held, but three boats’ didn’t; the results are below. [A 42 knot wind is 22% stronger than a 38 knot wind. Strength goes by the square.]

Collision; the partially hidden boat dragged 200 feet.

Now comes the interesting do-si-do as the wind clocks from SW-W-NW-N-NE and boats sit 180 degrees from where they were this morning. It will be a watchful day.

Even with all this, this system has opened a flood gate of easterlies that have been pent up for a week. We hope to use them to speed us on our way.

2 responses to “Losing One’s Grip

  1. We’re wondering how you are doing and where you are? We’re in Jekyll Island Marina headed for parts unknown in the ICW tomorrow. —Maryanne and Chuck

    • Hi guys, doing fine. We’re in Cocoa. Hope you didn’t eat at their restaurant. Sending you a gmail with more chat. C

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