Thud

Today an exodus started. Lots of folks hauled their anchors and headed west. Friday may be a good day to cross. We have our doubts. One boat didn’t leave. It dragged anchor and hit us.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fortunately, Janet hollered me topsides in time I could arrive at our bow just as the collision occurred. Equally fortunately, a stainless handrail at the back of the 40 foot catamaran’s starboard hull lodged between our bow rollers and kept our hull and theirs from touching. Neither did they get tangled in our bobstay. We are talking a one inch tube finding it’s way onto a 4 inch slot…

Aft, Janet had fired up the engine and powered forward and starboard which levered us away from the other boat enough I could push it free of the rollers. We didn’t discuss it, she just knew that’s what I needed. Then I walked aft as the boat slid past us, keeping it away with a boat hook. Then we realized the catamaran was dead centered for hitting Kluane, the Halberg-Rassy 31 on a mooring astern of us. No one was aboard Kluane.

I grabbed the mic and called Green Turtle Club on 16 and asked that they get word through the Cub a boat was dragging. (Its owners turned out to be in New Plymouth at the time.)

I snagged the cat’s anchor bridle with the boat hook and held it against the force of the wind. It was clear that wasn’t going to last long. Janet grabbed a dockline and got a lark’s head around the bridle. We were in the process of cleating that line astern when the Green Turtle Club dock guys showed up with a boat big enough to tow the cat. We happily relinquished the line to them, and they expertly towed the cat to the dock, dragging anchor and all.

People often drag here. Five of us dragged here last year in a squall — it’s the bottom and unsuitable anchors. The bottom is matted with turtle grass. It has tough roots that will hold an anchor for a while, but they won’t let it penetrate the bottom. Then there is the Delta anchor — as a “plow” type anchor it carves its way through mud and cuts its way through turtle grass roots. Eventually, it cuts loose enough to drag, and it can’t reset because it is choked with roots. On a wind shift, they will just twist the roots out like a handful of weeds. And the wind had shifted.

Our new 55# Spade anchor (that replaced the Delta that dragged here last year) held us and the cat in 15 Kt + gusts that filled in behind the passing front.

Nobody got hurt. Later when they returned, the owner graciously apologized. That’s fine. Over; done with.

And the good news is, just before this, I dove to inspect the boat’s bottom, and the zincs are good, and the fouling less than last year, and my breath-holding is better.

2 responses to “Thud

  1. moondance38

    Who needs that kind of excitement!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s