28 Dec 2010

Life at anchor – it’s a sleepless night on a river.

5 Comments Sailing

I headed out to Ferraguda on the 23rd of December and dropped my anchor a good 50m from the nearest floating obstacle, first night was fine, Christmas eve was a night I wished there was a santa… I will never forget it.

I slunk myself into slumber only to be woken at 03:00, I had no idea why … I just knew something was wrong. A quick look out the window told me the reason, the shore was a mere 10m away, it was high tide and the wind was blowing with the flood tide – those two forces in cohesion put so much strain on the anchor I had drifted a good 75m straight to the shore only to be saved by a mooring boy.

I knew I was fine but to make sure I turned the engine on. I was half asleep and the engine didn’t start, I was worried so went outside in the howling wind and rain to make my spare anchor ready. After bleeding the fuel line and still confused I stood back swore and realised the ‘Engine Stop’ was still open …….. w.h.a.t.a.w.a.l.l.y.  You pull the stop to stop the engine and push it in to start it it’s 101 but you forget these things as a ‘newb’.

With the engine started I felt much safer, if anything went wrong and I got any closer I would push away, I checked the tide table and knew the shit would truely hit the fan when the tide went out in the opposite direction of the wind … which would be in the next 30 minutes, I had 20m of chain and a boy between it, I could expect a swell and to ride the length of all the lose chain depending on whether the tide or wind won the resistance battle.

The picture above tells the story, I did not sleep as wind and water fought a battle I could do nothing about, they wove me round and round the buoy.

I must have passed the boy 10 times and I was out in full wet weather gear, with my lifejacket and clipped on trying to lassoo the bouy as I passed it to prevent me from moving so much, I had little luck. Travelling at 2 knots down the length of my chain was NOT fun, thank god I have an encapsulated keel because it would have wrapped round any other.

I had to get a diver out to retrieve the anchor … now that’s a story for another day. Diver versus a 3knot tide … in England that would be illegal and require massive backup … we threw him off the edge.

** that picture is a the GPS tracking my position while at anchor over a 5 hour period from 03:00 to 0800. The circle resulted as the tide was turning, the zig zag is the ebb tide fighting the wind with the bouy in the centre.

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5 Responses to “Life at anchor – it’s a sleepless night on a river.”

  1. Reply James says:

    I was sitting beside a fire waiting for santa to come down the chimney. Could have dropped 2 anchors to prevent yourself from swinging?

  2. Reply Slyc Crew says:

    So what’s your ETA for St Lucia! We need to have a welcome party for you !!! Dani

  3. Reply Chris Aylott says:

    Hopefully late Jan / early Feb. Can’t wait to get to sunnier climates.

  4. Reply Slyc Crew says:

    Sure, will be following you! xxx

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