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Old 07-28-2013, 09:48 AM   #1
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Another Day, Another Shenanigan

Another Day, Another Shenanigan

Yesterday as we continued our cruise in eastern Maine, we left Rockland relatively late, past noon.

Rockland is wonderful by the way. So we were going to have a short day, maybe 25 nm.

As we got east of North Haven, in East Penobscot Bay, there were a lot of lobster pot buoys. So we were pretty vigilant. All of a sudden, I hear/feel this groaning noise and immediately surmised that we had snagged a lobster pot. I immediately put engine in neutral and idle. Went to the stern, where a mangled pot buoy was drifting next to boat, with no line attached. Clearly, I had snagged buoy, severed line and some portion of the line was wrapped around prop.

We seemed to be stationary, held in place by the pot. I revved engine in neutral, to check if engine ok, it sounded and felt fine. I then checked prop shaft, to check that there was no leaking and stuffing box was normal.

At this point, debating whether to call USCG and tell them I was snared or call BoatUS. Also, a large sailboat, Destiny, saw our distress and came by to ask if we needed help, as they had noticed we were drifting northward towards shore a few miles away. He offered to tow us. I thanked him, asked him to stand by as I called BoatUS. Actually, I used the BoatUS app, which automatically sends lat/long as it makes call.

In the meantime, I had put engine in reverse and goosed the throttle for a second or two. The first time, it definitely felt not normal, but when I did it a few minutes later, it felt normal. Though I was still afraid of making the problem worse by tightly wrapping the line around shaft and prop.

About 10 minutes in to this, as Iím on the phone with BoatUS, we had drifted maybe a Ĺ mile north and I had thought maybe we were free. I gave it some power in reverse and felt no vibration. I then put in in forward and all was normal.

I told the BoatUS people thanks, but didnít need them and I profusely thanked Destiny for standing by.

We anchored on the ne side of Merchant Island and bbq a nice steak.

This morning, conveniently enshrouded in fog, I am watching the F1 race from Hungary. Race and fog should be ending about 10:00 a.m. and we will get underway, heading ne for about another 30 nm. Then, planning a due east passage tomorrow to Nova Scotia.

Richard & Julie
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:09 AM   #2
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You may not want to do this but I keep a shorty wet suit, mask and flippers on board so I can go over and free up the prop myself.

This worked fine until I snagged the rebar remnants of a crab trap in February in NC. A quick trip overboard (brrrr!) convinced me to call TowBoatUS.

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Old 07-28-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
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another trick that occasionally works rather than reverse (which can just embed the line deeper and harder to cut out....)

is....if you can get a hold of the end (if a pot is still attached or just floating) is to have someone turn the shaft by hand (usually has to be at the coupler) and see if the line is winding up or loose. See which way it goes and then have them just keep turning to loosen it.

Again...doesn't work all the time but worth a try before you do the forward/reverse to see if you can snap, break, shake, throw it off....
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:20 AM   #4
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Totally agree, David. In fact, my wife's first question was, "Should I jump in and see if I can untangle or cut it?" She was figuring on her bathing suit-- we still have to buy wet suits. More confirmation she's a trooper.
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Old 07-28-2013, 10:22 AM   #5
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Psneeld, that's a great idea.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:13 AM   #6
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Shaft razors or line cutters can help. I also keep a full set of scuba gear on board. A sheetrock knife can give tremendous leverage to cut a line off a shaft. Hacksaw or serrated knife work well too.
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:26 AM   #7
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This morning, conveniently enshrouded in fog, I am watching the F1 race from Hungary.
Here is my takeaway from this post (hijack!)

What a great race, huh? Happy for Lewis and glad Kimi could keep "Finger Boy" behind him. Hungary is one of the few track where major changes in the configuration actually improved it.

Now back to your regularly scheduled thread.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:43 AM   #8
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Wxx3:

Been there, done that with the lobster pot buoys (many times). You got lucky. Have fun crossing Jericho Bay if you are headed that way. Its the worst, especially if the tide is running hard and there is a chop.

Trying a cage out this season. So far no pots snagged although "speed" (relative term for a trawler) is definitely down.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:53 PM   #9
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I've always dodged lobster buoys with no resentment. Lobstermen work hard for their living, and it's not a big deal to watch for them and steer around... except in Maine. I don't know if the State just allows too many permits, or what the deal is, but the buoys are a true hazard to navigation and interfere with public use of public waters. I had the exact same experience as you last summer, and ever since, the gloves have come off. I won't intentionally run over a trap, but when a channel is otherwise impassible, there is only one solution - sharp cutters and more throttle.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:30 PM   #10
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I've never seen a channel that was "impassible" because of lobster buoys. I regularly see buoys that are in very inconvenient locations - for me. That doesn't absolve me of the responsibility to keep a lookout and avoid hazards.

If you can run over a plainly visible buoy, then you could just as easily hit a partially submerged log, or a shipping container, or a refrigerator (some of those last two float just at the surface and can be hard to spot.)

I see lobster buoys as a reminder to do what I should be doing anytime I'm underway - pay attention!

I have cutters too. But I don't just ignore the buoys and barrel through them.
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:40 PM   #11
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anyone run at night or in the rain?
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:12 PM   #12
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anyone run at night or in the rain?
That's when they find you...
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:38 PM   #13
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Make you want one of these (minesweeper)?



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Old 08-02-2013, 10:50 PM   #14
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I'll contact Cincher and Crazy B... both lifelong Lobstermen in that area and close friends of mine from the late 60ís forward too and including today! Iíll ask them to try and only let passing shots cross your bow - NOT go into your cabin or bridge or waterline next time you snag a buoy... if it happens to be one of theirs. In addition to these two truly great guys, who are at any time ready to fight and kill a grizzly... do you have any idea how irate all the truly wild Lobsterpersons get when their buoys, lines, or pots are fcked with in any way; including thoughtless run over due to little care by any boatís pilot.

So Ė besides the correct objective of simple courtesy for hard working Lobsterpersons, and making sure to not hit their buoys by visual observation and simply tuning your steering wheel... Be very, very careful for your own well being... Lobsterpersons follow their own law on the sea. Nearly all are well equipped to fulfill "their" law at any time; and, as they see fit! I know, I worked with Lobsterman pulling traps in that area aboard their Lobster Boats in the early 1970ís. Many of them often drank in my tavern/restaurant in Camden. Several are still close friends. Iíve seen Lobstermen law enacted on those with little respect for their lifestyle and lobster fishing living... Shat can REALLY Hit the Fan!! Again I say, be very, very careful. You keep hitting buoys - - > When you least expect it Ė Expect IT!
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:50 PM   #15
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Make you want one of these (minesweeper)?



Off topic but had the opportunity early in my career to work aboard a minesweeper at Mare Island. Interesting in seeing how far one can go with the usage of non magnetic metals aboard a ship. Very cool vessels.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:00 PM   #16
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Weapons it is then.

Note; when cruising New England waters always run a line cutter on your shafts and have plenty of ammo.
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Here is my takeaway from this post (hijack!)

What a great race, huh? Happy for Lewis and glad Kimi could keep "Finger Boy" behind him. Hungary is one of the few track where major changes in the configuration actually improved it.

Now back to your regularly scheduled thread.
No, not quite yet. My son and I are avid F1 followers. (Diverted to Dubai/Abu Dhabi 2 yrs ago on way to the UK just to take in Ferrari World - really great!) Anyway...we are convinced now there is a dark plot in the Red Bull Camp to always ensure something untoward happens to prevent our Aussie driver, Mark Webber ever being near "finger boy" as I love it you called him, as we often use the same name. If not, he has the foulest luck and dumbest strategist on the planet in his camp. I think it will get worse now Mark has announced leaving F1 at the end of the season.
Now back on thread topic....or are we done with lobster pots..?
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Old 08-03-2013, 01:13 AM   #18
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Staying with lobster pots, for a moment, anyone had a nice fresh lobster "escape onboard" during the disentanglement process?
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:17 AM   #19
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anyone run at night or in the rain?
Yes, I do. All up and down the NE coast. And I'll say it again: If you're going slow enough, and keeping a good enough watch to avoid deadheads and other hazards, then you can usually avoid the brightly-colored lobster and crab buoys.

Art said a lot of things I left out of my post just to keep it short and on point. LISTEN to that man, he knows of what he speaks.

If you choose to start a war with guys who make a living out on the water, cutters and extra ammo will NOT be enough to win it. I guarantee that you and your shiny fiberglass recreational boat will be outgunned and outnumbered wherever you go.

Not that it should ever come to that. Show a little respect, keep a good lookout, learn to use your steering wheel, and if you wave to the fishermen, they'll usually wave back. If they're in a good mood they'll probably use all five fingers. Cross them and it's whole 'nother story.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:36 AM   #20
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Yes, I do. All up and down the NE coast. And I'll say it again: If you're going slow enough, and keeping a good enough watch to avoid deadheads and other hazards, then you can usually avoid the brightly-colored lobster and crab buoys.

Art said a lot of things I left out of my post just to keep it short and on point. LISTEN to that man, he knows of what he speaks.

If you choose to start a war with guys who make a living out on the water, cutters and extra ammo will NOT be enough to win it. I guarantee that you and your shiny fiberglass recreational boat will be outgunned and outnumbered wherever you go.

Not that it should ever come to that. Show a little respect, keep a good lookout, learn to use your steering wheel, and if you wave to the fishermen, they'll usually wave back. If they're in a good mood they'll probably use all five fingers. Cross them and it's whole 'nother story.
I can't comment on New England but I can on my often frequented waters.

Along the Jersey Coast and North Carolina the watermen aren't so diligent. They use dark blue, black, and dark green floats, often they are just one small ball and the writing on them is tough to see in daylight, let alone night. They are often in the narrow channels of the waterway and are tough to spot on an overcast, choppy day let alone at night (read impossible unless you are going to crawl along with several big spotlights working.)

The buoys are often in the channel which is against Fish and Game laws and while I know any intelligent crabber doesn't want to lose their trap...why are they in the channels and against the law? It's been upheld in court that watermen can be held accountable for damages if through the positioning of their gear if it endangers other boaters.

Kinda like the "no wake" discussion....respect goes both ways....I have no problem with their fishing...except when they really block up an area to the point where to avoid one string of buoys sends you into another and zigzagging in a narrow, shallow channel is not acceptable.

I don't know why I'm complaining....as an assistance tower, trap lines just means more towing for me....
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