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Old 07-18-2013, 04:21 PM   #1
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More Trials and Travails

Just a few posts ago; I made the comment that learning takes work. So I had another learning experience last night.

The scene, I was anchored in the cove west of Jewell Island, there is also a spit of land to the west, making the cove about Ĺ mile long, but only 400 to 500 ft. wide. The channel is considerably more narrow and is probably only 120 ft. wide.

This was my second night anchored in the same spot. I actually stayed at this location because my anchor seemed well anchored. Winds had been blowing 10 to 20 kts from the south, which is the same as the cove orientation (N ĖS). I had about 90 ft. of chain out in about 6 ft. of water on a falling tide at this point.

1st red flag I ignored, about 12 hours earlier, about mid-way between high going to low tide, a sailboat anchored just to the SW of me and I asked him how much water he had where he was and he said, 8 ft., while at that time I only had 5 ft. (I ignored it because I had been here for almost 24 hours already).

(i can't figure out how to insert picute here. I can on my phone though)
Figure 2 The previous low tide

2nd red flag I ignored, there were 6 sailboats anchored in cove, spaced pretty evenly, and in line, but I was actually about one boat length (40 to 50 ft.) east of their anchor line. But again, I had held well, so decided not to move a little more to the center (I was off center by about 50 ft.)

Figure 3 The line of sail boats

Just after dinner, I noticed a strong line of thunderstorms, associated with a cold front, moving from the WNW to the ESE just west of Portland. Some spectacular lightning for about an hour. Not knowing what to expect, but understanding there could be ferocious winds, I decided to start my main engine and stay up for the squall lineís passage. Winds were strong, 20 kts out of the south and under those conditions, Dauntless seems to like oscillating between SE and SW, with half the time due South.

Much rain, lightning and then clearing skies right after. The winds went calm. This was only a yellow flag. So about 11:00 p.m. I head for bed. Anchor alarm set, I had it set for 80 ft., a little less than usual, (I usually use 120 ft.). Iím reading in bed about midnight, when I hear a noise, like a small bang from the deck above me (master cabin is forward). But there was still some residual thunder around and thought maybe that what I heard.

3rd red flag ignored, Investigate all strange noises, immediately.
4th red flagÖAbout 10 minutes later, my water bottle fell over. What did I do? NOTHING. I figured I had put it on the counter too precariously.

Within about 5 minutes the boat like just fell over, probably listing 25į I almost fell out of bed. Hooray, I didnít ignore this one.

I had trouble getting to the pilot house, felt like I was on a sailboat again. Dauntless was tilted to port about 25 degrees increasing to almost 30 within 20 minutes. It was time for action, but what??

When I had grounded before, it was always symmetrical. Clearly this time, I had some higher, harder ground right under the keel, so the boat flopped over. I thought about what above waterline thru hulls I had on the now underwater port side, only the two head sinks. I went to close them and noticed smoke coming from the 120v outlet on the counter top. I felt the smoke, it was hot. I immediately turned off the inverter and then turned off all the 120v breakers. Smoke stopped and then I realized the outlet was half under water. Checked under sink. No other electrical issues.
Went to other head, but no issues. I closed the thru hulls anyway. Checked the bilge, thankfully no real water flowing, though some water was coming in along the seam under sink in midships head. A trickle that was moving to forward bilge.
The boat seemed not to be increasing itís list anymore. A few things in the galley went crashing, including a jar of instant coffee, which turned out to make more of a mess than anything else.

I took off what little clothes I had on and decided to walk around the boat, looking for any damage, on the outside. Port side, my deck scuppers were just under water, there was only about 2 feet of water. Rudder seemed ok; prop was not in the mud, as I could turn it. (Did notice a nickel sized gouge in two blades), But at least the keel seemed to be protecting the prop and rudder. Walked around stern, to starboard side, water here was about 4 feet deep. Decided to use this opportunity to clean out two thru hulls that I thought may be clogged for the last few weeks. Felt good about that.

Crawled back into boat, dried myself off and wedged myself onto couch to wait to see what would happen next. Low tide was just about here at this point. Low tide was 12:45 a.m. at nearby island. But now I had time to think. Who should I call, it was after midnight? I could call my wife, but then I would just worry her. I had enough worry for both of us. I could call some other boat friends, but do they understand rounded full displacement hull shapes? I could call a few people who know Krogenís, but then why wake them up? The situation was not getting any worse. I could call BoatUS, but if they send someone out, theyíll just say letís wait for the tide to return.

So I just worried. I was really calm on the outside, but inside I kept trying to envision the reason the boat was so listed and therefore what would happen as the tide started to come back in. I remember reading a story of a sail boat in Alaska that was grounded in a similar way, but as the water came back up, the engine room ventilator came under water and the boat filled with water before it could right itself. I started to worry irrationally that maybe the boat would just roll totally on its side. I realized that that would take some lifting force on the right side to happen and it made more sense that the port side would lift as the water came back and that Kady and Krogen actually knew how to design a boat that would not turn turtle at the first opportunity.

I probably feel asleep for 45 minutes, and then when I awoke, I thought the list was the same, it certainly wasnít worse and the tide had turned. The beach was only 6 feet from the window at this point so every 5 minutes I tried to look at the same rock to see if there any difference. About 2 a.m. I thought to download the inclinometer for my phone, did so, and measured a 25į list (I had guessed about that between 20 and 30).

At this point I checked the list about every 5 minutes and it was clearly getting better by about 1į/5 min. Sure enough, by about 3 a.m. 2 hours after Low tide, the boat was only listed about 10į. By 4 a.m., it was close to normal and I decided to start the engine. I did and noticed the exhaust was still about a few inches higher than normal, in other words the keel was still resting on something.

About 4:30 a.m. I decided it was time to do something. I decided to not use the prop, just in case, but to use the windlass to pull me towards center channel. It worked. Whenever the tension on the chain became a lot (but less than other times), I let it rest as the boat pulled forward. Once I could tell that boat was totally floating and had moved about 30 feet, I used the engine to move mid channel.

But now I had another problem. I was surrounded on two sides by these dark sail boats that only had anchor light 50 ft. in the air. A number of times as I tried to set my anchor, I was worried about backing into one of these boats. I thought that I better not make a bad situation worse by hitting another boat. So now was not the time to get giddy and make a bad problem far worse by hitting someone.

I took my time, shined my hand held spotlight on other boats a lot and 45 minutes later I finally got my anchor to set where I thought would be good.
I had good water and at 5 a.m. I went to sleep.

Getting up at 9, I noticed one of the sail boats leaving and I spent another 30 minutes moving to a better location where I was clearly in the middle of the channel.

Now, just after low tide, I still have 8 ft. under the boat, not 5.

In hindsight, besides the warning signs I ignored above, I think this occurred because since I had first anchored here, the winds were southerly, sometimes weak, sometimes strong, but pretty consistent, so Dauntless pretty much stayed parallel to the shore and although I was near the side of the channel; I was still in the channel. Then, after the storm front moved thru, the winds went a little westerly, but then died. I went to bed thinking that calm was good, but instead, it allowed the boat to move towards shore, without setting off the anchor alarm. The bow was still pointed to the middle of the channel, but my keel was now over the beach essentially.

Now, the boatís all cleaned up and Iíll go to sleep early tonight. I love this spot. I soaked in the water off the swim platform after cleaning the boat to cool off.

I think happy hour just started too.

Richard
Thatís my story and Iím sticking to it.
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:36 PM   #2
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Thatís my story and Iím sticking to it.
Great story, Richard and one that is full d lessons!
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:54 PM   #3
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The beach at a previous lore tide
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:55 PM   #4
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The line of boats. You can see I'm a bit offset towards the beach
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Old 07-18-2013, 04:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for the story. Not every boat would have come through ok.

I have anchored at Jewell several times and have been concerned about being blown to the side, but it never happened.

You must have been anchored deep with the cove, probably past the ranger's mooring for it to have been so narrow.

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Old 07-18-2013, 06:05 PM   #6
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I'm just north of that mooring now and in line, in center.

Lesson learned. I've anchored other times with that same concern about being pushed to the side. But I've tried to be considerate about the channel.
But now I'm going to make a better effort about not getting to close to the shore.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:06 PM   #7
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Well written, entertaining, and all's well that ends well, eh? Happy hour indeed!!
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:13 PM   #8
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A similar grounding

Nice post (in the sense that your story is well told, not in what happened to you.)

I have always believed that if you cruise far enough, and often enough, everybody eventually goes aground.

Here is the story of Skinwalkers grounding in a similar situation.

Keep in mind that the author was a licensed Captain who ran a cruise boat in Baltimoresí inner harbor during the summers.

Not long after this incident they sold the MT49 and bought a small farm near Aqua Harbor marina on the Tenn Rv.

Glad things turned out ok for you.

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Old 07-18-2013, 07:56 PM   #9
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I knew me, in the sense that i do take risks that others may not. So, a full keel and single engine was also a necessity.

Richard
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:02 PM   #10
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Richard, a good story, and a good lesson for us all. Thanks for posting.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:18 PM   #11
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Love it.

Aground in a storm in the middle of the night, you have the presence of mind to strip off, jump overboard and clear the through hulls.Talk about not wasting an opportunity.

However,imagine the conversation on the yacht moored next to you.

"Darling there is a man with no clothes on doing something strange to the bottom of his boat", the Skipper looks across and sure enough a large bare bum(poetic licence) is illuminated in a lighting flash,the skipper turns and in a quiet tone says to his wife, "honey, time to go, you start the engine and I'll get the anchor up".
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:32 PM   #12
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All's well that ends well.
Also, it's easier in a crisis being alone.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:40 PM   #13
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Also, it's easier in a crisis being alone.
Aint that the truth! Just remember, "behind every successful man stands a woman." (Saying, you'll never make it.)
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:29 AM   #14
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Great article and as others have said this is a great reminder for all of us and your being courteous about not hogging the channel to anchore reminds me of that saying "No good deed goes unpunished"
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:22 AM   #15
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Aint that the truth! Just remember, "behind every successful man stands a woman." (Saying, you'll never make it.)
The trouble with that, Walt, is that "behind every aground cruising Captain stands an aground cruising Admiral". I can just hear my Admiral saying: "Is the boat ruined" and "will we die"?

Richard, I just sent a bit of a trauma story into the Krogen Newsletter, and he sent me a message back that he would try to dovetail the story with a similar one in an upcoming issue. I sure hope the story he was talking about was yours. The story is great, so well written. I don't mind saying that I actually caught myself taking a big breath when I got to the part where you were floating again. Such incidents do happen with boaters when anchoring in tide-water rivers around here, but climbing over-board to check on damage could be dangerous. Alligators and even the occasional crock are known to pay visits.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:27 AM   #16
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Wow! That's quite a story and one I hope never happens to me.

I'm curious what would happen to stabilizers in that situation. Would the boat just lean up against them, or in a worst case, could they snap completely off?
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:58 AM   #17
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Thanks for sharing, and glad you came through OK.

You'll notice a lot of boats favor the outer part of that cove, even though it's less protected. There's some skinny water inside, it's narrow and the whole upper section is dry at low (but you know that now.) There's also some rocks, debris and piles from old piers, and even some abandoned anchors down there. All in all, not a good place to be in a blow.

One good thing, the lousy weather should keep most of the yahoos away tonight and tomorrow night. On good weekend nights that place becomes party cove.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:08 PM   #18
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Wow! That's quite a story and one I hope never happens to me.

I'm curious what would happen to stabilizers in that situation. Would the boat just lean up against them, or in a worst case, could they snap completely off?
yes, probably snap like twigs. That would have made a minor incident into a major disaster. And i wouldn't be on the move again today, wondering what shenanigans are in store for me next.

That's another count in my mind against active stabilizers.
Also, in reading of the Nordhavn Rally across the Atlantic a few years ago, most hydraulic had problem running 24/7 for more than a week.
Let's KISS

Also, did I see Avalon for sale last year?

Richard
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:39 PM   #19
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Yes, you did see Avalon for sale last year. We bought her in January of this year.
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Old 07-20-2013, 12:48 AM   #20
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Wxx3 - TY very much for that post! Bout mid way through your post my AH began to pucker re your boat possibly floundering due to lack of buoyancy to right itself afore bilge flooding over took the situation. Congrats in your eventual successful end!
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