4th Of July Mandeville
4th of July week I anchored out in Mandeville Cut for the fourth of July fireworks celebration hosted By the Hilton Family. This event attracts several hundred boats maybe a thousand by the 4th.
We were several days early and picked out a spot north of the cut in the old river channel, dropped anchor in 26’ of water and laid out 125’ 3/8 chain backed down and set the anchor in what I hoped might be sand and mud deep enough to be free of the grass and weeds that plague the river.
The wind here can be very strong and normally blows from the west across the tidal flow meaning at a right angle to the changing current. The current is often 1 to 2 knts. It is common practice for boats to raft up for this event and every year there is Drama around dragging anchors .
As the anchorage fills many boats set stern anchors and those of us swinging have to either do the same or defend their swinging room. This year we had a group decide to set up a large raft up in our swinging space.
They arrived several days after we had but somehow decided that our piece of the water was the best spot. My 26 year old daughter went over and let them know that they were in our swinging room and was sarcastically reprimanded by one of the group and told we needed to set a stern anchor because that is what everyone does.
A few minutes later a calmer emissary from club boated and offered to help me set a stern anchor , sort of a passive way of saying if you can’t set your own stern anchor we can help you. I told him my boat weighs 66 tons and the last time I set a stern anchor here I bent the shank. He said he didn’t realize when he set up that I was swinging.
In all honesty my 20lb picnic anchor with 30’ of ¼ inch chain is not enough to hold my boat beam to in a 2 knt current. I have a spare 80lb Danforth but I’m not going to jackass that out of the mud and into my dingy.
A reasonable solution seemed to be play out another 100 of chain and try a stern anchor. By now the raft had built to 8 or 9 boats, far easier for me to adjust than the raft group.
Boats just appear and anchor all around you and most seem to think you’re a fixed object. Another thing they don’t realize is how large my boat is. A fellow in a 26’ Bayliner had anchored directly astern about 125’ back, I would have to get him to move for me to play out more chain.
I get in my dingy and visit the Bayliner guy only to find him with dragging bow anchor and a tangled stern anchor. He’s alone on his boat so he is appreciative of whatever help I can give him. Back to my boat where we play out 300’ of ½ line to him, I pull and reset his anchors 200’ back from his present location.
I play out another 100’ of chain and set my 20lb picnic anchor with 30’ chain and ½ three strand. That evening we have a full moon 20plus knot wind and 2 plus knt current. No thank you from the raft group.
I go to thinking why is it so hard to hold a boat beam to in current, even a small amount of current. My boat draws 5’ and has about 44’ of water line. How much force is trying to move that boat sideways. Is the force based on displacement or square ft of hull sideways to the current. And why do raft ups seem to hold better in cross current.