Monday, January 12, 2009

Anchors away!

Kristen here - Jared, your boredom with our blog inactivity has been alieved, and no I didn't spell away (aweigh) in the title wrong. Let me explain. A lot of interesting things happened today, but I'll start with this evening.

After a grueling 3 hours of school, we decided to go to the mall, and the fabric store to buy some fabric and foam for some new, more butt friendly cushions. At 7:00 at night, after 4 dinghy trips in a heavy current from the dock to the boat to deliver the aforementioned 70 x 50" pieces of foam, 30 yards of 54" fabric and various other butt cushioning materials, I made a late dinner and settled in with a yummy sweet tea vodka to celebrate our cushion material acquiring success.

With the kids snugly in bed at 9:3o , we heard a strange low pitched scraping noise. "What was that?", Chris said. It sounded like something scraping against our boat, or maybe the anchor chain rubbing against the bow. Chris headed to the bow of the boat to investigate, and I stood in the cockpit listening for the noise again. He found nothing out of place and we didn't hear the noise again for a few minutes. Then we both went below and into our bedroom at the bow of the boat. "The noise seemed to come from here, see there it is again!" Chris said. I heard it again too. This was definitely an unusual noise. Then I went up top to listen, and saw a trawler passing by. "Oh, maybe it was just this big trawler (large ocean going motor yacht) that caused the noise", I said as it passed right next to us.

Then as Chris came up to check out the trawler, now about 50 feet in front of us, we started rapidly moving forward right between two other anchored sailboats. "What's going on", I said. "We must be getting propelled forward by the trawlers wake (disturbance of the water put out by a moving vessel). But as we waited for our anchor to catch us, and started moving even faster past the two other anchored vessels. At this point in time we started reacting...RAPIDLY.

"Start the engine!", Chris yelled. Casey was already up. I attempted to start the engine, and of course at the most opportune moment, it wouldn't start. We yelled below to start the generator. Thank goodness for Casey. He started the generator, and after a minute the engine started. (We have now learned that this is a glow plug issue, and the engine doesn't like to start in cold weather.) As instructed, Casey also grabbed the air horn which we immediately sounded to alert the rest of the anchored boats to our situation.

I must at this point in the story give kudos to Casey. In a tense moment he kept his cool, and remembered how to do everything, and was a huge help. Thanks buddy! Kaitlin did well too. She got really worried about our situation, but did everything we told her to and was an excellent listener. Good job sweetie pie!

Once we were past the other anchored boats things calmed down a bit, and we realized that something of ours was caught on something of the trawlers. The trawler, now about 10 feet away from us, had stopped and suggested we raft to them (tie up to their boat, side by side) while they anchor and we all figure out what is going on. Smart choice on their part.

We did just that, and while they dropped their anchor, we pulled up our anchor to find out that they were caught on our anchor buoy. An anchor buoy is a line attached directly to the anchor with a float on the end of it. It lets us and others know where our anchor is sitting, and if the anchor gets caught on anything, we have a second way to pull it up. They were roaming around looking for a place to anchor, and snagged our buoy on their boat.

Once we were safely rafted I yelled to them, "Hay, you caught a sailboat!". They were very nice, and tried to rescue our buoy from under their boat. We told them it was no great loss (the buoy came with our boat and was quite ancient) and when they didn't have success in freeing the buoy, we told them to just cut the line.

They were hesitant to move, with the prospect of having a line wrapped around their prop. Chris took a look at the GPS and discovered that we were about 20 feet away from a 1 foot depth. We told them we had to move or we would be grounded when the tide changed, and mutually decided that we should shove off. When we came back to the anchorage, it appeared that another boat moved as well, and our original spot was not there anymore. We re-anchored in a much less desirable spot, just off the nose of two other boats. We will have to get up at 3AM when the tide changes direction to make sure we don't hit the boats currently just off our stern (rear).

Looking back at the situation, we realize that we were very lucky. We didn't hit any other boats. We handled everything calmly and smoothly. The other boat handled everything calmly, and we narrowly missed grounding both of our boats. It's like I told Casey the other day when we snagged our brand new dingy on a bed of oysters and cut a 1 1/2" gash in the side. Stuff is going to happen in life. That is inevitable. It's how you deal with it that makes you stronger, wiser and a better person. We laughed about the dragging situation and counted our blessings.

Now I'm going to settle back into my sweet tea, and set my alarm for 3AM. I will have to tell you about the rest of the day later.

1 comment:

Jared said...

Well, thanks. Though I'm not really that sure what "alieved" really means. If it's good, then thank you for updating, and wish us our luck with the next snowstorm!
Miss you all, Jared