October 28, 2012
So far we’re pretty happy with our decision to anchor out. A friend sent us some photos from the Deltaville Marina and the dock we were on yesterday is already under water. We’ve had steady rain all day and winds are building, but so far we are very comfortable. Our winds are now in the high 20’s with gusts into the high 30’s. We can see that the docks at some of the local private homes and at the Fishing Bay marina are now underwater. And the real storm hasn’t reached us yet – this is just the warm-up.
The heavy rain has turned up a couple small leaks on board. One is in the port guest cabin and we’ve been trying to identify and fix it since we bought the boat. It’s still leaking but we’re now pretty confident we’ve identified where and why, so hopefully we’ll be able to fix it for good. For now, we’ve got a chamois and bucket set up to catch water. We’ve got another very small leak from the overhead hatch in the starboard guest cabin but it’s not major. A bit more frustrating is that despite a fair amount of work done in the anchor locker over the past couple weeks, we still have some water seeping into the machinery space in the bow. Again not major, but this heavy rain does give us a chance to examine all the leaks more closely. At least they are fresh water, not salt, and won’t do any real damage.
We have our Nobletec charting software set up to help us ensure we are not dragging our anchor. You’ll see in the photo the boat icon, which shows our current position. Then you’ll see the pink spot – this is the actual track of the boat since we dropped anchor yesterday afternoon. I’ve added the black lines extending 70 meters (about 210 feet) from where we dropped the anchor as a visual guide. As you can see, we swing a bit on the anchor chain, but are pretty well staying put. Fortunately, we can also see this display on the TV screen in our master cabin, so can keep an eye on things from there.
We’re also monitoring the wind using our Furuno RD-33 instrument. We have it set to show the wind direction, current wind speed, and highest recorded wind speed. As of this morning, our highest gust was 33 knots. As I write this, we’ve now seen 40.2 knots, but expect it will get a lot higher over the coming 48 hours. We’ve donned our foul weather gear and done some checks outside. It’s amazing how comfortable it is inside and what a difference in sound, feel, and temperature once we venture out on deck. We’ve still got cell phone coverage, internet, and DirecTV.
A couple people have asked about our anchor set up. We have two 300-pound CQR anchors set up on our bow each with 100 meters of chain. One is connected to an electric windlass (winch) and the other to a hydraulic, giving us some options. As you think about anchoring, it is not the weight of the anchor and chain that keep the boat safe, but the anchor digging into the mud. The weight of the anchor and chain help this process, but the key is setting the anchor in the bottom. There are three theories regarding anchoring for heavy weather. One, both anchors are deployed at approximately 45 degrees separation. Two, deploy one and keep the second in the ready. Three, deploy the first anchor, put out some chain – about 15 meters – and then add the second anchor to this chain, the theory being the second anchor acts more like a huge weight to prevent the chain from being lifted up and thereby keeping the first anchor in the ground. We prefer the second option and while we could do three, it would be very difficult to attach the 300 lb anchor to the chain while on the bow and even more difficult to retrieve. The key problem with option one is the risk of fouling the two anchors (getting them tangled together). We have set our port side anchor, the one on the electric windlass and have a snubber line bridle set up. This is a line that goes out through the hausers (openings) on either side of the bow. A “claw” then connects this line to the anchor chain and enough chain is let out so that the strain is taken by the line, rather than by the single windlass connection. We do not have an engine running now, but if the winds strengthen significantly we have the option of keeping an engine running to allow us to take some strain off the chain and be ready in the event of an emergency.
Today was spent baking cinnamon bread, watching movies, catching up on emails, relaxing,Click on any photo to enlarge and you can now REPLY to blog update emails and it will post your reply to the blog as a comment! Hurray, it’s about time WordPress! I’ll update the blog frequently until after the storm is past, then will go back to a more normal 3-4 week update cycle.
#1 by Karen Davidson on October 29, 2012 - 4:54 pm
Hi Kathy and Bradley
Stay safe, we have rode out 94 knt storm in southern Tasmania (Port Davey) on N 43 Opal Lady, although we took shelter up a creek and tied to the bank, so we did not have a sea state to deal with! We are sitting watching live coverage on our TV here in Aus on Opal Lady now! Out thoughts are with you all!
#2 by McDonald.Joanne on October 29, 2012 - 2:53 pm
I don’t think you planned on coming to the shareholders’ meeting on Tuesday but it has been cancelled and we will rescheule. Hope you and Bradley stay safe in the storm.
#3 by Henry Steinhauer on October 29, 2012 - 12:20 pm
Our prayers are with you. Thanks for the first person updates and all the details. It is as if we are there with you to see first hand what you are doing. Wish we could stand watch with you, or for you so you could get some rest. After the storm passes, watch out for all the junk that will be in the water then.
#4 by Darin Hayden on October 29, 2012 - 11:39 am
We are thinking of you here in San Diego! Be safe J
#5 by Roger Philips on October 29, 2012 - 10:33 am
Hi Kathy and Bradley – I see from AIS that you are safely parked in the middle of Fishing Bay, as of 2 minutes ago. Really appreciate the details you are sharing about your “ride out” prep. Please keep us posted – and good luck! — Roger
#6 by Cyndy Morreale on October 29, 2012 - 9:37 am
I know you’re in the middle of hell right now … Thinking of you so much today Hoping for a happier update later today that says you are just fine !! … Just leaving Puerto Rico, headed for Ft Lauderdale for a few wks … Please be OK !!!! Cyndy
Sent from my iPhone
#7 by Anonymous on October 29, 2012 - 7:32 am
Kathy and Bradley,
we left our house on the northern neck yesterday around noon and it was already rocking and rolling down there. We will be thinking about you guys and Sheer Madness. Hang in there!
#8 by Brad Antle on October 29, 2012 - 6:30 am
I never rode out a hurricane at anchor in the Navy, as we always went to sea, but heavy winds on the hook. Our thoughts a prayers are with you while you ride this out.
A single hook does allow the boat to twist more freely into the wind. I think you are wise to use the engine option if the winds get too heavy. The hook will be tested and you guys won’t get much sleep over the next 24-36 hours. All the best!
Brad & Jean
#9 by julie sannicandro on October 29, 2012 - 5:47 am
Be safe my friends:)
Sent from my iPhone
#10 by Nigel & Dale PHILIPS on October 28, 2012 - 10:30 pm
Dear Kathy and Bradley
We are thinking of you both and Shear Madness. Guess there will be loads of ‘shear madness’ to follow in the next hours and we wish you well. The storm looks so scary but I am sure you will weather it well and have some amazing stories to share.
Our best Dale & Nigel
#11 by Doreen Mannion on October 28, 2012 - 10:23 pm
Thinking of you!
#12 by Anonymous on October 28, 2012 - 9:31 pm
Thank you. I was soo worried about you guys. Thank you for the update. Also Shear Madness is playing at the Kennedy Center and I never seen the play….but I would like to go to see where it all started with Bradley and Kathy adventures……
#13 by Mary Ray on October 28, 2012 - 8:49 pm
Thanks for your updates so we can keep up with what’s happening and what you are doing. All our best to you, Mary and Scott
#14 by Meltzer, Steven L. on October 28, 2012 - 8:00 pm
It sounds like you guys have done all of the smart things. Now just stay well and be safe! This will make a great story when it’s over.
Steven Meltzer | Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Tel: 703.770.7950 | Fax:
1650 Tysons Boulevard | McLean, VA 22102-4856
Visit Pillsbury’s Communications Blog: http://www.CommLawCenter.com [cid:image003.jpg@01CDB54F.3CD41BF0]
#15 by Fred K on October 28, 2012 - 7:37 pm
The suspense is killing me. Glad you are going to post frequently. If we see your posts, we will know that you are safe.
#16 by Kathy Clark on October 28, 2012 - 8:16 pm
But if you don’t see posts, it doesn’t mean we’re not safe! Good chance we will lose internet at some point.
#17 by Paul on October 28, 2012 - 7:21 pm
Have to try this new thing
Hah, you are in good spirits even making rolls and catching sweet water and writing your blog.
Interesting the 3 options you thought about. I once used option 3. I had a very difficult time to get everything on board again. By hand and the second anchor was ‘ only’ 60 pounds…, but I put it directly on the main anchor chain….
Amazing these new technologies. I can exactly see where you are, and you are not dragging, via this http://marinetraffic.com.
I wonder about the privacy. Everybody can see this. There are 6 pages of tracking-log available of you. Pirates can use this to look for a good prey, or is there something I oversee?
Hope you have a comfortable night. Are you going to do anchor watches, or just an alarm?
I appreciate very much you direct reporting of this Shear Madness on the same boat.
Los Lagos, Chile
#18 by marie dufour on October 28, 2012 - 7:15 pm
Excellent! Glad you left the fuel dock behind. I agree with you on the “One Anchor” system. Two anchor chains at 45 degrees foul up too easily (happened to us in Washington DC where 2 anchors were mandatory) and a second ‘In-line” anchor is a nightmare to deploy and retrieve. Better plop your “Big Bertha” deep in the mud with 400’ of 1/2″ chain! You’re doing fine! Hoping one of you can sleep tonight…
#19 by Debbie Heiniger on October 28, 2012 - 7:04 pm
Kathy and Bradley,
Sure thinking of you two. I can almost smell the cinnamon rolls while the wind is howling. Take care and looking forward to your next post!
#20 by McDonald.Joanne on October 28, 2012 - 6:58 pm
#21 by Sandra Bushue on October 28, 2012 - 6:53 pm
Kathy and Bradley,
Oops….I am answering emails also. Please be careful out there. I forward your Shear Madness emails to a friend of mine who loves the ocean and sailing. He very much enjoys your blogs and he loves how technical you get. I forward to him your morning blog and he wrote back saying he thought 3 anchors would be better and he gives the reasons. Note below –
Also the God I was referring to is the one omnipotent. I realize there is “one” in the WH who thinks HE is. On that note, I am keeping my fingers crossed for victory on November 6. Losing in not an option here!!
Again, be careful out there!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are really brave!!
From friend regarding your first email today: Sounds like they are doing the reasonable and prudent thing, if you don’t want to head offshore and cannot get pulled and up on the hard; a protected sheltered cove is about as good as it gets. I would probably have a second or third anchor set up and ready to run out just in case. But other than they have done the right thing. Well they could tape up the windows as a precaution against shattering if they get tagged with debris. But while slow moving and full or water Sandy not particularly strong CAT 1. The water and slow moving is what does all the damage. Heck if I had been in the area I would have offered to help with anchor watches. A good blow is a great way to liven things up a little. I watched moves of yacht going around the HORN (tip of south america in 60 know winds) when I was 13 or 14 my comment was wow looks like fun.
You have actually been on a boat down in that general area Irvington was where I made you so sick on a boat and you would not let me put you ashore for an afternoon my treat at the tidewater inn. Irvington is not that far from Deltaville I have actually used the marina there and their use to be a Coast Guard station there as well.