October 29, 2012
We had a bit of excitement last night after dark. About 9:30pm we started getting wind gusts of 45+ knots when we heard an ominous noise from the bow. We donned our foul weather gear and went out to investigate. Our intuition was correct – the snubber line had snapped, going into the water and taking the claw connecting it to the anchor chain along with it. The rubber hoses which provide chafe protection had worn through, allowing the line to saw against the stainless steel claw until it was weakened enough to break during a strong wind gust. While had a spare snubber line at the ready, we had to determine how best to rig the backup. I went inside to start the engines so that we would be prepared in the event things took a turn for the worse. Bradley focused on getting another line ready, using one of the claws from the anchor braking system. We were disappointed to find that our forward (bow) deck light was not working, so had to work by flashlight. I also discovered that the batteries in two of our “ready” flashlights with rechargeable batteries had not held their charge. Fortunately we keep several waterproof lights that were ready to go, so I just had to grab another one.
Once Bradley had the new snubber line ready to deploy, we decided to take the opportunity to let out some additional anchor chain. As they say, anchor chain does no good sitting in the anchor locker! So out it went. We now have 115 meters of chain out (over 345 feet). After little more than an hour of the problem occurring, we had the new snubber in place and were set for the night. Given the darkness and the need for both of us to be focused on getting the snubber re-set, there are no photos of this actual event. The winds eased a bit over the next hour, allowing us to get a good night’s sleep. We are grateful to have the Nobeltec display available on the TV in our cabin as it allows us to simply look up and ensure that we haven’t moved outside our swing radius.
The project for this morning was to put good chafe protection in place on the new snubber line and to devise a backup solution in case we lose this one. Braving the wind and rain, we set out on deck. We needed to bring the anchor up enough to ease the tension on the snubber, untie it from the deck cleats, slip the protective hose over the end, then re-tie it and position the hoses to ensure they are doing their job. Not a complicated task, but the weather is now downright chilly (41F) and the winds were a sustained 30+ knots with gusts in the 40’s, accompanied by a driving rain. But Captain Bradley soon had all in place and we were once again sitting safe and secure.
A check of the tender deck and flybridge revealed that the tie-downs on the helm chairs in the flybridge had come undone and the line was lying in a tangle on the deck as the chair covers flapped more than I wanted to see! It took ten minutes to untangle the line and my fingers haven’t been that cold in a while! But again, this was not a difficult task and we soon had the chair covers secure again.
We returned inside and shut off the engines. The engine room was nice and warm, making it a good place to hang our wet weather gear to dry. For now, we are once again safe and comfortable. The worst of the storm should pass by this afternoon and evening. As it does, we expect the winds to shift direction from the north to south/southwest. This will be the point where we have the least protection from the wind in this anchorage, so we are hoping we do not have to move! Thus far, we’ve been reasonably protected and have only seen gusts of 45-48 knots. We’d like to keep it that way! Thanks to all for your concern and comments!
#1 by Kathy Clark on November 18, 2012 - 10:45 am
#2 by Doug Wendt and Family on October 30, 2012 - 8:02 am
Hi Kathy and Bradley — It looks like the worst of Sandy went north of all of us, hopefully that was the case for you as well. Getting a sense of things here on land, and we look forward to your update from the Chesapeake Bay!
#3 by A & K on October 29, 2012 - 10:36 pm
Kathy and Bradley we are praying for your sunshine and calm waters! These updates are wonderful. Look forward to hearing about your Sandy Tuesday. XO Alan and Kathleen
#4 by Anonymous on October 29, 2012 - 9:54 pm
Very cool updates over the last few days Kathy. Thanks, Shouvik
#5 by Beth Weissman on October 29, 2012 - 7:58 pm
Glad to hear you and Bradley (and Shear Madness) are safe!!
#6 by Ellen glover on October 29, 2012 - 7:00 pm
Really interesting updates, thanks for the posts. Stay safe.
#7 by Anonymous on October 29, 2012 - 6:40 pm
Kathy & Bradley, very exciting reading your blog as Sandy comes in, and we’ve been showing your AIS plot to all our sailing friends – impressive and we’ve been thinking about you. We were alarmed for you when you suddenly moved to a new swing radius- but it was only the extra scope – phew!! We went through 24 hrs of 45+ knots anchored in our Nordhavn 43 this summer in Scotland and can imagine how focussed you both are on every little boat movement for anything out of the new “ordinary”. Subsequently we dragged the anchor in only 35 knots in a different anchorage with indifferent holding. Unfortunately, this was the middle of the night in heavy rain, but we had plotted everything around us by radar, and were able to find the room to re-anchor by instruments only. Have you got plenty of room in the Bay to re-anchor? Keep safe and keep those reports coming. Colin & Janet Ingram, Suilven, N43
#8 by Dannielle Brown on October 29, 2012 - 6:23 pm
Great Team Work! Even a storm is no match for you guys.
#9 by Norman Messman on October 29, 2012 - 5:54 pm
Are you sure the deck cleats are going to hold? It’s a long swim to Bay Shore Rd or Fishing Bay Rd. Good Luck Norm
#10 by Fred K on October 29, 2012 - 5:52 pm
I’m up here near Georgian Bay and the wind is shaking our windows and the rain is coming down steadily. Can’t imagine what it is like to be where you are, much closer to the storm and on the water and out in the open, but clearly you are managing quite well. Good luck for the next couple of days.
#11 by David Venning on October 29, 2012 - 5:52 pm
Well done Capt. Bradley & crew … Always confident that you had all loose ends under control. Cheers from Down Under D V
#12 by Pawson, David on October 29, 2012 - 5:50 pm
Hi Kathy, We have been following your adventures with close interest, and trust that you and Bradley remain safe and warm! Here in McLean we live in a hollow, but outside I have never heard such a wind! You can hear trees cracking and thudding down…the creek down behind our house is almost over its banks, and the storm hasn’t “officially” reached us yet! DC is closed, so we’re doing stuff at home. We have accumulated a lot more stuff on Austin Clark, which we’ll tell you about soon. Last week we were at Harvard, looking at the papers of Louise Sparrow, who sculpted Austin’s bust in 1930 (a “sculpted bust” sounds a little like plastic surgery, don’t it?). Affectionate best wishes to you two from Doris and me. Safe harbor to you both, Dave Pawson. ________________________________
#13 by Vera on October 29, 2012 - 5:47 pm
Stay safe Kathy!
#14 by Pelletier Ray on October 29, 2012 - 5:45 pm
All the best. Worried about you.
#15 by Wilma Grant on October 29, 2012 - 5:38 pm
You guys stay safe – the running report heightens my interest and that of others I’m sure.
Batten the hatches . . . ride it out.–Wilma
#16 by Dan Young on October 29, 2012 - 5:33 pm
Very impressive seamanship replacing the snubber line. You might want to have a couple of lengths of split hose to quickly secure with small stuff if chafing occurs again.
#17 by GEORGE DISHMAN on October 29, 2012 - 5:25 pm
This is a little like watching a high-tension movie and being anxious about the fate of the heroine (oops and hero too Bradley)! I am enjoying the play-by-play and although I wouldn’t trade places, I’m glad to hear that you guys are OK. Keep us posted – it is very exciting.
P.S. sorry about those Skins – we have our time coming!
Peace, George George Dishman
Tel (direct): +1 214.341.1012 Tel (mobile) +1 214.505.9457 Fax: +1 214.221.9457 Gdishman@swbell.net Among the things you can give and still keep are your words, your smile and a grateful heart. Zig Ziglar This communication contains information that may be privileged, confidential and/or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution, or use of the information contained herein (including any reliance thereon) is strictly prohibited. If you received this transmission in error, please immediately contact the sender and delete this communication. Thank you.
#18 by Debbie Heiniger on October 29, 2012 - 5:21 pm
Kathy, thank you so much for sending out these updates. I have been praying for your safety all day. Hopefully you are having a cup of tea and a cinnamon roll…Take care!
#19 by Anonymous on October 29, 2012 - 5:20 pm
Hang in there! I reallly liked seeing the Shenandoah University Flag!!!!!
#20 by Cindy on October 29, 2012 - 5:18 pm
Thanks for keeping us posted. Some excitement is to be expected, but it’s good to know you’re okay.
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#22 by Meltzer, Steven L. on October 29, 2012 - 5:13 pm
This sounds pretty challenging – particularly with a crew of only two. Kudos to both of you for your smarts and ingenuity! I’m still rooting for you!
Steven Meltzer | Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
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#23 by Sue on October 29, 2012 - 5:10 pm
Keep safe Kathy and Bradley. it sounds very alarming from over here in Australia. Sue McKenney
#24 by Doug Wendt and Family on October 29, 2012 - 5:07 pm
Thank you, Kathy and Bradley for providing a better sense of what is going on with Sandy than 100 television and radio “forecasters” combined. We’re following you actively on the web — keep the updates coming!