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A Night to Remember !!-gctid397306

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    A Night to Remember !!-gctid397306

    Well this was fun!

    Scary, but fun!

    This will be a very ho-hum story to you seasoned guys out there and you will maybe laugh at me here, but it was an experience for me!

    First off all, before I get into the melo-drama, this week I took the boat all the way to Whitehall NY (88 miles) and jumped onto the NY CAnal System for about a 12 mile U-turn,,,,,,,,,VERY COOL, and next year I will try for an extended canal cruise!!

    Now to the DRAMA.............

    Last night we were anchored in Mallett's Bay, VT. Report was for powerful T'storms & strong winds from the NW,,,,waves 4 to 6 FEET!!! (I got this report fairly late as I had no internet access for nearly 2 days) Well okay, so after sunset we put the hammer down and ran the 5 miles across the bay to the north side and I tucked us into a small bay that faced,,,,,NorthWest. ANd I pulled in nice & tight to shore with only maybe 500-600' of exposure, thinking that I was 100% ready for anything. 5ft of water under us, cold cold wine on tap and suppertime close by. We poured some wine and congratulated ourselves as the rain & thunder started to get intense.

    And the wind started, make that THE WIND,,,,,,and it started shrieking, with rain blowing sideways,,,,,,probably the strongest winds I have ever seen except for a mountain top were making these 2 40+ footers anchored nearby bounce around like bathtub toys! It was really cool to see, right up until the fog closed in and I could see only the shore. Meanwhile my little cruiser was flying all over the place! And then I noticed a dock and a big pile of rocks.

    We were moving, fast,,,,,,,,,my anchor had not held and we were being blown right out of the bay and tossed by 2 foot waves! But before we'd hit open water we were going to pile up on that dock, or those rocks! YIKES,,,,not cool

    My engine started immediately - thank goodness. But I could not see and I had my anchor out there still,,,,don't want to run my prop into that! First order of business: get off the darn shore, only a few dozen feet away,,,,gps showing 1.5 ft under my drive -Yilkes again! Inched forward enuff to get some breathing room and swung it around so I could back up, and I did this for a couple hundred yards & hoped that the anchor had caught - no luck. So I backed up some more into the center of the harbor and gave my GF the wheel and some instructions: keep making this tiny circle while I get the anchor up. Once accomplished it was just a matter of trying to control the boat in that intense wind while keeping it in the harbor, off shore and away from the big cruisers still in there. Slowly the storm passed, visibility improved and I regained my position even closer to shore than before!

    And here I dropped TWO anchors, both from the bow, poured a new, larger glass of wine and breathed a sigh of relief,,,,,,,,,,and waited for the next storm to come thru.

    Reports today mentioned a 70 mph storm, damaged boats from running aground, but thankfully nobody hurt. I would not have wanted to experience that damn storm out near the middle of teh lake!

    ANd I do realize that this is not the most horror-filled storm event ever witnesssed, but it was very strong, very intense and very much demonstrated that disaster is always a possibility.

    And now that I have survived it: well I guess that I have just a tad more experience to draw from now.

    Hopefully my instincts were correct and I acted properly.

    At least I hope so!


    This week, in my own backyard so to speak, a Canadian man drowned while doing something with his anchor right off of Valcour Island, on a very calm day too. Talk about one helluva lot of activity at the marina, but all for naught.

    So Sad............

    Wow Sarah, that will make you pucker where you don't want to

    On a lighter note, this story should bring you 12 - 15 pages of remarks!! (Just poking fun at ya!)


      Wow, what an event. I've only been in one similar situation, so I would not be a good judge of your actions, but it sure sounds like you did everything correct. Nice job. You didn't panic, thought about where that anchor rope was, noted rocks/docks and bottom depth, schooled your GF to handle the helm while dealing with the anchor. It just sounds like you did it right. Way to go.

      The national news reported something about a 37' Silverton capsizing, killing 3 children last evening. Probably the same storm.
      1999 Ciera 2655 5.7L BIII "Brenda Lou"
      1996 Skeeter 1850DV 175 Mariner 9.9 Mariner. sold, sold, sold
      1975 Lund 14' 25 HP Mercury. sold, sold, sold
      2008 Dodge Ram 2500 4x4 6.7L Turbo diesel Quad Cab
      Green Bay, WI on the Fox River
      South Bay Marina


        you lived to tell about it so you did something right


          Well done. You gained some more experience without leaving any marks. And a good new story to tell.


            Well done! I had a similar experience in Tahiti. Knowing the basic skills so you can execute them with a calm head is worth its weight in gold!:coo-


              You're coming right along skipper. Good job.


                That sound pretty exciting! I had fun this 4th too on Lake Erie, though it wasn't too bad. At worst there were some pretty steep 5 footers right after a storm blew past, then they turned into rollers after an hour or so, thank God. i'd had enough boating for the day after 8 hours of that, but still sad I didn't get to go out at night for the fireworks (and thunderstorms)


                  Great job handling a nasty situation!


                    Certainly seems like you did all the right things, keeping calm being the most important.

                    Now, on to resolving why your anchor slipped and how to avoid it in the future. Did you leave enough rode out? did you ever back down on it to make sure it grabbed? do you know what kind of bottom you were on? Lots of things to look at.


                      Glad you were able to stay calm and "right the ship".

                      This is another fine example of why at least one passenger on board should be familiar with the controls and be able to handle the boat when the captain needs assistance.


                        AAAAHHH boating, it's just one big adventure after another--------don't ya love it.?


                          I think you did very well. You also reacted well to the situation at hand. It sounds like you did not panic so you kept your cool and handled the situation. You learned from the situation and you are better prepared to handle something like that in the future.

                          Back in 1997 I was in a similar situation but the big difference is my anchor held but I was prepared just in case it did not. I actually had my engine running so I could keep the bow into the winds if necessary. We experienced 95 MPH straight line winds but we were in a pretty well protected anchorage and waves never exceeded 2'. The wind was the major factor. We ended up doing a 360 on the hook as the winds prior to the storm were from the north and when the storm hit the winds were out of the south. When the storm passed the winds moved back to coming from the north.

                          About the only thing I would recommend if you are faced with the same or similar situation again is to fire up the engine and have it running just in case.

                          You did great.
                          Rick Grew

                          2022 Stingray 182 SC

                          2004 Past Commodore
                          West River Yacht & Cruising Club


                            You did fine. As mentioned the only other thing to do would be to have the engine idling before the storm hit hard. You can also nudge it into forward when the wind picks up to take some strain off the anchor. Also have your bilge pumps running when the storm hits in case you do take water, or collect a lot from the rain into the cockpit. I think your boat has self draining scupper, so you likely won't get too much water in the boat, but if you had taken a big wave over the stern, it could have been dicey for a bit.

                            You start out boating with two buckets. One is full of luck, and the other is empty of experience. The trick is to gradually fill the experience bucket, and drain the luck bucket without loosing too much out of either. Your luck bucket is a bit lower, and your experience bucket is a little fuller now.


                              Well thanks guys

                              They're still talking about it here on TV, the storm did a good job in the area.

                              I still find it hard to believe that I didn't end up on shore

                              And a good scene for a nightmare would be out in the open lake with that storm pounding away,,,,the waves that would generate I do not care to ever see.

                              And I am now working on improving my second anchor; I bought some coated chain for it and will increase the length too.

                              Anyway,,,,,the drama queen sails again, today! Weatherman promises no more big storms for 24 hrs.

                              Off to explore the 'inland sea' in a cpl hrs.

                              Have a wonderful weekend guys!

                              Have fun and BE SAFE, whatever you do.

                              Sarah, who likes the Lucky Bucket analogy,,,,,,