Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Warm weather....and dragging anchor

This morning I woke up being tossed about on the Pasquotank River- we had just the right wind matched with the right swell to make for some very good chop here in Elizabeth City. I crawled out of the sleeping bag to find that the weather forecasters were right on the money, it was almost 70 degrees out at 5am. Wow what a change. Then I popped my head out of the companionway hatch, and got a complete shock - I was MUCH closer to shore than I had been the night before when I went to bed. Very much closer. So close that I immediately donned foul weather gear (did I mention it was pouring down rain? They forecast that right on the money too.) and headed out on deck to start the engine and reposition the boat. After getting the engine cranked up, I went forward and hauled up the anchor, not an easy trick in the 40+ mph winds we were having at the time. I usually haul up the rope by hand and use the windlass to pull up the chain and anchor itself, but not this morning. My main concern was that as soon as the anchor broke free from the bottom, I'd drift even closer to shore, so, with the anchor just barely holding, and the chain taut, I ran back and put her in gear, and then pulled the anchor up the rest of the way. Whew, what a job that was. I motored out farther than I originally was, and dropped anchor, this time letting out 10 fathoms. (I was only in 10 feet of water, and a fathom is 6 feet) Once the anchor grabbed and the boat came into the wind, I backed down on it, and pulled the anchor free, again! So, I had to pull it all back up, and start over. Now there are 12 fathoms of rode out (6x12....something like 72 feet) and it seemed to hold. Well it has held all day, we will see what tonight brings, but I think the winds are supposed to die down a bit over the course of the evening.

Being rocked around like that can make for some very good sleep though, I think I have forgotten to mention that here in the blog. Being tied up to a dock can sometimes lead to some very odd motion in the boat, if the waves are coming from the side, or on the quarter, the boat gets this unruly motion to her, very unnatural and very unsettling. On the hook it is a more natural motion, the boat is usually bow in to the waves and wind, providing they are coming from the same direction, and current isn't an issue, and there is a really nice forward to aft rolling motion to the boat. Makes for some really good sleep.

Beth came down today to help me pack up and clear out the storage unit here in town, the last task I needed to finish before I headed out. She couldn't get the horse trailer out of the mud with her truck-it has rained a ton over the past 2 weeks, so she is going to come back down next week and clear it all out.

I managed to get a few things done on the boat today as well, she is completely topped off with fuel-and-I have a spare 10 gallons on deck as well. The compass has a new light, the bottom was always lit, but there were no lights on the top. That has been remedied with a red LED, we will see how that works out, because before it was very hard to view the compass card and see where you were actually heading at night. Tonight I stow gear, put up the lee cloths for the berths, and then I am out to Coasters for a few beers with my friend Ted.

After beers it will back to the boat to rack out, and then reveille at 5am...and off to Manteo shortly there after. Departure time: 0800.

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