Newbie woes of skinny water sailing
Like a baby in her mother’s arms, the moment the rocking stopped, I woke up. We knew something wasn’t right. Because when you live on a boat, the world is never still. There is always water lapping against the hulls, a current steadily pulling and the wind blowing us this way and that.
The sounds were all there but the movement wasn’t. I knew exactly what was going on, our hulls were sitting on the sea floor. I slapped my palm onto my forehead and then shook it off. We’re newbie sailors, these types of woes are expected. Right?
I wish I could say that it won’t happen again but I know it will. It’s like getting that first ding in your car door. Now that it’s happened we can relax and stop parking at the far end of every lot trying to avoid it.
Sailors call the shallows “skinny water”. It’s something we’re going to have to get comfortable sailing in because we have a lot of it in our future (especially in the Bahamas). Turns out, we picked the perfect training grounds inside Biscayne National Park.
I am still itching from all those bug bites! Florida has a competition going on between the mosquitoes and the no-see-ums for most blood drawn. We humans are the unfortunate judges.
Skinny Water Sailing
What a day! It was mother nature’s way of showing us yet again that timing is everything and we are always on her schedule. If we’re going to be sailing through an area with skinny water, we know not to even bother attempting it at anything other than high tide. It was a good lesson learned in a forgiving environment on nice calm day. We’ll take it, she could have made it a lot worse on us!
The storms we’ve experienced so far have been mild. We haven’t seen winds above 32 knots or waves above 6-8 feet. We know this will change one day in the future so we are thankful for every mini-squall we get to experience.
When we arrived at the exact same time as the squall we decided not to attempt to drop the anchor while there were ground strikes happening all around us. Instead we turned our head to wind and motored at idle speed to keep things on the boat comfortable and in control (we’d already dropped our sails to anchor). We’ve been told this is the best way to survive a storm at sea, so we use these little squalls to get to know our boat and how it handles in different conditions.
Sadly, the storms lasted a little longer than we hoped for and left us heading back to our anchorage in the dark.
I bet you are wondering how our night went? Well, we did sleep a little with one eye open and checked our position every ½ hour (Jason set his phone alarm to wake us). We have an old CQR and sometimes it takes a lot of attempts to get it to set and really dig in. Our anchor didn’t end up dragging however it was the final straw and a clear sign we need to upgrade our anchor before taking off to sail about the world.
We thought we could hold off and save up but anchors are simply too important. At this point, there is absolutely no way we would trust our anchor to hold in a tropical storm or hurricane. So, we’ll to do some research and find an anchor we can trust with our lives. It sounds a bit dramatic but it is a vital piece of cruising equipment, and it is the difference between sleeping like a baby or sleeping with one eye open.
So…have you run aground? Do you have a skinny water sailing story you’d like to share? Maybe a favorite anchor that you would recommend? We appreciate every comment and tip we get, it not only helps us but it helps the next newbie that comes along and stumbles on this story.
We’ve received requests from our Patreons to include a map to give a better idea of where we are and our route. While I work out an option to include something like that…our map page will at least show you where we are and where we’ve been. If you click on the map it will take you to our map page where you can view, scroll, zoom and click.
Weather: 87° Partly cloudy with T-Storms in the evening
Wind: Southeast 5-7 knots
Route: Billys Point, Biscayne National Park to Garden Cove South
Nautical Miles Sailed: 26
Date: September 6, 2016
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Hey Jason and Nikki!
I am a newbie to your site and have enjoyed your excursions into learning to live on a sailboat!?? Plus, y’all are good story-tellers, editors as well as real-live participants! ??
As a man who wants to explore the world like it is 1492 as well…I have been interested in some of your challenges, mainly to help me avoid such things when it is my turn to follow a similar idea towards my way of life.? First, obviously crossing the Gulf Stream is a challenge no matter when it is, but probably worse during certain seasonal changes like fall or spring. You might agree or disagree? And, is navigating the Bahamas more about tidal schedules? From your footage it seems that charts, maps and even depth-finders are not “exact”, so is it the path you choose with an overlay of high tide too? I mean congrats to y’all because you succeeded at it. ????? Does skirting the edge of the Atlantic make it worse? I mean it is the legendary Bermuda Triangle correct? ?Meaning if you move further south into the Caribbean, should it be an easier path?
How often do you need to port in a marina like you did in Ft. Lauderdale? For gas, water and power up?
Anyways, thank you for sharing your life and thank you for making it entertaining too!?
bobby doetsch jr
watched your anxiety over the anchorage and drifting issues. we are power boaters on lake michigan and also on the gulf coast of naples fl. solved all our troubles by getting an anchor twice the size as needed for our 28 foot bertram.. people laugh at the size of the thing for our boat until we tell them we drop the thing and its like we ran aground. no drift no creep no surprises. then they want to know what size we think would be best for their boats….
Adam and Eve
Hi guys. Adam and Eve here again. We echo the folks who recommended Rocna. Had the 132 lb. model on 300′ of 3/8″ G4 chain on our 90,000 lb. trawler. Wouldn’t drag an inch in sand or hard mud at 40 kts. (though you should definitely have a snubber). Only bottom we found that the Rocna didn’t like was soupy mud, where a large-fluke anchor like the Fortress you already own is ideal.
That said, my sense from talking to many cruising boat owners, most with heavy trawlers, is that all the roll-stable anchors perform well. So you probably won’t go wrong with Mantus, Manson, Ultra, or Rocna. With any of them, a good rule of thumb is go up at least one and maybe two sizes from that recommended for your Leopard’s weight. I’d much rather have the yacht club set laughing at the oversized anchor on the bow than be dragging at 4 a.m. on a dirty night with a lee shore.
By the way, do you have a lead line on board? Always good to have a backup to the sounder, especially since it seems you only have a transducer in the starboard (?) hull.
Keep up the good work and stay safe in tonight’s blow!
Susan and Don
Be SAFE guys, we are thinking of you with this awful storm looming. Please update as you are able.
I posted about getting a drone or installing cameras,to better see where to go in skinny water. Can’t see the post and don’t know if you got it.
Also,if you are going to Europe you need to look into laws. For example in France i think you need alicense to operate a pleasure craft. Some countrie do,some don’t,some you can’t have x amount of passengers aboard etc
Check out noonsite.com
Thanks for the tips Dave. Once you’re first comment is approved all of your future comments should show immediately.
We are considering a camera on the mast for this exact reason.
Wondering what the survey said about the hull condition.
Sprites above Hurricane Matthew have been captured in incredible pictures:
I’m not asking you guys to lose any sleep over this comment or it’s contents, but if you are interested in Hurricane Matthew, there is a website that I’d like to draw your attention to. It’s tropicaltidbits.com and it’s the blog of a weather enthusiast who loves tropical weather. There’s loads of information and analysis there.
Now, that is an interesting guy. I hadn’t considered looking for a weather blog to follow but that really is a good idea. Thanks so much for sharing the blog!
If you are interested in meteorology, you could also follow some meteorologists on Twitter. There are many. Examples would be @ryanmaue, @matthugo81, @bigjoebastardi, @tropicaltidbits, @nwsnhc, @JimCantore, @GavinPartridge
T C Spencer
Powerful Hurricane Matthew charges towards Jamaica, Haiti and Cuba
Hi Guys, Love ❤ your videos! Understand Mathew ? is on track to head your direction (pass on the east side of Florida). West coast of Florida looks like the safe place to head toward (NHC/NOAA). Any thoughts/plans on this? Thanks!?. ⛵⛵⛵⛵⛵
Jerry and Becky
Here’s a great cruising story you’ll enjoy: https://internationalliving.com/articles/sailing-across-the-oceans-for-less-than-the-cost-of-staying-home-mag-2016-9/
Manson & Cindy
After doing the research we bought the Rocna 25 (55 lb) for the Leopard 40 we have on order.
Manson & Cindy
We’ve used a Manson Supreme which is one of the new generation anchors and have been very satisfied with its performance. We live in a windy part of the world (New Zealand) so it’s been tested many times. Rocna also has good reports, as does Spade..
Which anchors work best is a very contentious topic and it will always generate many opinions !
Rocna anchor 1 or 2 sizes bigger than suggested. Basically whatever the anchor chock can handle
Hey guys, great video as usual!! Quick question. We are looking at getting a Sony A6300 which is the latest version of your A6000. My question is, do you have a problem keeping yourself “in frame” because there is no flip screen? How do you know if you are in frame or not when you are shooting on a sunny day and you have no screen to reference? Has it been a problem for you or not?
It hasn’t been a problem so much for us. If we can see the lens, then the camera can see us.
Wow I love watching your videos. My husband and I have a 46 Foot Leopard in the British Virgin Islands. We plan on retiring and living as close to full time on the Boat within the next eight months.We have a tendency to wing everything. Do not get frustrated it is definitely more fun than what you are going thru. Good luck and enjoy the journey
I was cleaning out my mp3’s and found this song that reminded me of you two and I envy you both and many blessings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7pGiAo-YPE and the song The Reach is also a good sea song.
A few years ago we found mosquito repellent clothing that we absolutely love. There is a UK company called craghopper that has a line called nosi and nosilife that keep the bugs away. I love not having to use harsh chemicals to keep the bugs away, especially with my kids. And they really do keep the bugs away. When we are wearing our craghopper stuff the bugs stay away.
You guys are doing everything so well. Getting your experience in stages is the best way rather than just heading off into the wild blue yonder.
You probably already know this, but Practical Sailor is an excellent resource. Quite inexpensive and your subscription includes access to their extensive archives. Kind of like the Consumer Reports of the sailing world. Besides the anchor itself, there are a myriad of factors that affect anchoring. Here a link to one of Practical Sailor’s recent articles on anchoring:
You need different anchors for different bottom conditions. Is the bottom sandy, rocky, or sticky mud? These can be important considerations that make a difference between staying put and washing up.
As a former sailor (I also went to Blue Water Sailing School and recommend hem highly) who turned full time RVer, I know the itch you needed to scratch. You’re young, you will be back on land soon enough. Enjoy the journey!
Hi I have been using the Manson Boss Anchor sent it to the bottom over 150 times all around Australia and Tasmania it has never let me down NZ company makes them recommend you check them out love watching your videos
please keep them coming all the best.
I love these rides!
Pat and Rita
We had dinner with John and Peter the RV Geeks the other night and we were talking about your
Adventures and how I look forward to receiving your videos and hearing more of your adventures. Great
I love the wave sounds at the end…I think I used up my cortisol level riding along through the rest of the video! Wow…my brave, brave friends…you have nerves of steel (and wine)! I was surprised that the bugs venture out that far from shore…bet they were excited to find a feast in the middle of nowhere! So glad you are safe, and I am excited to see what new anchoring options you find. You make my days a lot brighter! Hugs!
Love the videos and updates! I noticed the radar app you were using wasnt very detailed. As a Skywarn Storm Spotter, I would recommend you guys check out a radar app called Radar Scope that many of my fellow spotters use on their mobile devices. The app is a dedicated radar app that is very detailed & uses your device’s GPS to pinpoint your location to show where the storm is relative to you. It uses National Weather Service Doppler Radar Data in its full resolution and it automatically pulls the information as soon as it becomes public without the need for you to refresh (some apps have a 15 minute delay in radar data). Not only will you have all the radar data that is publicly available, but there are no ads! When you are on the water, time is a factor and this app is useful tool to have in your toolkit. The Pro version is $10/year and lets you see lightning strikes and longer radar loops. It is an app that I use on an almost weekly basis when we get bad Weather in North Texas.
Keep up the good work and just keep living the good life!
By the way, I dont have any ownership interest in Radar Scope or its company. I am just a satisfied customer that thinks you guys would benefit from using it. As a person who grew up sailing boats in Corpus Christi, TX, I know coastal weather can change quickly and its good to have the best tools available to help make decisions when minutes count.
I enjoy everyone of your posts. You guys are learning at a very fast rate. Keep the posts coming.
‘if you haven’t run aground, you’re about to.’
-the sage sailor.
never trust an electronic instrument. what if it quits entirely, or worse, becomes erratic…then what?
try to make your passages in shallow water at mean or high slack tide whenever possible. and make sure you know exactly where every rock awash is on your charts…even high tide is no guarantee or substitute for detailed chart navigation. paper charts are worth their weight in gold. time your passages with the tides and weather, rather than with sunrise and sunset…
We were using paper charts and garmin bluecharts but that didn’t seem to matter. The depths were far more shallow than the charts indicated.
Hi Nikki, if you are looking at anchors, the Mantus is the way to go!, watch their you tube video on anchor comparisons, it will show you that they all drag and won’t set, they just keep plowing through the sand. We have the 70lb Mantus for our 41′ sailboat and we have been in some 40 knot winds and no movement, we call it the BFA, and our power boat friends love rafting with us because of it. We do use a 7-1 scope if we can, the more the better! Watch the video, it’s a good one. What kind of water maker do you have on the boat?
I did watch those videos and they are very convincing! I keep hearing lots of great things about the Mantus. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Oops, forgot; another very interesting read
This guy has a comprehensive anchor test video series… and there is one vid that summarizes. Check it https://m.youtube.com/user/flygoodwin
40′ cat, and so far our Manson has held without dragging; twice in better than 50kt. That said, research carefully; net opinions are worth their price 🙂
We have a Rocna 33 (55 lb). We dragged 50 ft in 50 knot winds with a 5 to 1 scope (too little scope, we weren’t expecting the winds). We love the Rocna but are looking to upgrade to the next bigger size (either Rocna or Mantus).
That really does seem to be the debate…Rocna or Mantus and both look good. We are leaning towards the Mantus. They have some very convincing test videos.
We’ve run aground a few times, despite our best attempts to avoid it. We have motorboats so it’s not nearly as scary as a big old catamaran. There are some really shallow in the Keys, especially in the lower Keys. The one we use on Cudjoe has some depths of 2 feet…..in the CHANNEL! I am really enjoying your videos but not so much when the weather is ugly. Stay safe.
Those keys channels are a real nail biter sometimes!
William (Bill) Weaver
As you said, setting the keel offset on your depth sounder is a must. You don’t want to be doing math to determine if you are going aground. Remember that the amount of fuel, water, provisions, and passengers on board can make a difference. If you find that you are touching, you can lower your dinghy and get some weight off of the stern and lift the rudder area of the boat. Before you buy a new anchor, you may want to add more chain. Assuming that your anchor locker can handle more chain. Adding more weight will adjust the keel offset. I love your version of the bug-slap-itch- dance. Keep smiling and sailing.
Captain Kleis on "L'attitude", Hunter 460
Hi folks. Great job on the videos and keeping it “real”. We appreciate that! Good to see that you are careful to stay within your comfort zone as much as possible as you experience what your vessel is capable of and your confidence level grows. Traveling by water in all kinds of weather helps achieve both. Well done! Our recommendation is to check out the Mantus Anchor ( http://www.mantusanchors.com ). That combined with your existing anchor and a big Fortress ( http://www./fortressanchors.com ) will let you sleep well while on the hook.
Happy sailing and God bless you. (o:
Thanks! We are looking heavily at the Mantus (so I am glad to hear you suggest it) and already have a fortress. Sounds like we are on the right track.
Here’s a funny thought – if you are “about the world”, or at least pretty far out, what do you do when a medical need arises? Or, how do you get an RX filled when you are out at sea? All the bug swatting made me think about how that works on a catamaran.
Side note – Just like Steve Brown (1st post), I tend to drop everything to see the latest video or news. I love living this adventure along with you, virtual-style! hehe.
Second side note – You may already have this in the works, but a “tour” of your boat with its new swag would be fantastic! I keep seeing just bits and pieces in the background, so maybe a quick walk-through would be doable.
Safe and fun sailing!
Medical needs…we have a fairly full emergency kit but we have a lot of figuring out to do in that arena. We also use teledoc which works from anywhere so its super handy. https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/insurance-affordable-rv-healthcare
We have been waiting to get the boat all finished up (we’re very close) and then we will do a full tour! So it is coming and I know everyone is curious. 🙂 Thanks so much for following along and being a part of the adventure!
I’m really loving your transition to the boating lifestyle! I also really love the map feature! I’ve used the map of your RV travels extensively while looking for potential RV destinations and I’m glad to see you’re also going to map your sailing adventures. We just recently began our own RV based trip and I think it would be fun to include a similar style map on our blog. Any chance you could explain how you added this feature to your website?
There is a link to the map program on our map page. It is a wordpress plug in and you can find more info on their site about the way it works. It really is a neat way to share your travels.
Well, since you asked, yes, we’ve been aground. Only once could we not get off on our own, back when we, too, were rookies. The story is here:
As regards anchors, this is a religious debate. But for your cat I would go with the biggest Rocna or Manson Supreme that you feel you can handle and stow (get galvanized, not stainless), and an all-chain rode of corresponding size if you can fit/carry it.
Oh no…this sounds like a good story. Thanks for sharing…I am heading over now.
I pretty much just drop everything when I get an update from you all. I just can’t wait to see what’s going on with you two. I’m too poor and too old to ever get to do anything like what you are doing so I just have to enjoy your journey’s. Thank you for every post. I love them.
I agree with Steve. loved the rv adventures but really love the sailing because i would be too scared to try it.
Awe, well we are thrilled to have you along! I hope we can keep you this excited always.
I was getting a bit nervous watching this one. I just Love the videos. Great job watching that depth Nikki and Jason those bugs are nasty I was in Florida for a short time and the no-see-ums are notorious.
Nikki and Jason,
If you don’t already have an InReach, you should look into it. We travel (on land) to remote places, and not only does it provide GPS coordinates to an SOS link, it also allows us to email/text our friends/family with routine messages. It’s sold by Delorme and I can highly recommend it for world wanderers. (Oh yeah, it’s on the iridium constellation so it’s ALWAYS linked, no aiming for a geostationary satellite.)
We don’t have it. I will check it out. Thanks for the recommendation.
I use the Delorme InReach when solo hiking. Good, but not cheap as it requires a monthly service fee. Best feature is the companion smart phone app, Earthmate, that allows you to communicate via voice recognition so you don’t have to type messages on that ridiculous keyboard!
Hi guys! I also second the DeLorme InReach. Finally picked one up for myself for this last backpacking season and really like it. Super helpful for communicating with worried senior parents while I’m backpacking solo in the Rockies. Am taking it with me next month to Ireland & UK simply because I visit friends and family in very remote corners of Ireland with poor cell phone reception and I should be able to text with family even there. It’s not cheap but the peace of mind is priceless. Happy trails!
you absolutely should have 2 anchors aboard. I used fortress on my vessel many years ago. I did run aground in cape cod , ma. with my 50 ft ocean yacht. total ignorance on my part being in strange waters and not knowing there was a 12 ft tide change. being from Ct with a 6 ft change caught me by surprise. Needless to say it was a six thousand dollar mistake that would not happen again. Getting back to the anchors, there will be a time when you will need 2 and there might come a time you loose an anchor. I traveled and lived aboard my yacht for 10 years and all I can say is the water and weather can change in a heartbeat and you must be prepared for every imaginable scenario, don’t ever freak out and keep your Witt’s about you at all times.
Happy and safe sailing!!
Nice work! And, yes, we all run aground at some point! My raft is a monohull… A much different boat to get off of a grounding, so I have no helpful tips for you there. As for accuracy of your sounder, I have one bit to offer. Part of the issue is that the seafloor is never level! Depending on where you are, there will always be bumps and valleys, so a nice margin is a great idea. Having run aground (more than once!) I am now more prudent in my route and timing. Best advice was above… When in doubt, go at half- or three-quarter tide rising. Then you have some more water coming to float you off if you get stuck. (if you want to get all nerdy, read up on tides and the rate of change at different times in the cycle.) Grounding, a quality, anchoring at night…. Aaarrrgggghhhhhh! We never like doing it, but it sure is great to have done it! Happy learning, happy sailing!
Take brewers yeast as a natural mosquito /bug repellant. For most people it works great. They don’t like the smell on your skin. Really. .. look it up. 😉
I will definitely check into it. That is one I haven’t heard of yet.
Robert S. Mellis
You need a genuine Bruce anchor (not the Chinese look-alike) – and I would have a second anchor. For that, I think the oversized Fortress is your best bet. There will come a time when you’ll appreciate the ability to have a second anchor set. It is a bit complicated. But there are scenarios in current when you need to change the direction of the vessel.
Genuine Bruce is no longer made. We have one, which I would not trade for anything, but we’d have trouble replacing it if we needed to. If you want a “Bruce” your choices are to hunt for one on the used market — very rare — or get the knock-off. I prefer the Manson knock-off to the Lewmar one. If I were looking for a new anchor, the Manson Supreme in galvanized would be my choice.
Two posts in a row that include too-close-to-the-seabed stories!
I’m glad that you are learning about anchoring in waters where the tides are not huge and the seabed is not covered with anchor-snagging objects.
Save your pennies – you’ll need two good anchors for your blue water trips, and they cost. But, like others say – one dark & stormy night when you need a good hook it will be the best money you’ll spend. (After good flotation gear.)
Monica & James Blanton
Absolutely love watching your videos, and its better yhan any TV on these days. Not only are they informative and exciting, its definitely a nudge to get out and participate in life and nature. My husband and I bought an RV a year and a half ago, we have learned so much and are now looking for another RV, we are interested in solar panels, battery storage and a composting toilet. And I was a full hook up girl only, we are now excited about doing some wild camping. Again bravo to you both, I tell everyone about you and your stories. We have a friend that owned a sailboat and was looking again so at least we are now able to converse with him on some sailing issues, Thank you
With your shallow draft and being near shallow water, you can easily coordinate your depth finder and reality. Simply go over board in less than 5 foot water and just measure the depth and compare to the DF.
Good luck, I love your adventure.
Thunder and lightening how scary. Good job on staying calm
I think you two are well on your way to becoming “WELL SEASONED” sailors. We are really enjoying your videos.
I love following your adventures, just love it. I live on the coast of Virginia and we have a lot of bug issues too. I used to use a lot of DEET but recently discovered AgraCo Mosquito Patches, which is a Vit B1 patch and they work! Just research Vit B1, some people take it orally so I am trying that as well. Feels great to get some relief from the bugs and leave the DEET behind, mostly. Cheers!
David and Nancy Thatcher
Those bugs that were getting you are killers. Great work getting through the channel. I’m surprised that you don’t fish more often when you are just sitting. Keep the vids coming as they are all great.
Jon & Lori
Bugs AVON Skin So Soft
Anchors ROCNA And PLENTY OF CHAIN !!
These guys on sailing Uma talk a fair bit about anchors.
We also have a Leopard 43, and we use a Rocna 33. It is the best thing that we have bought for the boat. It sets right away and can even make you loose your balance when the rode snaps tight. You’ll read that multi-hulls should go up one size from what a mono-hull of the same length would use. This is due to the increased windage of a multi-hull. That is how we picked the 33. It is kind of heavy (73 lbs), but assuming that you have a windless, that shouldn’t be a problem. It is expensive too, but it is well worth the money. Then you can keep your CQR for when a second anchor is needed.
m8s could you use the gopro to help in shallow water? Love you two, thanks for the super happy fun vids.
You guys are so brave! We love watching these videos of your journeys.
Nikkei and Jason,
I really don’t like seeing Jason’s blood pressure rising so high about the depth issues? Takes a lot of ahaah moments to overcome the oh [email protected]!#’s.
Gaining confidence in the charts, tide tables and instruments will lower the BP. There are a couple of things you can do with the DS that will help. We have two DS’s aboard. one is calibrated for 0′ at 1′ below the depth of the keel, the other is calibrated for zero at surface. The keel offset is used in thin water, no mental mathematics required at stressful times and no allowance needed for varying draft of the vessel for tankage condition or other vessel loading ie. Dingy on overhanging davits etc. When the instrument approaches zero, best have a plan, period. Your instrument manual will have instructions on how to calibrate for keel offset. At least read the calibration procedure to know how the previous owner set it up.
Our second DS is an interphase look ahead which does not seem to have the accuracy but is good at trending and backing up the down looking transducer.
Now, positional reporting. We have no less than seven gps signal processors aboard. But the one that feeds the chartplotter is the only one that counts. Check that the chart datum of the electronic chart being displayed jives with the datum used on the gps processor. A good way to check is to “run over” an aid to navigation bouy and compare it to the visual distance to the gps antenna.
We were dealing with some Canadian charts and had a 40 foot deviation in some pretty tight channels. Once we switched to the correct datum we could maintain center of channel to 5′ tolerances.
I grew up sailing on the thin east coast water. Discovered the the west coast with its 2000 ft island peak adjacent to 1000′ sea trench a nm away….sure lowers the BP.
Keep at it, the AHAAH’s are worth it!!!
My favorite anchor was always two anchors at the same time. In addition to the extra bite, they kept my boat from spinning if I put one in front and one in back. My second anchor was a smaller anchor kept under the rear seat cushions. I simply threw it overboard.
So happy to hear that you came through pretty much unscathed. I was very very nervous for you both and I’m not even there, a real nail biter and you guys seem so very calm. Proud of you both.
As i sit here at the fire station waiting for your next video. I keep texting my wife saying lets sell everything, home school the kids and buy a Cat. Even tho we just got our second Class C and we are planning to hit the PCH next summer.
Keep on living, love ALL your videos and thanks for the inspiration… Andy
We had a CQR, when it’s in it’s in, but the design is old and it certainly doesn’t like weed. We swapped to a Rocna. It’s only failed to bite first time once or twice, and it has never dragged, even in fifty something knots of wind. That’s on a 57′ monohull.
So long as the bottom is soft I wouldn’t worry too much. It’s when you hit an uncharted rock at speed, like we did this year ? that you get problems. That said we draw eight feet so you will have to try very hard to find an uncharted rock that your keel can reach ?
Keep having fun and silencing those negative people sailing their sailing club bar stools!
Congratulations on your decision to see the world one drop of water at a time. At this time you may be on the East coast of Florida. This is Hurricane season and having a good handle on what to expect from the weather will not come from the fore guessers. The hurricane center is as clueless as the local weather guessers. Weather is and always be unpredictable especially in Florida. I use two specific tools to know how the weather is changing. One is the Noaa site for satellite infrared motion, http://www.goes.noaa.gov/HURRLOOPS/huirloop.html
The other is Weather Channels current weather map at, https://weather.com/maps/currentusweather
to see the pressure zones (High pressure will never lose to low pressure). If you look at the satellite then the pressure zones you know more than the hurricane centers best guessers. Good Sailing, Pat.
If the channel gets dredged sometimes the spoils will be just outside of the channel. The original depth might have been say 5′ but the spoils can take it up quite a bit. I’ve been down the Houston ship channel coming out of Clear Lake and the spoils area had waves breaking over them even the the depth behind them was over 8′. I suspect there was 3′-5′ of spoils piled up in places along the channel.
When it comes to anchors it is all about the chain. Enough chain and your anchor never gets pulled on. Deploy, set the anchor and then let out enough chain that the tension never hits the anchor.
Good for you in learning from your experiences! As to traversing skinny water, I prefer to do it at a rising mid-tide. That way, if I ground, I know I can float free relatively soon. If I grounded at high tide, especially a spring tide, I could be SOL. A new anchor would be a great investment for you. I put safety items higher in priority than cosmetic improvements. Keep having fun!
Well it’s not hard to do unfortunately. Last summer I was sailing in my home harbor and being stupid. I had a couple friends on the boat when we were sailing in an area that I don’t normally sail in. We ended up hitting a uncharted rock at full speed stopping the boat in its track and injuring one of my passengers. Thank god she is still one of my friends and the injury was minor. I was horrified. While telling the story at the club bar one night the support was insane as well as the ribbing. Pretty much every sailor I know has had it happen at some point. It seems to be a right of passage. Glad your safe.
Rocna…. with plenty of chain! Some of the best advice I was given was to upgrade to whatever anchor/chain combination let me sleep well at night. Our Rocna held great & I plan to buy another for our next boat.
You were smarter than us as you kept constant check on your anchor. Our rookie mistake was not doing that during a big blow and ended up on the nearly on the beach! Luckily we had boat neighbors that helped us get off the sand! Glad you are safe!!
Glad you made it through, and loving all the videos. Wish I had some profound and useful knowledge to share, but I’m just enjoying the discovery ride with you.
You guys are doing so great! Attached to your new adventure like a barnacle here.
So happy your safe, yes I do worry about you guys…but you got this, everyday is a lesson right? I don’t want to say this but I’ll be honest……I love storms, the scarier the better for me, I guess it’s a rush or some mental thing I have, who knows! Thank you for sharing this! About the bugs…have they gotten worse, is that a normal,is it just this time of the year? No rush on an answer, dang bugs anyway…..big hugs! I know you will stay safe!!
Rocna anchors are great and lots of blue water sailors trust them
I’ve touched bottom twice. Both times at North Bimini near the docks, driving a Lagoon 440. The first time I was motoring up the channel to anchor by the Bimini Bay Resort and there were a fair number of boats anchored on the north side of Big Game. I don’t think they allow people to anchor there anymore because it doesn’t leave much room between the channel and the hard pack shelf. Motoring at maybe 2 knots and having just cleared the last boat my starboard hull hit the hard pack and spun me hard starboard. As soon as it touched I pulled the starboard engine quickly into reverse and did a nice 360 and went on my way. If you’re going to go aground, you might as well put on a show for the other boats.
The second time we just dumb. While leaving the dock at Bimini Blue Water I spotted a nurse shark just ahead. I went toward the shark so others could have a look and didn’t pay attention to the water color until I was stuck. I backed off it pretty easily, but it was shocking how close to the dock the water got thin.
Do those bugs just hover over water, waiting for warm blooded creatures to come through? I never thought they’d be so far off the shore!
Oops! I should have told you that the depth sounder is not set to keel depth. The offset is about two feet. So, when you are in 2.5 feet, you are actually in 4.5 feet. I’ve set the keel depth to the proper depth in the past only to find that the setting has reset itself for various reasons. Rule of thumb is when you get to five feet keep an eye out. You’ve still got room but it could get sketchy. The sensor is on the port side so you could still touch with the starboard keel if it’s more shallow there. Two feet still gives you some leeway. When you get to 2.5 feet, you’ll be grounded. The two white patches on the keel are probably spots where the slings were when the bottom was painted. Sitting on the bottom in sand is not a problem unless there is wave action. Another point is if you have to back out, do it slowly. You don’t want to hit the rudders. Do that and you’ve bought yourself a world of trouble.
Hello. Nice to know you came through that experience without any damage to yourselves or the boat. I was shocked to learn that Nikki is actually afraid of something. After seeing her hang gliding and abseiling into a crevasse, I had thought she was fearless…
Jason said that he wanted to measure the draught of the boat when it was on the hard so that you know what your depth gauge means in practice. I’m thinking that can’t you just find an area of reasonably flat bottom of about 6 feet of depth, stop your boat, read your depth gauge, let’s say it says 5 feet, and then jump over the side and measure the gap between the bottom of your keels and and seafloor and also the bottom of your rudders and your props and the seafloor. Let’s assume that you get an answer of three feet of clearance between the lowest point on your boat and the seafloor, then simple subtraction says that if it was three feet shallower, ie. if your depth gauge read two feet in my example, you’d be in trouble. I think that this method should give you a rough idea.
When Malin and Johan on the RAN Sailing youtube channel wanted a new anchor, they chose an anchor from Rocna. http://www.rocna.com I had a quick look on Rocna’s website and the nearest stockist in Florida seems to be Hopkins Carter of Miami. They seem to be selling anchors for around $600 – $800.
Riley and Elayna from Sailing La Vagabonde have a Mantus Supreme anchor, according to the La Vagabonde website.
The crew from the Sailing Tranquilo youtube channel are hoping to fit a Rocna 33 anchor to their new Hanse 455 yacht they are soon to buy, according to their website.
There is a difference between RV and Boat…
Rv = Over land -> everland
Boat = Over Water -> neverland
We all learn by mistakes….
… Hopefully it will be a minor economics damage 🙂
Get a huge thanks for sharing and keeping me up… waiting for your news !
Thanks for sharing your story. Lisa and I have been re-living our two year sailing adventure through your videos. I will tell you that you are on a similar path as we were on and ours was the most fantastic adventure we have experienced in our life so far. You will eventually look back at even the worst days and reflect fondly on the hard lessons learned earning your sea legs. All epic adventures contain the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Sorry our old website is out of date but most of our “public” log is still active via the link on the site rodandlisawolfe.com. Looks like blogger has dropped the first few months of the journey which were truly the most challenging.
Once we left the US and arrived in the Bahamas we discovered a cruising community that is absolutely amazing, helpful, colorful…
Have fun with the anchoring debate. We slept well by always laying to all chain rode at 5-7:1 scope with chain and anchor “oversized” by one step, i.e. , used 3/8 HT chain when some would say 5/16 for our 20k pound displacement monohull sloop and we upgraded the anchor to a 45# CQR from the 35# that came with the boat. I think our good friends on their Priveledge 43 cat used a 45# plow of some sort all over the Caribbean…you just gave me a good reason to contact them:-)
Wasn’t it just a few months ago that you were helping dig us out of the sand in the desert? You gotta quit getting involved with this “getting stuck” stuff. 😉 Seriously… glad you came out the other side of this one, too. All great learning going on, and we know you’ll look back on this and laugh, just like we did after getting towed out. But it’s not so funny while it’s happening, right? Love you both. Thanks for continuing to share the excitement.