Sunrise and confrontation of all problems

South Pacific Familyadventure 2008
Claes Brodin
Thu 16 Mar 2023 07:01

Spending the whole night "sailing" back and forth on the anchor with our stern very close to one of the ferrymoorings the wind slowly decreased and at sunrise it was time to confront our problems and to weigh anchor as our first priority (being in the way for ferries making landfall being our absolute major concern).

After several attempts with the anchor on our own we found we were lifting someting "black and heavy" impossible to bring to the surface and with risk of having a powercable in the anchor we called the harbourmaster (diving on your own strictly forbidden with a fine of 1.200Euros).

With a humble approach and no "blamegame" attitude he promised to be with us within 20 minutes in company of a local diver.

The anchor was easily freed from a ferrychain and we could moore alongside at the dock again.

A very intensive night full of adrenalin was at an end.

After this I have come to think about advise from people around you when cruising. I have mentioned it before but today you also have to deal with advise from cyberspace (mostly FB). Sometimes you get good advise but more common unfortunately is advise in a mastering context and without humbleness (no knowledge about our boat,local circumstances and even critics if advise not followed).

With conclusion in hand it would probably been right to stay moored along the dock (a sailboat came in and took that place after us leaving and they were constantly up during night working on their fenders. They left before us mooring so no idea how their starboard hullside was looking....)

About advise from all involved and with conclusion in hand there was NO surge in the bay where we anchored as desribed by the coastguardofficer moreover there was NEVER any flooding through the dock as described by the local fisherman (which also appeared strange in a bay open only to NE with a storm from SW-NW).

A concluding remark to all advise finally is to try to understand first who is the person giving advise (the coastguard officer was young,inexperienced,and the local boss. Being prestigious he needed to show who was in command). 

The harbourmaster who was local and experienced kept a low and humble profile (as usual) and his advise would probably be best to follow. The fisherman with film of flooding dock in westerly gales is beyond understanding.

All this you have to filter through your brain together with knowledge about your boat and it´s anchorequipment,your and your crew´s experience and the boats manouvercapability in small harbourbays with stormwinds.

Most important though is that all forecasts were WRONG. We never expected over 40kts of wind and measured 58 (which makes a big difference in decisionmaking).

Mercedes and I though worked VERY WELL together. Not needing to communicate very much we both knew more or less what to do to get control of Dora Mac in a hurry,darkness and stormwinds.

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