Before starting this blog, I had read many others as a source of information, and at times entertainment. I couldn’t wait to start our adventure and have our own blog. I mean how hard can it be to blog? As it turns out, it’s not as easy as it seems, at least for me. One of the harder aspects is content. Simply, what the heck do I want to write about that someone would find useful/informative/entertaining? Which brings me to the question of, what do I chose not to blog about. I’ve always been honest in the fact of reporting the good days as well as the bad and trying not to sugarcoat everything.
However, there was one incident I chose not to blog about because I had more concern for the worries it may have caused our families, then for the sake of being informative. That incident happened in Miami….Here’s the “Rest of the Story”…
Upon reaching Miami from Key Largo, we decided, based on suggestions from other cruisers to anchor in between Palm and Hibiscus Islands. We were warned to be sure to set the anchor firmly, as the mud was soft and people do drag there. When we arrived there were other boats anchored and we chose to anchor first in line closest to the bridge. We dropped the hook three times before we ( “read” Michele 🙂 ) were satisfied in both how hard the anchor set and the location. Everyday we took visual bearings to make sure we hadn’t moved. On the third day, another Lagoon 410 that was anchored about 150 yards from us, started to drag. We hopped in the dinghy to see if we could help the other cruisers keep the boat from dragging into one of the homeowners dock. The owners of the boat were not onboard so we ended up using the dinghy to set a spare anchor to stop the dragging. After this, we really started paying close attention to any possible dragging on our own part.
After six days of being anchored there in 15 -20 knot winds most every night, we felt confident that we were pretty well set and let our guard down somewhat concerning dragging. On the seventh day about mid-afternoon a monohull sailboat dropped his hook roughly 75 yards from us. When someone anchors near us I always have this concern about how well their hook is set and hope they don’t drag down on us. Here is a picture so you get an idea of where we were anchored. The red dot is where we anchored.
As the day progressed the wind increased and in the evening it was blowing 25-30 and gusting to 35. Still we had not moved an inch. At 11:00 I decided to go to bed and made one last check of the conditions and went below. Ten minutes later there was this loud BOOM and the whole boat shuddered. Immediately I yelled to Michele that the monohull had drug into us and hit us hard. I raced to the salon door and slid back the curtains expecting to see this boat on top of us. Instead, all I saw was concrete! Now, I’m really confused for an instant, because this didn’t make any sense at all. Then it dawned on me, we had been the ones to drag and now we’re pinned up against the bridge! We had to act quick and keep the damage to a minimum. I ran to the helm and got the engines started and tried to walk off the bridge sideways using rudder and throttle. No dice. Too much wind and current. The only option was to pivot off using the bridge and the sugarscoop as pivot points. There wasn’t time to rig a fender for protection and I knew we would take some damage, but I figured a little damage on the scoop was better then having the boat beat up against the bridge and take severe damage. Once I cleared her from the bridge, Michele took the helm and now we had to pick up the anchor without running over the chain and wrapping it around the prop. With very little room to work with so close to the bridge and with the wind still blowing, she did a great job of maneuvering us around in such a way as to raise the chain and not run over it. Once the hook was up, we tried several times to reset, but to no avail. We then decided to move the boat to a different location on the other side of the islands. Once there we got a solid hook and took stock of things. The boat took only minor damage in two areas totaling about 8 inches. How we avoided major damage I don’t know. We, ourselves were never in danger, at least I felt this way. Michele, however was completely frazzled by this and was ready to call it quits. It really scared her and she had had enough. Of course, after a few days and discussions and especially the purchase of a new, larger anchor, she was ready to continue the adventure.
All in all, I’m still surprised we drug anchor after being set solid for 6 days. We did learn alot and our trust in each other grew. Forgive me for not reporting earlier on this, but I just didn’t want to worry our families. As for what’s next, we’re still on track to leave this September and head south. Thanksgiving in Florida and Christmas in the Bahamas.
Until next time….