April 20, 2011.
We sat in Factory Creek through the front that devastated so much of the country. At the last minute the front veered and passed to the north of us. We had exactly 11 drops of rain and some wind gusts up to 30 knots so it was a non-event in our cocoon like creek of happiness.
The creek is about 200 feet wide and when we swing with the tidal current on our 90 feet of chain we can get a little close to either shoreline. The creek is also deep as hell. With the full moon exaggerating the state of the tides it was actually a little worrisome. At high tide we had 23 feet of water beneath the keel. Couple that with the 5 ½ feet the Veranda draws and the additional 5 feet to the bow roller and our scope should be based on 33 feet. But that’s the difference that properly setting, quality ground tackle can let you get away with. We sat through the 30 knots on less than 3 to 1 scope and slept like babies. Which brings me to our new neighbor….
The following day was to be our last before jumping outside and heading north. The day broke with no wind what so ever. We’ve been here in the creek for a few days by ourselves so of course we had to get neighbors for our last night here. Oh look and he’s inept.
Whenever anyone anchors near us I always watch them drop their hook (remember, I don’t have a television). A lot of people come in and do the job like they outta. Then there’s a bunch more that get it done in spite of themselves and then there’s the other 20 percent of the people that have no idea what the hell is going on. Hey look! We got a 20 percenter! WooHoo! F@#k me.
Better yet, he’s alone. Great. He drops the hook and what I would estimate as 30 feet of chain. Its low tide and he’s easily in 12 feet of water. He doesn’t set the hook and then in a rare display of “old school” ineptitude he ties his snubber to his anchor chain. The guy is by himself, a simple chain hook makes attaching your snubber easy and this guy is out here hanging from the bow pulpit by his testicles tying a rolling hitch to his anchor chain. Wow, he’s impressed me so much that I grab my book so I can read in the cockpit as I keep and eye on him while the tide comes in.
Not surprisingly 3 hours later he slowly started to drag down on us. I shoulda bet the ranch. There was absolutely zero wind, the pitiful 2 knots of current was actually making him drag ever so slowly towards us.
I find that sitting on the bow often helps people anchor better on the second time around. Kinda like Bitch Wings but more resolute; like "I can sit here all day until you do it right"
The evil side of me said to just quietly fend him off and let him drag completely past us just to see where the hell he ended up. The practical side of me points out that Johnny McCantanchor will probably foul our hook and take us with him as his anchor drags along. Crap, moral dilemma. Self preservation wins.
He was one boat length off our bow and moving at about a foot or so a minute. He couldn’t manage to successfully anchor his boat so what are the chances that he even has his VHF radio on? I still ask Christy to try and raise him on the radio. My childish sense of humor got the best of me for a moment. His boats name is IGOTTAGO. So now my bride is on the VHF proclaiming to everyone within 25 miles, “IGOTTAGO, IGOTTAGO, IGOTTAGO…Veranda, Veranda…channel 16”. Of course, he doesn’t answer and I’m still childishly chuckling at my own little joke when I ask her for the airhorn.
I walked to the bow and gave a healthy blast on the airhorn. I can see right through his cockpit and am looking straight down into his salon. He’s only 20 feet off our bow and after about 30 seconds he pops his head up. An airhorn always gets their attention.
We’ve had pretty much this exact scenario happen a dozen times over the last 6 years. You get their attention either on the VHF, or with the airhorn or perhaps a can of corn lobbed against their hull. They pop up, you politely exclaim “Captain, you’re dragging” and every single god damn one of them has the exact same freaking reaction. Their first look at you is annoyance, like “why are you bothering me?”. Then you can actually see their synapses firing away as they process the information. You can see the “oh my God look” in their eyes and then they all do that one thing that drives me completely nuts.
They quick, spin around and look at their own bow. WTF are they looking for? Perhaps gremlins with bolt cutters have severed their anchor chain. Perhaps their piece of shit ground tackle is actually floating away in front of the boat. Even better yet, they’re looking for justification, I couldn’t have dragged, look I’m still uncomfortably close to the boat in front of me. Yeah, that’s right Captain, after you anchored and went below to masturbate, the wife and I hauled our own hook and reanchored right up next to your ass….We’re the morons, it couldn’t be you.
So Johnny McC gathered his shit and went back up the creek where he deployed a different hook. Ya see, it wasn’t his fault; it was a bad anchor…..Christ.
When the tide changed we slept like babies because now we were in front of him. The next morning we rose to light winds outta the south and we headed out for Beaufort, NC.
The seas were ridiculously flat because there was pretty much no wind. We diverted to the Cape Fear River because inclement weather was headed our way.
Or it could have been because we were both getting a little buggy due to the lack of wind. At one point we were close hauled and making not quite 3 knots. It was so calm that on both evenings we set up the cockpit table to have dinner.
We’re safely anchored in Wrightsville Beach, NC after averaging 3.04 knots per hour for the entire 170 mile jump. It was a little tedious but we did manage to sail the entire way in lovely weather.