Wednesday, November 18, 2015

So much for monotony!

We ended up staying at Saul Creek for another two days. But it was anything but boring! The wind speed climbed even higher, and changed direction. For the worst. We had been well protected from the north wind, but were now getting blasted by an east wind. As the section of creek we were anchored in was oriented east-west, we were open to the full force of the wind.

We were swinging from bank to bank in the wind. M/V Stylist was doing the same. Sometimes we would get within 30-40' feet of each other. I finally decided the safest thing to do was to pull up the anchor and move a bit further away. I made the mistake of thinking I could let out a little extra chain when we re-anchored, since Stylist was now further away.

During the night the wind got even stronger. I could hear the aluminum framework on the bridge thrumming as it vibrated in the wind. This usually happens once the wind is around 40 mph. But the anchor seemed to be holding well, as it always does. We went to bed and slept pretty well.

When we got up the next morning I noticed that Stylist was gone!  I knew they would not leave in the middle of the night unless something serious had happened. Bob had mentioned that if he had any problems with his anchor holding he was going to move further back in the creek. I was going to get the coffee going then hop in the dinghy to go look for him.

I walked on the back deck to get the dinghy ready, and got a real shock. The stern of Microship was up in the trees near the bank!!  The extra chain I had let out had allowed us to swing too close to the bank. Some of the trees had large branches that extended out 10-20' over the water. We had apparently been swinging under those branches for a while. They scratched up the back of the boat, ripped our flagstaff and mount right off (there goes the flag I rescued last week!), and picked up the spreader bar for hoisting the dinghy and dragged it across the cockpit. Then it rested on the opposite side, just rubbing up and down against the bulwarks and scratching the heck out of it. How the heck did we sleep through all this??

I winched in some chain and got us pulled out of the trees. Then I decided to get the anchor up and to move further back in the creek myself. As we went around the bend, there was Sylist. We went a short distance past them and dropped anchor.

I put Duke in the dinghy and went to see if I could find the flag. Perhaps it had gotten caught on one of the branches. No luck, the current had taken it. As I was returning Bob came out of his boat and motioned me over. I asked what happened that made him move in the night. He said they woke up and saw my anchor light through their stateroom window. The way we were anchored, that should not have been possible. He rushed up on deck, and found we were less than 20' from his boat. He decided he must be dragging his anchor, as we were barely moving. He was surprised to hear we ended up in the trees, as we were rock solid in the middle of the creek when they moved around 2030.

We ended up moving even further up the creek to stay out of the wind. But the wind is finally supposed to subside tomorrow, so we are planning to make the run to Carabelle at first light.

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