Thursday, July 5, 2012

What a Drag

You always hear about people dragging.  Hell, my good friends on Bettie del Mar turned Key West into one large drag strip.  So with my over sized anchor and 300 foot of chain i shouldn’t ever have a problem, right.
That theory works very well, in Theory.  One of the earlier posts the Princess wrote about her first foul weather experience.  She wouldn’t have had a bad weather experience if she would have left those nasty little rain fairies at home.  But that is another story.
So, as I have transversed the ICW and have covered almost 500 miles and have anchored almost every night.  I never really thought about it.  
Along the ICW I was always in very protected back water areas.  I never put out that much chain because the mud was super stinky and stuck to everything like super glue.  Less chain meant less clean up, and this worked flawlessly UNTIL.
I had left the Princess standing in the company of her rain fairies at the dock in Ocean Springs.  Great place to visit.  I opted to go from Ocean Springs, MS to Dauphin Island, AL.  An easy run of about 40 miles.  Well the weather was still not that great but this was supposed to be one of those anchorages that was great unless the wind comes from the Northwest.  Well, there is no reason for that to happen.  The weather was on its way back to Texas. (with the Princess hehe)
I made the journey and even transversed the skinny channel without as much as a bump.  I was feeling pretty good about myself.  I got into the middle of the lagoon and dropped my anchor.  I used the same amount of chain I had been using. (This is where my error was.)
I am feeling good about myself at this point and decide that now would be a great time to take the carb off of the dingy engine and clean it.  I broke it all apart and placed all of the components in the carb dip.  I had done this before but only left it there for 15 minutes.  This time I was going to leave it there for 4 hours.
All was going well.  I got everything cleaned up and climbed in my bunk.  I am not sure what time all hell broke loose.  I’m pretty sure the Princess knows since it was when she sicked her rain fairies on me.  All I know is that I felt a cool breeze hit my feet.  I instantly came awake.  I went topside just as the leading edge of the squall slammed into me.
To make a long story short, I was hit by 45knot winds from the Northwest, and since I only had out about 25 feet of chain I proceeded to drag all over that anchorage.  I have learned my lesson.  Since then I have been putting out at least 100 feet of chain.  And when the wind pipes up I still go topside just to keep an eye on things.  I am a little drag shy I guess.


  1. You should have minimum 4:1 scope, preferably 5:1 -- and don't forget to add the height of the water to the bow roller. Drop the anchor and back down on it hard -- keep the engine in reverse at cruising revs for a good 30 seconds. If you don't move then, you probably won't move in a blow. We've dragged twice in a year -- once in crummy holding where we just did the scope math wrong from exhaustion, and a second time in horrible holding where a coral head got stuck in our anchor -- and everyone dragged then.

  2. Key West has the ultimate drag race. In more ways than one. :) Glad to hear you are keeping it real on the ICW!

  3. And you laughed at me with 100' out at Tea Cup... HA! Sorry to hear about it though...