Wednesday, March 23, 2005

All Tired Out

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Jacksonville FL, N30 24.38 W081 30.806

What a mistake it was to anchor last night. Should have hove to instead. It was so bumpy and noisy that I didn’t sleep a wink. Around 0500 I heard the noise of the snubber line snapping. I hastily got up go dressed and put out a replacement.

By 0600 when it was light, the winds were up to 35-45 knots. Wow! That wasn’t in the forecast. I checked the snubber chafing gear every half hour, and added a second backup snubber.

After 2 hours, the winds slacked to 25 from the south and the forecast said S 15-25. Uh oh, it was going to be hard to get the anchor up. We tried, and as I was trying to untie the rolling hitch on the snubber, the chain and the bowsprit held all the force. With a crunch and a big passing wave the bow roller broker broke. It damaged the bowsprit and the staysail shackle. Very bad news. It must have taken 10,000 pounds of force to break that roller.

Now we would have to wait until no wind to raise the anchor. It would use at least 24 more uncomfortable sleepless hours.

Fortunately, the wind died about 2 hours later, not 24 and I worked to move the chain to the second bow roller and we raised the anchor just before the wind came up again. I was tired out.

Once again with a fair wind, Tarwathie flew northward at breakneck speed. But now the pattern was clear. The estimated 2.6 days to make it to Charleston was based on the presumption of having good wind 24 hours per day. We have been experiencing only 8-12 hours per day. I didn’t have that local knowledge of weather patterns. We’ll have to terminate this passage at Jacksonville. Libby wants to be home by Easter.

We’re at anchor behind Blount Island off the St Johns River in Jacksonville. Very pretty place.

I realize now that almost every mistake in judgment I’ve made had been associated with haste. I make a rapid assessment of the situation, then form an action plan and then immediately execute the plan. My project manager and fire officer training was speaking. If I had just been indecisive and patient and waited for circumstances to change by themselves mistakes may have been avoided. MaƱana should be my new motto.

Impatience and working with deadlines are habits I must unlearn. For example, now that we know the weather, we could plan to sail only 8 hours per day and return to the coastal waterway every evening. It would take several weeks, but who cares?

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