Monday, November 03, 2014

Situational Unawareness

Lady's Island Marina, Beaufort, NC
32 25.194 80 39.540 W

Pilots and captains and soldiers are all trained on maintaining "situational awareness" as an essential part of doing their jobs.  What that means is being aware of your own situation and what is going on around you.   Well yesterday was so cold and miserable that we hid all day down below, under blankets and with the heat on.   We weren't aware of anything happening at this marina.  Boy did we miss a lot.

Lady's Island Marina is located on Factory Creek.  The creek is pretty narrow, and it makes a U shape.  Along the outside of the U are houses, business, docks and lots of boats.  Along the inside of the U is nothing but mud and marshes.  

As we came in to the marina we noticed a very large Morgan Catalina 50 foot boat at anchor just a hundred meters away from the marina.  Well yesterday during the day, that big boat broke its anchor rode and went adrift.   A man on the boat next to Tarwathie saw it happen.  He said that the Morgan turned beam to the wind and started drifting.   Considering the direction of the wind it should have blown to this marina and crashed against all the boats moored here on the ends of the docks.

The man alerted TJ in the marina office.  TJ sprang into action and went out in the marina pump-out motor boat.  He hoped to push the Morgan away from the boats in the marina.   He didn't have to.  The Morgan sailed under bare poles over to the mud side of the creek where there were no boats to hit.  The tide was coming in and that caused the Morgan to skip along the mud bank to the end of the U.  By that time, TJ got Steve to help him.  The two of them boarded the Morgan.  They found a spare anchor on deck.  They threw that out, it caught, and it held.  That prevented the Morgan from crashing into the docks of the homeowners at the end of the U.

Local gossip is that the Morgan had been anchored there for 10 years on a 1/2 inch rope rode.   Experienced boaters know that is totally inadequate for a 40,000 pound boat.

But that's not all.  There is also a 49 foot boat in another slip at this marina.  During the blow, three of her four dock lines came loose. Ay ay ay.  Once again, the dockmaster rescued the boat.

Morgan Catalina 50

p.s. Today, Monday, we are heading out to sea. We should be in Florida by this time tomorrow. Hooray.

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