Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Savannah at Hinckley Marina - at a dock

Thunderstorms pass through
3:00 am, Wednesday morning. What's that sound? It sounds like a waterfall?! Going up on deck I found that once again we were sideways to the current running through the river, this time the Wahoo River. During the course of the tide change, Fleetwing drifted just right so the rode was wrapped around the keel and kept on the keel by the aft extension of the keel bottom. The boat was perfectly balanced, you could turn it some in either direction with the rudder but it always came back to a 90 degree angle to the current. With the current running 1.8 kts, we gave up for the night and went back to the bunk, with the sound of a waterfall just outside. Everything held as far as the ground tackle went, it was just noisy. We decided to wait for slack tide.

Hoolie, why is your line all twisted, did you run in circles??
Getting up in the morning I checked the condition of the rode and found it the same place as before, wrapped around the keel. Slack was still an hour off so we took Hoolie ashore. Upon our return I decided to try using the dinghy as a tug to push the aft end of Fleetwing around, undoing the wrap on the keel. With the almost slack tide, I was able to push Fleetwing around, tying the bow of the dinghy to the aft cleat of Fleetwing (more on this later!) to steady the push. However, we were still wrapped (how could this be?) so Ann had the idea of powering forward to get over the anchor which she proceeded to do. That did the trick. By motoring to the anchor, it reduced the tension on the rode which then dropped down, off the keel and we were free!

Not a happy camper, stuck in mud - don't cut buoys!
I rapidly proceeded to haul the anchor up with the windlass and gave hand signals to Ann so I could bring the chain up vertically (least effort on the windlass). At some point in this procedure, Ann had to put Fleetwing in reverse. After the chain was stored in the locker, I walked back to the cockpit to retie the dinghy so it would trail properly behind. Humm, we seem to be missing part of the dinghy line?! Looking around I notice a line in the water, Hoolie's leash line that was tied to the dinghy painter for added extension (so Hoolie could roam further). Pulling the line up, it looked like it went through a hair curler machine, all twisted. At this point I got a sickening feeling and realized that Hoolie's leash had encountered the prop while Ann was backing at some point in hauling the anchor. Miracles of miracles, the prop was still functioning and we could proceed to Savannah but it didn't seem quite right, a little rough so we slowed the rpms. Limping along, we made it to Savannah around 2:30 or so and will now be here until the overheating problem is fixed but now we also have to get a diver to take a look at the prop to clear it of any remains of Hoolie's leash. Such is the excitement of a typical day on the ICW.

Having gotten all of the excitement out of the day that was available, we retired below to A/C. Shortly thereafter Jack Cothren dropped by for an enjoyable visit and we caught up on Poughkeepsie Yacht Club affairs. We'll be here at Hinckley's for several days at least, especially if parts are required but thunderstorms are predicted for Thursday and Friday anyway and it's a pleasant area to explore.


Anonymous said...

Bob -- Enjoying the posts as always. I have feared backing down suddenly when towing with exactly the same results but (knock on wood) have never done so. Ordered a couple of days ago from Defender a length of floating dinghy tow line made by New England Ropes. Defender numbers 450784 and 450785. Perhaps the larger size for the dinghy and the smaller size for a new leash for Hoolie.


Bob423 said...


Good to hear from you and thanks for the P/N's of the lines. What contributed greatly to the problem was the clip on the end of Hoolie's leash, it was solid brass and heavy. It made an excellent presentation of the line to the prop as it was sucking in water from aft when in reverse.