My first overnight "cruise" - SailNet Community
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post #1 of Old 10-11-2011 Thread Starter
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My first overnight "cruise"

Well I bought my first cabin cruiser a few months ago, a 1982 Hunter 25, and made my first overnight on a "hook", just north of the George Washington Bridge with my girlfriend this weekend. I was planning on sailing there from liberty landing, but the winds were too light so I wound up motoring there and back.



I anchored in an "anchorage" area on the charts, just off the palisades marina about a mile north of the bridge. Unfortunately it was dark by the time we got there, plus I was nervous because I never anchored overnight before, so I dropped two hooks, a danforth and a mushroom type. We made a simple salmon dinner on the stove, watched a DVD on my laptop and generally had a beautiful and romantic night mostly under the moonlight. I left the mast top light on overnight, and also had an additional battery powered all-around light that I kept on. Late at night a few motorboats sped by and sent the boat pitching and rocking, waking us up and scaring my girlfriend but we went back to sleep.

Haha I was so nervous the anchors would drag and I kept checking them throughout the night (not a good nights' sleep lol). Little did I know I would barely be able to retrieve the mushroom, and the Danforth would get so stuck I would have to get above it and just cut the line...

The next morning I had a cup of coffee while just admiring the view of the cliffs and palisades park. We both agreed to leave before cooking breakfast though, as we were feeling pretty wobbly and my girlfriend had a headache from the rocking of the boat. Haha we are still land lubbers I guess.

It was a beautiful first experience, but I will def seek a more protected anchorage next time and only set one anchor.
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post #2 of Old 10-11-2011
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Sounds like my first successful overnight anchoring experience (successful in that the anchor didn't drag). My wife was so concerned that we would drag into the rocks or swing into this other boat that she literally camped in a sleeping back on the foredeck, ready to let out or take in scope as necessary. What a trooper, I thought, as I fell fast asleep below.

Anyway, regarding your anchoring results... I'm guessing the Danforth is what held you, not the mushroom, which is not held in high regard by cruisers. It's a shame you had to cut the Danforth loose as it's quite a reliable anchor, as you've discovered. Next time, try snugging up the rode as tight as you can to a strong cleat. The action of the waves---or the wake of one of those passing motorboats---on the boat will often be enough to pull the anchor out. I've had added success by pulling in a bit of rode and cleating it in the trough. Mind your fingers.

Finally you have discovered my personal favorite moment in overnight cruising, which is the morning, when things are often calmer and quieter than they were at night, you're all alone, and it feels like everything is exactly as it should be.

edit: one other thing: when it says "Anchorage" on the chart, it means for big ships. Small craft are left to anchor wherever they can find a little hidey-hole

s/v Laelia - 1978 Pearson 365 ketch
s/v Essorant - 1972 Catalina 27

Last edited by AdamLein; 10-11-2011 at 12:47 PM.
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post #3 of Old 10-11-2011
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Good lessons learned. Time to get a basic cruising book.

You should get a cruising guide for your area; it will recommend anchorages.

The mushroom anchor is designed for a "permanent" installation with a mooring ball. You might have fouled the Danforth on a rock or cable. The best sea bottoms for anchoring (IMHO) are mud and sand.

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post #4 of Old 10-11-2011
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Sounds like a good first time on the hook over night. Hooked is just one reason I sail.
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post #5 of Old 10-11-2011
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Good job getting out there!
Sounds like an adventure. Can't wait for my first overnighter.
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post #6 of Old 10-11-2011
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Ok, you are no longer a virgin. Sounds like you had a great time.

But you need to learn some really important stuff about anchors and anchoring. Having the right anchor for the bottom type and conditions and knowing how to use it will allow you to sleep at night.

There are many threads here on how to anchor and which anchors are good. Seek out posts by MaineSail and you will learn more than you ever wanted to know about the subject.

Tim R.
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1997 Caliber 40LRC

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post #7 of Old 10-11-2011
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OMG, our first sailboat was a Hunter 25 on which we spent our first night on the hook.
It was a great boat. I hope you have as much fun on yours as we did on ours.
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post #8 of Old 10-11-2011
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Congrats on your first overnight! And, even more congrats for having your favorite "crew" along with you. This is the start of something big, I'm afraid.

Oh, you may want to think about picking up a part time job to cover the anchor expenses, lol.
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post #9 of Old 10-11-2011
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Congrats also! I'm guessing the Hudson is like the Delaware, very few places to hide from the open river. Not fun to anchor that way. even old salts hate it. If you ck the charts on Active captain .com maybe you can find better shelter from the boat traffic.

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #10 of Old 10-11-2011
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Reading your story has me missing the overnights my family and I enjoyed on our boat. Congratulations.
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