Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Corpus Christi, Tx
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Re: What would you do? Caught off guard by storm on the Chesapeake
It is amazing how quickly a T storm can close in on you, even keeping watch. I've encountered two that fit your scenario. One on the Barnegat with wife and two small children on board in a 22ft sloop. In that situation I had them go below and button up. They were already wearing PDFs. I got the sails down and deployed the anchor. Trying to maneuver in shallow water with crab pots all around is crazy frustrating. Knowing that this will be short lived, a good anchor and rode are your friends, so jettison those anchor lines and get a lot of the real thing. If you can get up close to the weather shore before it hits and anchor with all the line you have, then you will be safe, but be ready (bucket in hand) for the bucking bronco you are about to mount.
Also, if you stay in the cockpit as I did, figure out what you are going to hang onto that is not connected to the mast.
Last but not least your scenario really points out the value of situational awareness and being able to put together a plan on a moments notice.