Chesapeake Bay summer storm tactics.. - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-16-2010
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Chesapeake Bay summer storm tactics..

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Last edited by chrisncate; 05-20-2011 at 01:38 AM.
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Old 07-16-2010
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Summer squalls on The Bay can be fierce. My first rule is to be OFF the Bay before 4pm. In all my years of sailing, storms seem to come after 4pm. Obviously this is not a hard fact, but a good rule of thumb.

When I anchor when storms are looming I do a couple extra things, First, I use an anchor float, a line with a float that attachés to the crown of the anchor. This is in the slight chance I am forced to slip anchor I can later retrieve it. Second, storms do not always come from the direction of the prevailing winds, so I make certain I am anchored with plenty of scope AND room to swing without hitting anything or another boat. I also make sure other anchored boats are well clear of me.

The Bay's bottom is, for the most part, soft mud and as such provides excellent holding power for a danforth type anchor. I feel the safest place to be is anchored. And whenever possible, I anchor with little or no room for the winds to fetch large waves, I like to find a nice cove or anchor behind a bank of trees to help break up the wind's force.

I use my GPS as an anchor watch. It is not uncommon for the boat to "tack" through th wind while anchored, I just make sure the anchor holds and I don't loose any ground.

It is also worth noting to be aware of the possibility of a lightening strike. You are often THE tallest thing around and your aluminum mast is an excellent conductor. So, stay away from ALL metal on the boat and away from electronics and epically the VHF.
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Old 07-16-2010
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First, I would suggest you go around to Hawks Cove just behind Gibson Island, you'll be much happier, and more protected

If at anchor already, you may want to increase your scope being mindful of other boats around you, 7:1 maybe more. If you're using a Danforth, and the boat changes direction, which it likely will, watch that it doesn't break free, they can do that fairly easily.
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Old 07-16-2010
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Old 07-16-2010
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Use your Blackberry to track the storms so you know what weather your going to get.

Current Sterling NEXRAD Radar Map : Weather Underground
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Old 07-17-2010
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I would prefer not to have leeward shallows, particularly while asleep. Do you have a gps anchor alarm? That would be handy.
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Old 07-17-2010
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+1 to T37Chef.

I have completely abandoned the anchor alarm on my GPS in preference to running a track on my chartplotter. The "smile" as the boat swings makes it very clear if you dragging or not. In my experience I am up often enough overnight and wake when wind changes or other noises change to keep an eye on things.

Big anchors are good. *grin*

Sailing you can see a t-storm coming if you are paying attention. I shorten sail and keep going -- heave to if things get ugly. The storms blow through pretty fast before the waves have a chance to build.

I agree with the spirit of comments above that if the sky gets ugly and it looks like we'll be dumped on I try to duck in somewhere to anchor. That said, I'd rather be mid-Bay underway than trying to follow a channel into a creek when the t-storm hits. Stay away from the hard nasty bits. *grin*
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Old 07-17-2010
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+1 to T37Chef.

I have completely abandoned the anchor alarm on my GPS in preference to running a track on my chartplotter. The "smile" as the boat swings makes it very clear if you dragging or not. In my experience I am up often enough overnight and wake when wind changes or other noises change to keep an eye on things.

Big anchors are good. *grin*

Sailing you can see a t-storm coming if you are paying attention. I shorten sail and keep going -- heave to if things get ugly. The storms blow through pretty fast before the waves have a chance to build.

I agree with the spirit of comments above that if the sky gets ugly and it looks like we'll be dumped on I try to duck in somewhere to anchor. That said, I'd rather be mid-Bay underway than trying to follow a channel into a creek when the t-storm hits. Stay away from the hard nasty bits. *grin*
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