Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
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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.
Sailing on The Central Chesapeake Bay, West River, MD on my Catalina 27, Aelous II with my wife and friends.
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