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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Block Island Adventure
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Thread: Block Island Adventure Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-30-2008 10:30 AM
sailingdog NK235-

That is one evil looking sky.
06-30-2008 09:27 AM
nk235 These are from lasy August (2007) in the Great Salt Pond. We had just got back to the boats from a day of bike riding when this came over. It reminded me of that movie Independence Day when the big ships come in and cloud out everything you can see. Winds picked up, boats dragged, we stayed up till 3am on anchor watch till the winds finally subdued. We kept hearing sirens all night and seeing the flashing lights of harbor patrol boats helping people who dragged anchor and with all the problems there were.

I don't think there is anything specific to the Great Salt Pond of being a giant cluster f*4k when the wind picks up. I just think that whenever you have that many boats anchored so close to eachother you are bound to have problems.

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06-29-2008 11:12 PM
cranki Bringing back another Block thread.

Seems like everyone's got a good Block Island story or two. Well, here's one of mine that fits the theme. We anchored early afternoon on Friday and were fine overnight. All day Saturday more and more boats came in and the anchorage got tighter and tighter. Sardine cannish, you might even say. Of course, Saturday night a gale blew in. My dad decided we were dragging and woke me around 3AM. I have no idea how long he'd been up or if he slept at all. He and I attempted to move the boat and reanchor in the middle of the night in a huge 40 know blow. After fouling just one other boat's anchor line, and quite a bit of motoring around looking for a spot, success. We finally got our Danforth down and holding and went back to bed exhausted. We woke the next morning to see 3 boats on the beach and a few other tangled together.

When my father woke me up at 3 I would have given anything to roll over and go back to sleep. But, there are times, usually on a boat, when you just can't do that.
07-14-2007 03:39 PM
camaraderie Labatt..
Sorry to go OT with this post! In what situations would you pick the Fortress over a Delta?

Just in really ooozy mud bottoms. Both do really well in sand. Delta is way better penetrating weed and in hard rocky bottoms or anywhere there is a strong reversing current or significant debris on the body. Note that while I have been quite happy with my Delta...If I were buying new I'd go for a Spade/Rocna type.
07-14-2007 03:41 AM
jasonr575 I was there in great salt pond when that storm came up. Was quite a site. a first for me. I arrived almost a week prior to that day and was very thankful that by that time i had a mooring. I will share my experience anchoring there though.

After a great sail from mystic river we arrived a great salt pond and knowing there were no morrings we tried anchoring. It took us a total of 1.5 hours to set an anchor. i was there a year prior and used my main anchor a cqr 45 and after 2 attempts it held fast and stayed till we fought to pull it up. so i arrived confident that it would hold again. This time we dropped and pulled it up 6 times, couldnt get it to set. tried different areas with not luck. This was a tedious task as i do not have a windless. My anchor man decided he needed a break. i decided to get my 55 fortress out of the closet, assemble it and give her a try. at the second attempt she set and held strong. i stayed up till 230 am that night on anchor watch and watched as 2 other boats hit. In that time we did swing 360 degrees due to wind gusts. From what i hear that is when a dansforth style anchor will break free and need to be reset. We held secure!!! the next day i got a moorning but was thankful and felt lucky. When i pulled up the anchor there was lots of hard black clay on it. No wonder it is hard to set an anchor. i have to say the 55 fortress was an invaluable asset that night.
07-11-2007 01:45 PM
labatt
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
Labatt...dog has it right. The fortress gives you a 45 degree angle setting that is perfect for mud and the fluke area is larger and the anchor itself is significantly stornger. It also comes with "mud palms" which help even further to dig down into the mud quickly.
I am not suggesting everyone needs a Fortress...as I favor some of the newer designs as a primary...but in this particular type of bottom and tight anchorage it would be the best to have IMHO.
Check out these test results in mud vs. danforth:
Anchor Test
I'm glad I have a Fortess spare on my boat then! I was wondering what I'd do with it - it's in its case in the wet locker. Sorry to go OT with this post! In what situations would you pick the Fortress over a Delta?
07-11-2007 11:45 AM
CBinRI
Quote:
Originally Posted by kreinestja
I'm sorry for the crazy font and type in my previous post. I'm not sure what went wrong.

Jk
Good story. Maybe my wife will now believe me that we have to leave early.

It gets very windy in there. On a holiday weekend you will see 10 or more powerboats rafted up, which makes me want to grab a mooring whenever I am there.
07-11-2007 10:39 AM
TrueBlue I'm in constant amazement over all the stories I read and hear about dragging anchor in Block Island's GSP. We've been sailing there for the past 15 summers with our current and last boats, some years 2-3 times. Finding a mooring is always a challenge, so anchoring is a typical requirement.

Although we had to reset our Danforth during a gale with the last boat, not once have we dragged anchor there with our CQR and all chain - in any of BI's adverse conditions.
07-11-2007 10:29 AM
camaraderie Labatt...dog has it right. The fortress gives you a 45 degree angle setting that is perfect for mud and the fluke area is larger and the anchor itself is significantly stornger. It also comes with "mud palms" which help even further to dig down into the mud quickly.
I am not suggesting everyone needs a Fortress...as I favor some of the newer designs as a primary...but in this particular type of bottom and tight anchorage it would be the best to have IMHO.
Check out these test results in mud vs. danforth:
Anchor Test
07-10-2007 11:42 PM
saillavie38
A long night at Block Island

I love Block Island, and yes, the Salt Pond can be a difficult anchorage... every one has stories! A number of years back, I was with a couple of buddies aboard "Gavilan", a Morgan 382. It was late August, and Ken, Pete, and I were just returning from Martha's Vinyard. We arrived late afternoon in New Harbor, and anchored with a 35# CQR and lots of chain. We felt good about the set and drove it home with some reverse throttle. After tending to the boat chores, we set about readying the dinghy for the trip ashore. We were anxious for a few cold ones at Cap'n Nick's, but just as we were ready to cast off the dinghy, the wind switched ever so slightly, and started blowing a few degrees cooler.

Being prudent sailors, we figured we should stick around for a few minutes just to be sure the anchor held. Ten minutes later, the wind had settled in to a NorthWest direction, and was blowing about 25-30 knots. But the anchor held in the shift. Twenty minutes later, the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees, and the wind was settling in with gusts to 45. The anchor still held, but we figured we'd abandon the hootin' & hollerin' ashore in favor of standing anchor watches through the night.

We kept the coffee hot, not only to help the person on watch to stay awake, but to help keep warm. Hey.. it was August! Summer, right? We bundled in sweatshirts and foulies and huddled behind the dodger to try to stay warm while on watch. I think the temp finally bottomed out in the low 40's. Wind chill much lower! All night, through each of the watches, the radio was buzzing with reports of anchors dragging, boats colliding, rodes tangling, and termpers flaring. We watched all night from the cockpit as less fortunate boaters dragged and drifted by us.

In contrast to all the chaos around us was the soft but steadfast glow of the Milky Way overhead! With very little light pollution, and the passage of the front clearing out the haze, the view of the stars was incredible... alone in the cockpit on watch on a cold blustery bouncy night, hot coffee, a good boat with a well set anchor, the experience was memorable, if not spiritual!

Our chain and CQR held through the night. We were lucky. A few close calls, but no one crossed or fouled our rode, or drifted into us. The morning was crisp and bright, and by then the wind was a compartively gentle 20-25kn. We had a great sail back to Long Island Sound that day, close hauled into the teeth of that northerly, with swells from the south adding a gentle rythmic contrast to the gusts.

I've been back to Block many times since in my own boats with my own family, with lots of other stories and memories... fortunately though, never another night like that!

Larry
Sail-La-Vie
M382 #26
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