Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Tell us where you've been, trade information
User avatar
puddock
Old Salt
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:03 pm
Boat Type: Westerly Storm 33
Location: Aberdeen - Boat Lossiemouth

Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby puddock » Wed Sep 02, 2009 12:16 pm

Just a heads up to anyone considering Kentallen Bay as an anchorage.
Jim Irvine and I anchored there on Sunday night, in calm conditions. Due to the amount of mooring buoys in the bay, getting a clear area to anchor in was pretty difficult, made worse by the fact that in nearly 20 metres, our swinging circle was going to be pretty large.
In the end, we found a spot quite close in on the North side of the bay (nearest the road) which looked promising, in @12 metres. Due to the proximity of the shore (rock) I decided to drop a stern anchor to prevent us swinging onto the shore. We motored, in an arc, toward the Southern side, dropped the Stern Anchor and allowed Rosally to fall back and hang off the Bower (35LB cqr AND 40m 8mm chain), whilst paying out the at the Stern.
All seemed well for a few hours, transits checked out fine and I was fairly happy but no altogether comfortable.
Around midnight, whilst lying in bed, "something didn't seem right". Also, the wind had suddenly got pp. On getting up to check things out, I found that our bow had dragged around and we were laying broadside to 25+ kts of wind howling down the glen at the head of the bay. Not only that but we were @ 10 feet from the bow of a sailing boat moored up down wind of us. I immediately gave Jim a shout, started the engine (after making sure nothing was fouling our prop) and kept us off the other boat until Jim was able to get on deck. By the time I had the engine started we were about 5 feet off the other boat.
Ofcourse, it was chucking it down and blowing a hoolie.
The stern anchor (25 lb CQR and 30m 6mm chain and @ 20m 1" 3 strand) was holding but the bow was still dragging around. All the while we were making progress toward a second yacht down wind of the first. The stern anchor rode was now tight and obviously holding as but we were now right next to the stern of that second yacht. With Jim doing a sterling job keeping us off with the engine, I added to the length of rode on the stern anchor, to allow us to drift clear of the stern of the second yacht. I then went forward to haul in the Bower. Sods Law dictated that my "intermittent" problem with the windlass decided to return and I was forced to haul 40 metres of 8mm chain and the 35lb CQR by hand. (the Emergency Recovery lever for the windlass had a stripped thread! I was probably going to be quicker doing it by hand anyway). This took a while!
I eventually collapsed back in the cockpit, with the Bower anchor safely on deck. We could now recover the stern anchor safely. After that, we motored to a free mooring and picked that up - 1st attempt, thanks once again to Jims spot on helming. Jim was then promoted from Crew to First Mate, with immediate effect.
The Mooring appeared to be in good condition and quite substantial, so I felt happier. The next morning a passing Lobster Boat acknowledged that we were OK on the mooring and that it was in good nick.
Obviously the minute we got tied up safely to the mooring, the rain stopped and the wind died. We were both soaked but glad to have got out of the situation without causing any damage to Rosally or any other boat and most importantly nobody got hurt. The whole escapade lasted a good hour and a half.
One major lesson that came to light during the whole event was that the Emergency Recovery gear should have been tested prior to being needed. My fault entirely and I have no excuses for that at all.
Another GLARING error that was made (and was a factor in not paying out more scope on the bower) was rather more embarrassing.
During the Winter, I hade made the decision to replace the old 8mm chain (2 lengths joined with a joining link!) and to change out the warp. I had the warp made up with a hard eye at either end, shackled to the boat at one end, the chain at the other. The warp was stowed ready in the locker awaiting the arrival of the chain. When that arrived, it was run up over the windlass and lowered into the Anchor Locker, were it was shackled onto the warp before being stowed fully. Great ! ......... Except for the fact that the eye and shackle don't fit through the hole !!!!!!!! :thumbsdown: :roll:
Don't tell anyone about that :wink:
Apart from that event, it was a great sail with Jim, who I had never sailed with, or met, before and he was great company.

Image

User avatar
Silkie
Admiral of the Fleet
Posts: 3493
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:55 pm
Boat Type: Hurley 22
Location: Bonnie Scotland
Contact:

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby Silkie » Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:45 pm

Oops!

That's one mistake you won't make again. Not to worry though, there are an almost unlimited number of new mistakes to choose from.
different colours made of tears

User avatar
Nick
Admiral of the Blue
Posts: 5668
Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 4:11 pm
Boat Type: Albin Vega 27
Location: Oban. Scotland
Contact:

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby Nick » Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:52 pm

there are an almost unlimited number of new mistakes to choose from

Never a truer word.
- Nick 8)

Image

User avatar
Nick
Admiral of the Blue
Posts: 5668
Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 4:11 pm
Boat Type: Albin Vega 27
Location: Oban. Scotland
Contact:

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby Nick » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:44 am

in nearly 20 metres, our swinging circle was going to be pretty large

Geometry doesn't come naturally to me, but I wonder if a bigger swinging circle is compulsory just because you are anchored in deeper water.

Beyond a certain depth the 3x water depth minimum formula perhaps becomes less relevant, as the weight of the chain means that you are unlikely to ever stretch it straight in normal conditions. A Yachtmaster Instructor of my acquaintance believes that a more suitable formula for deep water is something like 25m + the water depth.

If you DO have a huge amount of chain out and there IS a blow big enough to straighten your rode completely then it is unlikely that you will swing very far - certainly the concept of a 'circle' shouldn't apply. The only time this would apply is if you have a F6+ from one direction which reversed 180deg in the night, in which case my tentative diagnosis would be that you had either got a very dodgy forecast or had picked an unsuitable anchorage for your overnight sojourn.

All highly speculative and ready to be shot down in flames here. On another note, I have always fancied anchoring in Kentallen, so it is disappointing to hear that it is so deep out beyond the moorings.
- Nick 8)

Image

User avatar
puddock
Old Salt
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:03 pm
Boat Type: Westerly Storm 33
Location: Aberdeen - Boat Lossiemouth

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby puddock » Thu Sep 03, 2009 6:50 pm

It is a lovely wee bay. We anchored on the North side but looking at the chart, the South side is much the same sort of depth. It would be interesting to hear if any others have had any problems or not.
I think a major factor was the glen at the head of the very steep sided bay which funnels any wind.

User avatar
Silkie
Admiral of the Fleet
Posts: 3493
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:55 pm
Boat Type: Hurley 22
Location: Bonnie Scotland
Contact:

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby Silkie » Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:41 pm

(Fifth attempt at posting this which serves me right for saying I had no problems with IE8.)

I am trying and failing to visualise the situation. What we need is an animated gif and so I have thoughtfully provided a pic to start you off.

Image

I initially thought (as Nick appears to) that you were anchored at the N end of the bay close to the E shore by the road but if that were the case you wouldn't be blowing down on other yachts with the wind from the head of the bay. So did you actually have the bower in the SE corner with the stern anchor out towards the SW corner?

I've only been in once when we picked up an empty mooring for lunch. I remember it as being quite crowded with moorings and would be concerned about fouling the anchor on some old ground tackle.
different colours made of tears

User avatar
puddock
Old Salt
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:03 pm
Boat Type: Westerly Storm 33
Location: Aberdeen - Boat Lossiemouth

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby puddock » Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:27 pm

Is this any clearer? This is roughly how it went, though not to scale. Just looking at the initial image, we may have been better on the other side as it looks shallower but I seem to remember quite a few moorings.

10 SECONDS BETWEEN FRAMES, SO BE PATIENT (5 FRAMES)
Image

User avatar
ash
Yellow Admiral
Posts: 1717
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:14 pm
Boat Type: Moody 346
Location: Tarbert, East Loch Tarbert, Loch Fyne, Scotland

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby ash » Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:38 pm

Interesting scenario

Questions

Were the 'blue' and 'red' boats anchored or on a mooring?

With hindsight, would the situation have been better without the kedge? Would you have stayed more bows on to the wind and so less windage?

Ash

BTW - you were lucky that neither of your anchors snagged on the gear of the blue / red boats.

PS - How did you get on working in the dark? During our recent nocturnal workout I found that the blue glow from the cheapy garden solar light was enough to work by.
Last edited by ash on Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"This is a sailing Forum"
Albin Vega "Mistral" is now sold

User avatar
puddock
Old Salt
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:03 pm
Boat Type: Westerly Storm 33
Location: Aberdeen - Boat Lossiemouth

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby puddock » Thu Sep 03, 2009 8:45 pm

Red and Blue were both on moorings.
Hindsight, we would probably have been better without the kedge, as when the bow started to drag, it presented us broadside to the wind.
And yes, we were lucky not to have fouled, I think someone was watching over us that night. As I mentioned earlier, there was a little voice telling me to have one last check..........

User avatar
Silkie
Admiral of the Fleet
Posts: 3493
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:55 pm
Boat Type: Hurley 22
Location: Bonnie Scotland
Contact:

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby Silkie » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:41 pm

Much clearer with the animation, thanks, and very quickly produced. Of course, correctly labelling the points of the compass is a big help too. :)
different colours made of tears

User avatar
puddock
Old Salt
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:03 pm
Boat Type: Westerly Storm 33
Location: Aberdeen - Boat Lossiemouth

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby puddock » Thu Sep 03, 2009 10:56 pm

Ahh yes......... just had a look at the map, didn't realise the bay doubled back quite so much.
I do hope you will accept my sincerest appologies sir.

Ghillie
Master Mariner
Posts: 164
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 8:01 pm
Boat Type: Sigma 38
Location: Dallens Bay

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby Ghillie » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:30 pm

Quite a scare! Well done in the extrication exercise.

Some further questions as I too have a 35 lb CQR main anchor, which presently suffers from a bad press unlike the spaderayarocknamansonsupremes etc

How much welly in reverse did you apply to set the anchor?

You were just over 3 to 1 in scope/depth. Did the tide lessen this?

What type of anchor was your kedge, which held so well?

Very good graphics btw

User avatar
Telo
Admiral of the Red
Posts: 2485
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2005 9:27 pm
Boat Type: Vancouver 34 Pilot
Location: Bampotterie-sur-mer
Contact:

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby Telo » Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:00 am

Ghillie wrote:I too have a 35 lb CQR main anchor, which presently suffers from a bad press unlike the spaderayarocknamansonsupremes etc


Likewise a 35lb CQR. We've never tried a stern kedge, but will use the fisherman's (bloody heavy...) or a 25lb plough as a second bow anchor (fisherman's in weedy Canna for example, plough in muddy Loch Aline).

I know that Craig Rocna etc regularly criticise the CQR for only setting on one side of the "plough", although its defenders [stout defence of CQR] will suggest that the manner by which it is laid is critically important for its effectiveness (someone on a recent thread on YBW seemed to suggest that you drop the whole bloody lot over the side and then go astern - incredible IMHO). But the anti-CQR propaganda does have an effect, and we usually go a lot of effort ensuring that the thing is well dug in.

However, as it happens, we did drag on the single CQR in Loch Dunvegan this August after three days of strong winds, up to about 40kts from time to time. Funny thing was that we dragged after the wind had dropped down to the low 20s. Even odder was that both sides of the CQR's "plough" were caked in thick smelly Dunvegan mud, which suggests that the CQR was well dug in, but pulled out a great lump of intact mud. So, in this particular drag, it does appear to me that it was the mud itself that separated, and that the CQR was as good as its opposition would have been.[/stout defence of CQR].

Like our spectacular drag at Craighouse some years ago, this was silent, but, fortunately, also during daylight; but we had travelled about 100m towards the rocks before we'd noticed. The audible GPS alarm didn't kick in either - old Garmin 128, so may need repairing or replacing.

Sometimes putting in the second anchor seems like a bit of a chore, but, maybe like putting in a reef, perhaps I should have done it when I'd first thought about it, instead of hanging on and not bothering.

User avatar
Alcyone
Old Salt
Posts: 281
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 8:23 am
Boat Type: Cobra 850, Cardiff and Dale
Location: Briton Ferry, South Wales

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby Alcyone » Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:15 am

I think the honesty here is refreshing. Far better than some of the 'authorities' that speak on this subject elsewhere. I've recently tried to design my own mooring, using proper catenary equations. Gave up. It;s going to have to be 'that looks enough' and learn from my mistakes.

User avatar
Nick
Admiral of the Blue
Posts: 5668
Joined: Sun May 12, 2002 4:11 pm
Boat Type: Albin Vega 27
Location: Oban. Scotland
Contact:

Re: Kentallen Bay - Drama on the High Seas

Postby Nick » Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:02 am

we did drag on the single CQR in Loch Dunvegan this August after three days of strong winds

It seems bizarre that an apparently well-set anchor that has held for two days or more of strong winds can suddenly drag. This happened to friends of ours with a 28ft Twister. We had both been anchored in Canna for two days in a F6-F8 from a largely consistent direction when they suddenly noticed they were silently but fairly rapidly dragging.

We have had a 10Kg Spade on Fairwinds since we bought her. In fact, we bought the anchor before we bought the boat, after a lot of research. This was because I had already suffered a couple of dragging incidents, one up W Loch Tarbert in a Cobra 750 and one in Puilladobhran with a Jeanneau Sunshine. Both times the anchor was a CQR.

The Spade has never dragged, and has set first time on 99% of occasions (the two exceptions being a scoured rocky bottom and when I though I had 22m out but had 11). It sets and holds perfectly in weed (eg Canna, Craighouse), in mud (eg Lochaline, Spanish Rias) and in hard sand (eg Vatersay, Taransay). However, I am sure that a Rocna or Manson Supreme would do the job equally well, although I don't personally like the roll bar. (Am reserving judgement on the Raya in weed).

Now, yachties are a fairly adventurous bunch when it comes to adopting new technology (GPS, chartplotters, AIS, mobile phones, netbooks, wifi etc) so why are they so reluctant to take advantage of improvements in anchor design? Especially when you consider the potential consequences of anchor malfunction, up to and including loss of boat and life. It should be a no-brainer.

It isn't cost, in spite of what many will say. Lots of boats have a chartplotter but are still using a CQR when they could have bought a Spade, Rocna or Manson for the same price. Perhaps it is because there is something ineffably salty and 'black art' about anchoring that compells us to carry on doing it the way our ancestors did - yet if that was the case we would all throw away our GPS sets and navigate by watching the swell and thte birds and trailing our testicles in the water.

So why does the subject raise such strong emotions? Why will people cling to their CQR or Bruce even after they have dragged a couple of times? An anchor dragging incident may provide rich anecdotal material and animated discussion on anchoring techniques, but in each case it is a disaster narrowly averted. Is it perhaps because modern anchors remove the 'skill' from anchoring? Is it because abandoning an old anchor seems like such a waste and we are a parsimonious lot? Is it becuase the names CQR and Bruce have a rugged, comforting ring to them while a Spade is an agricultural implement?

Right, I am going to retire behind the parapet now while people attempt to justify clinging to obsolete anchor technology to the potential detriment of (in order of significance and probability) their sleep, their no claims bonus, their boat and their life. As this is an anchoring thread I fully expect loads of personal abuse, so don't hold back :)
- Nick 8)

Image


Return to “Passages and Places”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests