Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Danger on the Low Seas

Our Morgan 33 OI series sailboat BLISS is currently moored in San Carlos Bay with a bunch of other boats, and as is normal this time of year, we get "northers." When high pressure builds over the 4 corners area of the US, that pressure is relieved by blowing down into the Sea of Cortez, usually for days at a time. The winds are normally about 25 knots, but gusts to 50 are not uncommon. It makes the Sea a lively place to be and unsheltered anchorages a place to avoid. In the Bay of San Carlos it looks like this:

Note the boat in front of BLISS... it's a Hunter sloop of recent vintage named MYSTIQUE and lies directly upwind of our Morgan. Today I took a tour around MYSTIQUE's mooring ball and discovered the chafing around the thimble (the teardrop shaped metal piece in the picture) had almost cut that line.

Then I noticed the other line holding this boat had chafed and had just two weak strands between the mooring ball and total disaster for the Hunter. And possibly BLISS as well, since it's likely the rope would part in a strong northerly gust and send MYSTIQUE barreling down into BLISS. That's 10-15 tons of sailboat crashing into our Morgan. Not good.

So, I motored back to BLISS and found a heavy 3/4' dock line that could hold up when both of the Hunter's ropes failed and looped it through the hardware and tied it off on the deck.

I checked at the marina office when I got back to shore only to find they had no record of the owner. Later today, I'll jump on the internet and see if I can find a link to someone responsible for this boat... but in the meantime, we'll both be safe for awhile.

ADDENDUM: After an hour of searching the web I found out the boat belonged to a local resident and he's been notified.

1 comment:

1st Mate said...

Just goes to show it's good to not only check our own lines but those of our neighbors too. The forces of wind and water are beyond our comprehension, even when we're sitting still.