Dragging The Hook In Mossel Bay- Day 5


08:00-  What a nice feeling it is to sleep the whole night!  Nothing like a solid 9 hours ?  I peek my head out the aft hatch and find a cold, rainy, grey morning.  The wind is just starting to blow, already up to 20 knots but expecting 30’s today out of the SW.  Definitely made the right call to pull in for weather.  Otherwise we’d be beating our brains out against it off Cape Agulhas right now.  Not fun….

10:00- We’ve decided to make it a cozy work day on Delos.  To me it’s the best office in the world.  We have everything we need here.  Hot coffee, tea, snacks, and thanks to mobile data even internet.  It’s not the fastest but enough to get some work done. And we can do it all in our pajamas.  How cool is that!

12:00 The wind is really starting to blow now.  Topping 30 knots solid and both wind generators are cranking in the juice.  We’re able to run all three laptops, our wireless network, and all the other boat systems off the power.  Almost as good as being plugged into the dock!  I decide to take a look at the 360 footage we took on the passage and post it on YouTube and Facebook.  Since we’re so new at this game and really not sure how to use it I ask for some feedback from the Delos tribe.  And boy did you guys respond!  Nice!!!  Between YouTube and Facebook we got nearly 1,000 comments!  Thanks Delos Tribe ?  General consensus is longer or no cuts, and a stable location giving the viewer the chance to pan around without being interrupted.  Makes perfect sense.  Most liked it, a few didn’t as to be expected.

14:00 I’m working away answering Facebook and YouTube comments when I hear some whistling and shouting outside.  I head out in the cockpit to find a ski-boat full of people shouting something at us.  I wave and smile, they look at me like I’m crazy.  What’s going on?  They shout something again, then I look and realize we are now in the middle of the bay, probably about 300 meters from where we set the hook.   Now their shouting makes sense.  “You guys are dragging!!!!”  Oh man, how embarrassing is that?!!?!?!?  It’s a reality check at that moment.  We thought we set the hook good, backed down on it good, and had out 50 meters, over 150 feet of chain and we’re only in 4.5 meters of water.  We should be just fine but apparently the bottom must be really shitty holding.   I can count the number of times we’ve drug anchor in Delos on my hands over the years.  It pays to never be complacent and we had been.  We held all morning and got comfortable.  We turned our instruments off and there was no perception of motion inside Delos.  We were in our little work zone and oblivious to what was going on around us.  I suppose it’s bound to happen if you sail long enough but it’s a real confidence shaker.  What if we drug into another boat?  Or worse a shoal or the beach?  The thought makes me shudder.  Luckily here in Mossel Bay there are no other boats and we could have drug for another mile or two without hitting anything so weren’t in any danger.  The only damage is to our delicate sailor egos….    Special thanks to the guys in the ski boat- that was super cool to come out and shout at us.  Cheers to you!

14:05 Engine is on and we’re pulling up the chain to reset the hook.  We head back in towards the breakwater and drop again in 4.5 meters of water.  I put out 60 meters (180 feet) of chain.  I engage Delos in reverse to set the hook and start to back down.  Brady is up at the bow watching the chain stretch out.  GPS speed shows 1.5, 1, .8, .7, .3, 0….  Looking good so far.  But then almost imperceptibly the speed starts to go up again.  .3, 7, .9 . At the same instant Brady shouts “Nope bro, didn’t set!”  What the hell type of bottom is this?  Must be hard packed something, or a thin layer of sand over rock, or a bed of seaweed or some other crappy type.  Crappolo.

14:15 Hook is up again and we decide to try a different spot, about 250 meters to our starboard side more in front of a sandy beach but still protected somewhat by the breakwater.  I drop the hook and this time put out 86 meters of chain, just over 280 feet.  In 14 feet of water!  With this massive scope if it doesn’t hold we’ll have to try something drastic like another type of anchor.  Sometimes throwing more chain at the problem isn’t the right solution.  But since we wouldn’t be here very long and had some wiggle room decided to go for it.  And changing the anchor is a lot of work so I hope it holds.  I back down and the speed drops again, pretty soon showing 0.0 knots over the ground.  Increasing RPM in reverse I go to 1,200, 1,300, 1,500 RPM.  This is enough to move Delos at over 5 knots under power and should simulate something like 50 knots of wind.  The speed remains at 0 ?  We leave it there pulling hard on the chain for about two minutes with 30 knots on the nose and it holds.  “We’re set bro!” says Brady.  Whew!  Okay hope that’s the end of it.  I keep the instruments on and set the anchor alarm with a radius of 100M around us.  If we drag outside our little circle we’ll know ourselves this time!  Enough excitement for the day.

21:00 The rest of the day flew by.  Not much happened but it was a super productive work day for Delos.  I think we really needed that.  Karin made enough pizza to feed an army for dinner and we had a feast while watching BBC Planet Earth II series- the Jungles Episode.  If you haven’t seen these they are absolutely the most fantastic filming we have ever seen.  I especially love the last 10 minutes of each episode where they show how they got the shots.  It’s really very inspirational for us and if I were to have a man crush/hero David Attenborough comes to mind.  What a legend!  Its lights out and early to bed for us.  The weather looks good to continue the trip tomorrow AM.  Cape of Good Hope here we come!

For more sailing adventures check out svdelos.com


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