Thursday, July 26, 2012

North Benjamin Island, Croker Island, and Our First Stern Tie

Days on cruise:  125

Distance traveled:  0.6 miles  AND  2.7 miles

Travel time:  6 minutes  AND  31 minutes

Total trip odometer: 2,680 statute miles

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Thursday we woke after a blustery night which included lots of “hull slap”, wind-driven waves slapping against the boat’s hull in noisy, echoing fashion, to a grey, dizzly morning. It was  8am before it was actually bright out.  A number of boats departed over the course of the morning, so we decided to move to a somewhat more protected area to see if we could find a quieter anchorage for tonight.

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After moving to our new location, we dropped the dinghy and went exploring.  The Benjamin Islands are said to be one of the most beautiful spots in the North Channel.  We would have to say we agree.

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We returned to the boat early afternoon and listened to the VHF weather report again.  Bad news:  the forecast now called for 20 knot winds this evening from the east – right at us!  So we decided to move again, this time about 3 miles east to Croker Island, with a harbor that would afford protection from the east.

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Croker Island Harbor is more protected, but unlike the Benjamin Island harbor, it’s deep, 25’ to 40’ right up to the shore.  Given the number of boats hiding out there from the weather, we decided we needed to stern tie: that is, drop the anchor in deep water , then back up near the shore and tie a line to a tree to keep us from swinging in a large circle and potentially interfering with other boats.

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Bob took the first stern line to shore and tied it to a tree. After getting back to the boat we decided to check our anchoring book to see if we had missed anything.  The book suggested that TWO stern lines were better than one!

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So above is Cathryn taking the second line to  shore. Our anchoring book doesn’t have a lot of detail on this technique, so if any of our readers have suggestions, please fire away.

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As the afternoon wore on the sun finally emerged, so we took the dinghy across the harbor and climbed a hill to enjoy the view . . . .

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. . . . which was spectacular.  We’ll report tomorrow on how our first stern ties survives the night.  Although the wind is still no more more then 6-8 knots at 9pm, the forecast continues to predict 20 knots before dawn.

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1 comment:

Ocean Breeze said...

We used a stern tie in the Benjamins as well. We only used one line off the stern. And the Benjamins are the only time we have done that for an overnight anchorage. We have seen other boats use a bow and stern tie in different areas. I've always prefered the free swing from the bow anchor, especially among a group of boats. Generally everyone swings the same way. I think the reason we saw stern ties in the N. Channel was because our bow anchors were laying in silt over granite rock. Don't know it that's true, just my own observation.