Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day Part 2 - the near collision


You thought all of Saturday was included in the last post? Oh no, there's more...

The wind subsided a bit as late afternoon approached. We were ready to simply enjoy the evening when we almost collided with a sailboat. Correction - he almost collided with us. I'm sorry to say that there are no pictures of this debacle, mainly because I was in full boat protection mode. Doug had gone down below for a bit and I was just minding my own business while relaxing with a book at the helm. I looked up at the end of a chapter to see a sailboat on course to hit us dead on or at least side swipe us on the starboard side. I like to have faith in other boaters so I simply watched for a few seconds thinking he must know what he is doing...until he looked up and was clearly surprised to see a large boat in front of him.

Quick aside -- if you notice you might hit another boat, what would your first instinct be? If you said, turn on a course away from the other boat -- ding ding ding -- you are correct!

This captain would not have won our game show folks. He turned directly in front of us then proceeded to run up to his bow and drop his anchor -- while still in front of us and very close to our bow. Again, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, but the wind was coming from the front and I knew that was the wrong place to drop anchor.

Me: "Um, you do realize you are right over our anchor, right?"

Sailboat Man: "No I'm not, your anchor is over there." (points off in random distance somewhere) "Besides there isn't enough water in here to move a boat anyway."

Yes, Fairlee Creek was shallow that day. Yes, a sailboat has a keel and requires more water. But, this was a 30-foot sailboat dropping anchor 20 feet in front of my boat with the current going in my direction. At that point, I sprang into action having lost all faith in this particular boater.

"Doug, we have trouble," I yelled into the cabin as I ran to the stern looking for a boat pole to fend the sailboat off.

I got back to the bow just in time to see our all-chain anchor line save the day. He did swing towards us but the anchor line acted like a strong fence.

"Now I'm over your anchor," said Sailboat Man as he ran back up onto his bow, pulled up his boat, and motored past us. "Forgive me, I've been sailing alone since 6am."

Ok, I get it, you're tired (or high?), but that doesn't give you the right to be stupid. Just like driving a car, pull over and park when you get too tired. There are many, many, many good anchorage spots along the Chesapeake Bay. If he had been out since 6am, he had passed many good places for a nap.

The rest of Saturday was spent visiting our friends at the dock and making new friends. It turned into the fun, relaxing evening it should have been all along.

I promise you'll see Sunday in the next post...

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