Conditions continued to deteriorate with winds getting up to 30 knots. The waves continued to get worse, topping 2-3 meters. English Bay was completely exposed, not a good situation. However, I have confidence in Opus and her anchor which turned out to be well-placed.
Other boaters, however…
About 11:30 or so I went upon deck to check the anchor set. “That boat looks closer than it did earlier this evening,” I thought. 1/2 an hour later it was definitely closer. A LOT closer and I realized it was dragging.
I immediately started preparations in case they hit me – which they did. Simple preparations such as putting a few more fenders over the side (a compromise since they can also cause entanglement), putting on a PFD and tether in case I needed to work on the pitching foredeck, getting a headlamp ready and making sure I had a knife and tools at hand in case I needed to drop the anchor.
Now they were dragging me along with them towards the shore. It’s times like these that single handing becomes really difficult as there was no one to helm while I pulled up the anchor and, as the anchor is pulled up, the drift accelerates. So now I had a few problems. First is deciding whether to pull up the anchor, cut it away, or hope that it would snag and hold. That last seemed like a bad idea — hope is not a plan. I decided to try bringing it up, but be prepared to cut it away.
with engine started, both to provide more power to the windlass and also so that once the anchor was free, we could maneuver, the next step was to bring up the anchor. During the process, I saw the only sailboat that was between me and the shore go by, and started thinking it was time to cut the anchor free… and then I saw chain coming up.
Opus has 40 feet of chain connected the anchor and then 160 feet of line. With the chain appearing, i knew I was close, though bringing more aboard meant I would no longer have the option of cutting it loose. A knife does very little good against anchor chain.
The drag from the other boat had me broadside to the waves and wind, also not making it easy.
I did, eventually, get the anchor free from the bottom and left it hanging while I piloted away from the danger zone, then rushed back up to the bow to finish bringing it aboard. During this time, I discovered I could only turn to starboard. Something was jamming my rudder.
So, in a lurching sort of manner, I made it into False Creek’s more protected waters and made for the point of safety I knew best – Granville public dock, arriving here cold, wet, barefoot, bedraggled, sweaty, and all together shaken. Though you’re only supposed to be here for a few hours, and certainly not over night, I feel that whatever financial penalty there might be is worth it.
I called into security and told them the situation and they okayed me staying at the dock overnight, asking that I call into the business five in the morning.
Today will be assessing damage and figuring out what to do now – after I have some breakfast.
I’ve called the business office several times today to no answer. I’ll keep trying. Meanwhile I’ve been trying to find a diver to examine the prop, prop shaft, and rudder, plus find a better moorage for Opus.
I can, now, turn both ways as I was able to free a line that was wrapped around my rudder. I think Opus is ok, other than a scuff, but want her inspected before saying she is.