It's a Mystery
Haven't I lived this scene before?.....it seems all too familiar!
With a mild westerly wind shift predicted for the day, I left the Mystique of Marine Stadium all alone. Assured Mystique was secure when I departed, I dinghied ashore pretty confident later in the day she would be where I left her. But when peered out from the parking lot, she wasn't where I left her. Somehow she had moved, shifted, drifted, dragged to the opposite shore... Too ungrounded? Too impatient for my return? Too hungry for something solid? Too tired of hanging out? Too sick of my pulling her chain? Whatever the reason, it looked like the westerly wind packed more punch and the Floridian mud once again than I anticipated.
Seemingly protected and secure for about a week with steady 12-15 knot easterlies, my Mystique had held its ground. With a 55 lb. plow bow anchor attached to nearly 100 feet of scope (including 10 feet of chain) in 8 feet of muck moved not an inch in those previous seven days. Then when I was ashore and wasn't looking, the wind went westerly as it frequently does. The directional gusts simply were too much for her to handle. Somehow her anchor spun Mystique around the merkie Marine Stadium mud.
- How can I escape this repetition? This is getting old and cold.
- Am I not doing something?
- I ate ate mostly nutritional meals these last weeks.
- Did I not have enough practice in Nassau?
- Did I not learn my lessons then?
- What else can I do to give my boat and me more security?
- Stay on boat when weather change comes?
- Enough chain?
- Enough scope? More than 5:1 ratio?
- Better anchorage?
- Buy a larger anchor?
- A different type of anchor?
- Use a different anchor for different bottoms?
Two fellow boaters, Carlo and Rio, dinghied over to offer their assistance at high tide, but I thanked them and said I would try at high tide in the morning when the wind is supposed to be lighter. I woke around first light
After a quick dinghy pass by Carl's large catamaran above without any sign of life, I returned to radio TowboatUS at 8:00 am. On VHF channel 16 Fort Lauderdale Towboat responded instead of Miami. They collect my information and soon TowboatUS' Captain Angel (another guardian?) calls to confirm my location and inform me he is on his way. In the 15 minutes he promised Angel arrives; I sign the paperwork. After my frustrating and expensive experiences in Key Largo last year, I am now a golden member with "free" / complete assistance. (Reading Depth) Angel and I immediately devise a strategy to pull Mystique away from the shore while at the same time I pull my anchor rode and secure the delinquent to the bow. Within moments, they pulled us off and towed me to an open area where I reset the anchor with an additional 40 feet of scope and attached the bow bridle.
Tomorrow I look for a bigger Rocna.