Posts Tagged ‘sea legs’

When we spent a night at Ao Nang/Rai Lei beach we were unfortunate to have some really unseasonal weather blow through from the South. 

When we anchored there earlier in the day it was obvious that the seas were coming from the West, which was definitely not in the script. Once all the longtails had finally stopped for the day, and the locally induced swell & waves had settled down the boat was still moving around a bit, but it was OK, and we reckoned we could still handle it and catch some sleep.

Part of the reason for that was that it was clear that the Anchor was well and truly set in the sandy bottom, and that we were well anchored.

Later as dusk strangely approached from the South West with an intense black sky, we expected to get a ‘passing’ squall and suspended cooking for an hour. As it turned out we got much more than that !

When the leading edge hit us the wind speed was immediately over 20 knots and gusting to 26 and above. It was at this stage the dinghy was blown off it’s stand, and across the deck. It had not been securely fastened down after using it earlier in the day.

It was an epic struggle to get her secured down again; effectively we had to release all the remaining straps then man-handle her back in into her chocks and lash her down with ropes to the foredeck side rails and get the tie down straps secure again. The dingy with motor must weigh around 180Kg and the boat was rocking at least 15-20 degrees back and forth with 20knots ++ whistling past our ears.

In any event here is a shot of the Anchor track of that night taken as a screen shot some time later that week. 

If you know how to read these tracks it tells it’s own story. Firstly the wind was consistently strong the whole night blowing from the the South/South West round to from the East. We delineated a nice circumference as a track. You can see our track as we came in from the West to anchor, stopped, dropped the anchor, drifted with the wind and seas and then tensioned up on the anchor, going astern with the engines after the snubber line was set on the anchor chain.

After the initial wind front had hit us and then abated to 10 to 14 knots we were then just waiting for everything to calm down and  to get back to normal.

Unfortunately it did not work out that way, and the next front brought winds that gusted to around 29 knots. From there on in we had wind blowing anywhere from around 14 knots up to the mid twenties the whole night, and the boat continued to move around quite a bit.

About dawn the wind had veered round to from the North East and brought sudden and intense gusts peaking at 29.4 knots. It was then with the wind at about 150 degrees off the anchor set that the anchor finally broke free, dragged, and then reset back into the sand.

You can see the track of this in the small excursion to the S West. The N East winds calmed and died away as quickly as they had started. 

Thankfully all onboard managed to get sleep during the night;some more than others, and nobody was the worse for wear, including the Dinghy ! We had an anchor watch till around midnight and then did checks every hour or as “required”. It is amazing how even when subconcious you can sense a change is the boat movement or ‘conditions’.

In any event the storm that passed that night caused a bit of havoc eleswhere. Here is a Photo of Ichi Ban on the beach the next morning. She was anchored at Kata Beach in preparations for the Kings Cup Regatta.


She was refloated later and despite having to drop and fix her rudder whilst afloat in the Marina in a race against time to make the start, she went on to get a creditable placing in her class.

After Ao Nang and Rai Lei we made our way to PhiPhi Islands and had a much more peaceful few nights, there in the protected Ton Sai Bay.

Together with AVA LON we have been underway in worse weather, but this was the most exposed we have been at anchor and it was great to see the anchor system hold up to the punishment it had that night and come through safe and secure.

Also great for my two boys to get their sea legs tested, and to gain a few stories to tell their buddies when back at school.













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