S/V Adventure

Follow the O'Neil family, sailing in their Catalina 42, on their 2-year sabbatical to see the Pacific coast of the US, Mexico, and Central America, Galapagos, the South Pacific, and New Zealand.

08 June 2012 | Home
05 June 2012 | 100 miles to the Farallons!
02 June 2012 | 475 miles off the coast
31 May 2012 | 579 miles to go
30 May 2012 | 694 miles to go
30 May 2012 | 800 miles to go
29 May 2012 | 915 miles off California
28 May 2012 | Past halfway between Hawaii and SF
27 May 2012 | Past halfway between Hawaii and SF
26 May 2012 | Halfway between Hawaii and SF
24 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
23 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
22 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
21 May 2012 | Middle of the Pacific Ocean
20 May 2012 | Pacific Gyre
16 May 2012 | Pacific Gyre
16 May 2012 | Pacific
18 September 2011 | Home
07 September 2011 | Crossing the southern tip of the big island
05 September 2011 | Pacific

Adventure and the broken anchor

04 May 2008 | Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz
It all started around 10:00 p.m. We were lying in bed, trying to sleep, and then the boat did one huge role. We heard dishes shift in the cupboard; one of the doors slammed shut. We hadn't rolled that hard in a long time.

"Did our stern anchor break?" Kathy asked concerned.
"No! Our stern anchor line did not break," I said condescendingly. I layed in bed and we rolled again. It was very uncomfortable...

Puerto Ayora is a very exposed anchorage. When we initially got here we noticed that a lot of the boats had a stern anchor down. This pointed the bow of their boats into the swell. I made a snap decision that we wouldn't need to go to this much trouble. This was mostly because I was too lazy to put out a stern anchor, and I had seen that one other sailboat didn't have one. That's all I needed to rationalize my excuse to Kathy. "See! That guy doesn't have a stern anchor out. It'll be fine."

That night Kathy complained, mightily, because we were sideways to the swell. Every time we rolled she'd say, "Wow! We really need a stern anchor." It got old real fast.

I was in complete denial. "It's not that bad." We'd roll again and I'd have to hold on to something, even though I was lying in bed.

The next day we put our stern anchor out and everything instantly settled down. I tried to make it sound like it was my idea.

Back to the present, Adventure rolled again. I went to the bathroom, as a ruse, and then quickly sneaked past Kathy, so that I could go and check the anchor. If I was right, I could make a whole production about how she should have more trust in the captain. If I was wrong, I'd make up something.

I went to the stern and grabbed the rode. It was loose. I started pulling it in. Some slack probably got in the line, I thought. I kept pulling; and it kept coming. A lot of slack - Hmm...

At this point Kathy came to see what I was doing. I tried to step in front of the line to conceal the spool that was accumulating in the cockpit. Kathy was a bit smug as she spotted the concealment. "I knew it! The stern anchor line broke - didn't it?"

"Yes dear," I said defeated. The bowline that I had tied so well around the anchor was severed in the middle. Kathy saw it in my hands. I knew a lecture was coming.

"You know, we're really supposed to have a few feet of chain tied to the anchor. We should have also tied a float on. That way we'd know where the anchor is."
"Yes, dear," I said. I knew all of these things, of course, but was too lazy when we dropped the stern anchor 11 days earlier. If the reader remembers, we didn't exactly sleep well that night.

I recalled the morning we set the stern anchor. Several items were missing. I couldn't find our shackle or chain. It was somewhere in the storage closet and the thought of digging around in the thing to find it made me shutter. I quickly decided it would be okay to just tie a bowline around the stern anchor directly. It's a good strong line, I said to myself.

Kathy snapped me back to reality. "Should we set another stern anchor?" Kathy asked in managerial tones. I was standing in only my Fruit of the Loom briefs. Now, I know a lot of French guys feel comfortable working in this arrangement, but I wasn't feeling very French at the moment.

"No," I said in firm rebellion, "We'll get a diver in the morning to find our anchor."
"Okay." Kathy said frustrated, "We wouldn't need a diver if we'd tied a float to the anchor."
"Yes dear, I know." I was already frustrated for losing the anchor and didn't need to be reminded constantly of my mistake.

The whole evening we rolled. And each time we rolled Kathy would exclaim, "Wow! We really need a stern anchor.

To be continued...
Vessel Name: Adventure
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 42
Hailing Port: Marina Bay, Richmond CA
Crew: The O'Neil Family
About: Sean (Captain and Line Man) Kathy (Helmswoman and Cook) Tara - 12 years old at trip start, Casey - 11 years old at trip start (Crew and Students)
Extra: We're on a three-year sabbatical from the daily grind to see the Pacific coast of the US, Mexico, Central America and the South Pacific and stopping at New Zealand.

S/V Adventure

Who: The O'Neil Family
Port: Marina Bay, Richmond CA