Monday, October 06, 2014

OCTOBER CHANGES: Wind and windage

October is a month of change here in the harbor on the Isle of Long. Boats start disappearing from dock slips and morrings. Sails come off of boats and on some boats the masts also come down. At least they don't fall down but, are laid on deck so the boat can be moved and stored in some inland location. Yep, lot's of changes happening around BIANKA.  The taking down of the mast on a sailboat before it's pulled can change things quite a bit especially if the boat is put back on it's mooring to await hauling out for the winter. I observed this the other day as two nearby boats had a close encounter with the change of tide. One of the boats had it's mast laid on it's deck the day before which changed the amount of windage upon it. This gave the currents flowing underneath the boat more sway in how the boat lay at the mooring. Meanwhile, the boat on the next mooring still had it's mast and was affected more by the wind. The result is when I looked up at one point the end of the mast of the demasted boat was poking into the cockpit enclosure of the fully rigged boat:

Luckily, it appeared to be just high enough to make it over the lifelines and did not appear to be hung up on anything. I kept watching hoping I did not have to make an intervention. Which would have been difficult in the conditions since I only had a dingy with oars and the wind was picking up. In a few minutes the boats had separated:

But, only for a few minutes. Soon the currents and winds resumed their battle and the boats were once again in close proximity to each other. But, not in any danger of getting hung up as before:

Eventually, things got back to normal and the collision danger passed. The next day I woke up from a nap hand found that the boat with the stepped mast had been removed from the mooring eliminating any further chance of the two boats bumping into one another. Just something to consider this time of year when the wind and windage of the boats can change and mysterious damage happens.

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