Our MacGregor Index Page. .........Lake Powell Sep/Oct 2009 Index Page
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--- Some Safety Thoughts In Balanced Rock Canyon ---
.....................................--- Wednesday Oct. 07, 2009 ---
Day's Starting and Stopping Points Under Sail:
Today's Starting Waypoint #9 = N. 37o 06.360' -- W. -111o 03.036
Today's Ending Waypoint #9 = N. 37o 06.360' -- W. -111o 03.036
Night's Anchorage: Still in Balance Rock Canyon (west side). Same as Previous 3 Nights.
Anchorage = N. 37o 06.923' -- W. -111o 03.155'
Today's Progress: Sailed Total =0 miles -- Up-Lake = 0 miles -- Motored = 0 miles
Trip Totals: Sailed 51 1/2 miles -- Up Lake Miles 33 1/2 -- River Mile 43 -- Motored 15 miles
We went to bed the night before at 9 p.m. and got up on this morning at 9 a.m.. I guess we both needed the sleep. It has been in the low 50's at night and we had a brief rain shower during the night and a couple brief ones during the day, but still a lot of sunshine and light wind. The last of the stronger gusts were during the night.
We decided we would try and leave the following morning. My shoulder continues to improve and I think we need to be on our way. There is still considerable pain, but I'm starting to be able to pull or at least hold onto something with it to some degree and it is no longer totally useless.
I was able to rotate the outboard to the starboard some and start it with my left arm. That was a relief. Ruth practiced raising and lowering the outboard with the block and tackle I had installed on it and now has that down pat. She tried starting it again, but is still unable to mostly due to a bad right shoulder that I can tell gives her lots of pain when trying to do something like this. Sitting without the outboard running she also practiced using the tiller in conjunction with the outboard in order to turn the boat quicker like we would have to do if we needed to go to port or starboard quickly either going forward or in reverse. The extension handle on the top of the outboard really helps to give her more leverage on turning the outboard. So after some practice on all of this we think we are ready to try and leave in the morning.
After this ordeal we have given more consideration as to what would make us safer if we again found ourselves facing 50+ mph winds. One is we will add 2 more chocks on the bow, one more on each side behind the present ones. During our present situation each chock had two lines running through it and one would be on the top of the other trapping it. I also feared the pressure from the lines in the 40-50 mph winds might break the ears off the chock and they would then fail. Luckily this didn't happen but we want to replace the present ones with stronger ones and add the 2 additional ones.
Also the stock 3 cleats at the bow weren't enough for the 4 shore lines and we will 2 more cleats that, like the chocks, will be bolted through the deck with backing plates under the deck, one on each side. I would also like to add two more cleats near the winches that are also held on with bolts and backing plates.
As previously mentioned we will add the preventers to both sides of the boat that we can attach to the boom while running. There will be fairleads and cam cleats for the preventer lines next to the present jib sheet cam cleats. Next to these will also be new cam cleats closer to the side of the boat for the genoa sheets as the jib cam cleats are not in the best location to be used with the genoa sheets.
We will also add 2 more 3/8 inch premium 3 twist anchor lines that are 200 feet long to use when tying to the shore on Lake Powell or other places where it can be a long ways to a place you can tie up to on shore. Once on this trip we had to tie two lines together to get about 300 feet on shore to a rock to tie to. Knots will always decrease the strength of a line by at least 25% to 40% and I have an idea for a fitting I'll make that will allow us to connect two lines together with the fitting between them that hopefully won't decrease the line's strength so much. I'll post pictures on the site when I make it.
With the new lines we will have a total of three 3/8 inch 3 twist anchor lines 200 feet long, one 200 foot long 7/16 inch 3 twist line along with 30 feet of 1/4 inch chain that could go on the Fortress FX-11 anchor, one 3/8 inch 3 twist line 200 feet long with 30 feet of 1/4 inch chain that is on the Bruce anchor and one 3/8 inch 3 twist line with 20 feet of 1/4 inch chain that is on the Danforth S600 anchor we have. In addition we want to buy another 22 lb. Bruce anchor to carry as a spare as the one we have is now considered invaluable. This seems like a lot of line and anchors, but we anchor out every night and our safety and the boat's is very important to us. These items are not cheap by any means, but it is a small price to pay for peace of mind in bad situations like we found ourselves in on this trip where a line breaking could be disastrous to say the least.
(UPDATE NOTE: Instead of buying another claw anchor we bought a 25 lb. Manson Supreme after reading the various anchor tests out there and others experiences with one. It is now our main anchor with the claw as backup. We also added a double bow anchor rollers and different rode bags. You can find all of that info ( HERE ))
One other item we will have before we go out again is an electric start outboard. Both crew members must be able to start the outboard. It does no good to have one able to start the outboard in an emergency and not the other. The one who can might be injured to the point they can't start it when it is needed the most.
in on this trip where a line breaking could be disastrous to say the least.
(UPDATE NOTE: We did buy an electric start extra-long shaft 9.8 HP Tohatsu and love it along with a 3 1/2 HP Tohatsu long shaft for the dinghy that could be usded on the Mac. You can find all of that info ( HERE ))
We also need to have at least one long "very sharp" knife handy at all times in case a line has to be instantly cut. Since I handle the anchor lines and have been close to being trapped by them I should be wearing a knife like this almost all of the time or at least while anchoring.
Ruth wears a self-inflatable (with an emergency pull) PFD all the time when out of the cabin, but I all too often am not wearing a PFD. In the fierce winds we found ourselves in the other day I never had a PFD on and that was stupid.
If you sail lakes where other people are on or around the lake and they can see you and/or you aren't that far from safe shelter like a marina the above will sound like overkill, but if you are on a remote lake such as Lake Powell and/or other lakes in the West and Canada you had better cover your butt.
The last thing we have to do is getting Ruth where she can swim some and is as drown proof as possible even if she doesn't have a PFD on. We started on this when we were on Lake Powell for 3 days at the beginning of September 2009, but this trip the water was to cold to continue. We will work at this over the winter with hopefully some access to an indoor motel pool.
To realize the potential for danger on Lake Powell read day 15 also.
Ok tomorrow we leave this canyon after being here for 5 days. Time to move on.
Still tied up in Balanced Rock Canyon (top right arrow).
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