|Ducking Gales in Peril Strait|
For every harbor with good anchoring depth, there are a hundred refuges with skinny water.
Some of these are little more than a hard-chance, ground-and-grind in some marginal lee. Never had to use one, but we scope 'em and note 'em on the chart, just the same. A fisherman friend, who's been around the block, up here, put it this way: "When it all blows to hell, you can just run her aground, step ashore and piss on it!"
Others though - lagoons, sloughs, estuaries, pockets, nooks and crannies - are hurricane holes inaccessible to those deep of draft. You know... all those places you row into with the tender. Wouldn't you love to spend the night? A week? A month? Neap* yourself for the pure pleasure of it!
[*To neap oneself is to sit out some lower portion of the monthly tidal ranges (neaps or neap tides). Tides return higher around springs, near full and dark o' the moon.]
|Narrow Entrance, 360deg Lagoon|
I wrote about the infinite coastline; shoal draft opens up whole new orders of magnitude in whatever coast you sail. It adds depth in the manner that a cube deepens a square.
I often read, from well intentioned persons, that shoal draft is not seaworthy. Sometimes they're referring to offshore conditions, sometimes they mean 'not at all'. I respectfully disagree. I won't go into it, in this post, but I refer you to The Venturesome Voyages of Captain Voss, trans-Pacific voyaging in a Junk Rigged, NW Coast dugout canoe (shoal draft). He was an early advocate, in the west, of sea-anchors. If ya can do it, it ain't braggin'.
What I do know is that many of our cruising friends won't approach the shore unless it's one of the few, cherry harbors. They're out there longer, gale in their teeth, forcing their way uphill to the next 'decent' shelter. Passing by one wondrous, hidden treasure after another. All the while, we're tucked up, snug as bugs.
For the rest, I'll let pictures paint the words...
|Trading in a new mast... time to scrub the hull!|
|Blowin' N70kts over that berm.|
|High and dry.|
|Sailin' shallow... river entrance parallels reef and bar.|
|This lagoon only accessible via a narrow, tidal race.|
|Minutes from floating... anchor up and away!|