Another MOB day!
I told you that MOB drills are really the core of this course. Think of MOB drills as the sailing equivalent of a full body workout. You get to use all of your skills in a very stressful situation so that they become internalized. So after our usual morning classroom time, we went to the middle of Key Biscayne bay and spent the day doing more drills, over and over, and in different directions. We finished the day at the Miami stadium anchorage where we spent the first night. We picked a nice spot among the sailboats and got ready for what what we thought would be an uneventful night.
We anchored as usual and tested the anchor to make sure it was holding. We then spent several hours relaxing, eating dinner and having drinks. At some point, a guy from a neighboring boat came over and invited us to come to his boat for drinks (sailors are a friendly bunch!). Most of us were exhausted and decided to go to bed instead, but one of the students decided to get a ride on an inflatable to the other boat. I went into my berth, read a bit, and then went to sleep.
I woke up an hour or so later to somewhat of a commotion. I heard the engines turning on and by the time I went up to the cockpit I realized that we were not where we had anchored. At some point during the night, while the student was having drinks on the other boat, they realize that our boat was “dragging”. That is, the anchor for some reason came loose and the boat began getting pushed backwards by the wind. By the time they got to the boat and woke us up we had dragged so much that the captain turned on the engines so we could motor back into the anchorage. The process had us running around getting flashlights and helping pull up the anchor and then test the new anchoring spot.
“Dragging” is surprisingly very common so it was actually pretty excited that we got to practice what to do in this “safe” context. After that I downloaded an anchor watch app that plays an alarm is the boat moves more than expected :-).