Voyage of Egret Forums

Scott Jacobson, New York, NY asks:
Subject: Lines ashore

Scott,
While cruising in British Columbia we often "stern tie" with a single line ashore while anchoring. You often mention two or three lines ashore while in Chile or NZ. What are the conditions and reasons for going from one, to two, to three lines ashore?

Scott Flanders from Egret responds:
Scott, the short answer is wind. In BC you typically use a stern line to keep from swinging in a tight anchorage. Those are not the issues in NZ or Chile. I will describe a couple anchoring situations we experienced in NZ and then in Chile. Many anchorages in NZ's Stewart Island upper anchorages were relatively open with occasional wind gusts up to 50+> knots, usually less and even some calms. Holding is good in Stewart but in most of the southern anchorages it is tight and the weather is more gusty with less protection. We would drop the main anchor with a lot of scope then take two lines ashore in a Y to keep from swinging. One anchorage was up a river we entered at high tide to sit in a pool of water that would not set Egret on the bottom as the tide fell. At low tide we were trapped. The anchorage was mostly exposed to the SSW to W with the bow facing W. We had a stern line ashore to an islet off the stbd side and the shore on the port. A front came thru with very high winds keeping Egret captive and us on 24 hour anchor watch. Here we set a third bow line ashore to port to keep the bow from swinging to the north. The wind accelerated the falling tide in the upstream estuary. It was a mess. Obviously we left when we could.

Chile has even more fierce winds. However, nearly every anchorage is stern to the west and direction of the prevailing winds. The anchorages are quite deep and steeply shelving to shore. You may drop in 60' with short scope and the stern is only 30 or so feet from shore. Here you take two lines ashore to the west and tie off to trees or boulders. If the shore lines were to let go you would immediately lift the anchor from the uphill pull and would be adrift. No matter how hard it is blowing you are sitting in a wind shadow protected by the trees. Only a few times in Chile did we use a 3d line, usually a bow line but occasionally a third stern line on> the windward side of a non E/W anchorage. Some more exposed anchorages required 4 or more lines. I saw a picture of folks we met later in NZ that set 7 lines and no anchor. We passed on these type anchorages.