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Stranger things happen at sea...


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Bonjour! Regular traveller and long time lurker here, but feel compelled to post after an eventful voyage on the Mont St Michel this afternoon.

We were in the marked channel in the Solent, making our merry way home to Pompey, and I was in a bow window of the self service enjoying my steak-frites without the crevettes I usually pair them with as they looked a little... sad.

We were abeam car transporter the Grande New York daydreaming about the automotive delights concealed within, as we passed the Nab tower and considered dessert.

Suddenly, from beneath my feet there was the unmistakable shaky, rumbly roar of the port anchor being deployed. One of seafaring's great and oft welcome sounds, unless of course you're making most of 20 knots and are narrowly ahead of 60(?) thousand tons of Fiats.

The chain is long, and the din went on for what seemed like forever until suddenly it was silent. A relief for some, but as a cautious soul I was already headed topside. We veered hard left, listed as we went and started to very slightly drag the anchor and chain. The ferry came to a perpendicular stop across the shipping lane with the Grimaldi Line transporter in hot pursuit, and forced to the very starboard side of the channel to clear us. The Mont went to high (full?) throttle to sway as far to the port-most side of the channel as she could to clear some open sea between us, a manoeuvre she then repeated for lesser traffic. I'll post a vid below. The bingbong lady was as calm as ever, speaking only of a technical issue involving the anchor.

Anyway, after several attempts it took almost an hour to, ahem, get it up and we then dawdled into port to meet a tug for the turn as now seems customary. Only an hour late for us, but I would imagine some rather large consequences for somebody as this all played out about 300m ahead of a pilot launch and might be seen to construe 'an incident'.

Anyway, clearly the rarest of freak occurrences and no lasting harm seemingly done, so my question to you: what are your strangest stories from sea with BF?! :)

 

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The nautical equivalent of a handbrake turn. If the anchor snagged the undersea cable linking the Isle of White to the rest of the world they'll be communicating with smoke signals and carrier pigeons for a few weeks.

Ed

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12 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

The nautical equivalent of a handbrake turn. If the anchor snagged the undersea cable linking the Isle of White to the rest of the world they'll be communicating with smoke signals and carrier pigeons for a few weeks.

Ed

They'll enjoy that, surely. Bit of nostaglia.

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Funny enough, this also happened on my trip on Hurtigruten's Maud approaching Bronnoysund at the end of September. I'm guessing we were doing 10 knots at the time. when there was an almighty graunching sound, a rapid stop, and then 45 minutes or so of nothing until we finally got underway again having retrieved the ironmongery.  I did wonder at the time whether, given that this was the vessel's first revenue earning trip for nearly two years, there was a bit of rustiness on the bridge

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2 minutes ago, Pegpilot said:

Funny enough, this also happened on my trip on Hurtigruten's Maud approaching Bronnoysund at the end of September. I'm guessing we were doing 10 knots at the time. when there was an almighty graunching sound, a rapid stop, and then 45 minutes or so of nothing until we finally got underway again having retrieved the ironmongery.  I did wonder at the time whether, given that this was the vessel's first revenue earning trip for nearly two years, there was a bit of rustiness on the bridge

Is there not some sort of locking mechanism which needs to be released before the shackles can move through the winch? This all seems a bit careless.

Ed

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Sometimes ships will partially lower their anchor when in a narrow channel or in crowded waters in case it is suddenly required (possible engine or steering failure). From what I have seen, RN warships have the anchor deployed when entering or leaving Portsmouth. (they are not usually fitted with thrusters).

People may have seen this video of a runaway anchor:

 

 

 

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On the subject of interesting things to be seen at sea...the latest cruise ship to be built in Saint Nazaire, Wonder of the Seas, has left port and is heading down to Marseille for final fitting out before entering service next March. She was originally designed for the Chinese market but, as they have turned away from cruising due to Covid, the owner has reworked the interior for an American customer base. They have had to replace all the signage which was in Mandarin with English and the gambling tables have gone to leave room for slot machines. She will be operating primarily in the Caribbean region.

https://www.bfmtv.com/economie/entreprises/transports/chantiers-de-l-atlantique-depart-du-wonder-of-the-seas-le-plus-gros-paquebot-du-monde-direction-marseille_AD-202111050429.html

Ed

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On 05/11/2021 at 18:49, Cabin-boy said:

She was originally designed for the Chinese market but, as they have turned away from cruising due to Covid, the owner has reworked the interior for an American customer base.

Do they strengthen the seating too?

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