Monday, July 27, 2009

STUMPED? Captain Crystal Johnson's dilemma !




This is going to be a series of "catch-up" posts as we have had and unusual run of cases over the past several days which range from humorous to tragic and all things in  between.  We'll start with our post title -  "STUMPED? Captain Crystal Johnson's dilemma !" Our own Towboat Captain Dwayne Johnson's wife Crystal is a licensed captain and does charters here on the lake.  On Friday afternoon, she was running a 41 ft Formula for a family group on their boat and had taken them to one of the many quiet coves for swimming and enjoying the day.  Crystal anchored the cruiser with a large plow anchor carrying an all chain rode.  Anchoring in the numerous coves on this lake is very common, but it's always sort of a "crap shoot"  in some of the smaller coves due to the inevitable "stump" that may snag  your anchor and lead to retrieval problems, or in worst case, total loss of the anchor and major portion of your line/chain.  Having had no problems over several seasons, Crystal's luck ran out, she backed, she filled, she went in circles, she snubbed the bow down with the anchor winch to the near breaking point, alas, with no success.  Crystal was not about to dump the anchor & rode (the picture confirms the anchor to be about the size of a "Toyota Pick-Up"), and she mustered all her will power and swallowed her pride and called her husband Captain Dwayne, who called me and I called Captain and salvage diver Tim McNitt.  I picked up Tim at the marina and we headed out for her location - - Crystal knew as soon as we arrived on scene that she "WOULD NEVER HEAR THE END OF THIS!"  Tim quickly jumped in, went down and unwrapped the pesky anchor from the stump (he reported it to be fouled in such a manner that it would have been nearly impossible to have retrieved it from surface efforts alone).  Tim quickly surfaced and Crystal took in the anchor - then prepared herself for the inevitable good natured chastising that she knew she must endure from her fellow captains, along with several smart mouth exchanges :)  Frankly, I think she would have rather paid to have flown a diver in from California then to have this crew come get her - - -  she knows  - It ain't over yet :-)  A day with family on the water $300, Anchor & rode $800 - $1000 (+-), Getting "rescued" by your friends and Captains - - -PRICELESS!!!!!$$$

1 comment:

CAPT. D. Peter Boucher, Dip.LA, MN (Ret.) said...

Sounds as if not much would have helped. Having said that it might be usful to rig an anchor retrivel line attached to an anchor buoy. This line is secured at the crown and on plough types there is often a hole on the shank near the crown for a shackle. It used to be standard practice on merchant ships. However I only sailed in one Company where it was required in the late 50's. Finally guys give Crystal a break!!
Good Watch