Preview: Learning from Experience; My Biggest Disaster and What it Taught Me, by Havilah Hawkins.

It’s hard to know where to start, since narrow escapes and near disasters have been a topic of discussion at the dinner table for most of my life.

Most of the stries I recall revolve around islands that come out of the fog where they were not supposed to be because of hastily taken courses or a misread compass. Moments like, “Wait, that is not the right light house.” Or the times I’ve picked up a lobster warp in my propeller while on a lee shore with a sea running before hoisting sail. Maybe it’s one of the times the anchor came up upside down, or better yet, parted company in the middle of the night. One of my favorite stories is the time we were towing out of Camden harbor and were committed to a course of action (we had no brakes) when I noticed that the man in the yawl boat with a towline attached to my bow was about to pass on the opposite side of a gold-plated yacht from what would work for me.

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2 Responses So Far to “Learning from Experience; My Biggest Disaster and What it Taught Me, by Havilah Hawkins.

  • David Tew

    David Tew says:

    So is that anchoring method what’s also known as ‘club-hauling’, i.e., dropping an anchor, depend on it catching to swing the vessel around into the wind?

    I see the schooners do that in Boothbay Harbor each year during “Windjammer Days” and am always pleased to see it work out.

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      Havilah Hawkins says:

      I don,t know what it is called but it is done a lot. There are many variations on the theme, depending on the boat and the conditions. Using the anchor as a brake is a time honored technique and also serves to insure that your anchor is set for the night. There is enough material here for a rather extensive article.

      “club hauling” may refer to backing a head sail, or other sail. We do this sometimes to take way off, one of several ways to slow a boat down. Again it depends on the boat and conditions.