Bernard Logan BEESMEJ – British Virgin Islands 0

Whenever one anchors, there is a need to make sure that the anchor “sets”; i.e. it digs in. One method is to put the engines into reverse at 1500 RPM, which is equivalent to a sizeable wind, and see that the yacht doesn’t move. This we did and the yacht remained stationary. I applied a weight [an anchor chum at 30 lbs in weight] to hold the anchor chain close to the sea floor and retired to bed, secure in the knowledge that we couldn’t move.

During the night, the wind dropped off, completely, and we began to swing around. Come the morning, the line attached to the Chum was found to be hanging loose. When brought on board, the line had sheared through. I went for a swim and, eventually, found my Chum beneath a rock. It was about 5 metres deep; I could get down to it; but, I couldn’t move it. The rope was trapped beneath the rock!

I checked our anchor: it was held in place by a huge rock; it wasn’t “set” correctly, at all. Moreover, when I checked our position, we had clearly moved. There is a band of sailors who recommend diving down to check the setting of an anchor, before accepting that the anchor is correctly “set”. I think I will do this, in future.

At any rate, I decided to weigh anchor and reset it. Maggie called me to the bow, where she was raising the anchor. The anchor was impailed in the rock! Whatever we did, the rock remained attached to the anchor! I put out to sea, to get out of the way of neighbouring yachts within the anchorage. Eventually, I decided to let friction take a hand in our predicament and I opened up the throttle on both engines, with the anchor some 10 feet below the surface. Great Heavens! It worked! The rock, measuring a good 4 feet in diameter, had fallen off. Meanwhile, someone had taken our anchor site! So, we anchored elsewhere.

This morning, I hired SCUBA equipment and rescued the anchor chum. It proved necessary to cut the line, in order to free the Chum!

Tomorrow, we sail for Anegada; an island which has over 600 wrecks on its reef.

Posted from British Virgin Islands:

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17 Oct 2011 – start of travelblog

posted Monday April 2009

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