Saturday, October 24, 2009

Check Your Anchor

There is never a dull moment on a sailboat.

Today, as we were getting ready to head into town, the wind picked up so we decided to stay on board to make sure our anchor was holding. Luckily, our anchor was well stuck but that was not the case for the 43-foot Catamaran that was anchored directly in front of us. We just happen to look up at the very time it broke loose and started bearing down on us. To add to the drama, the owners were not on board at the time.

While I did my best to protect our boat (and their's) by putting up the fenders, Harley jumped in the dingy to do whatever he could to fend it off. In the meantime another boater came to our assistance while someone on shore called the coast guard.

The hulk of a boat drifted along side us when it's anchor snagged again stopping it just a few feet abreast of us. There was not much we could do but watch as it broke loose and re-caught two more times. Each time getting closer and closer.

It created quite a stir in the anchorage with a crowd watching from shore and the coast guard showing up. The Coast Guard were reluctant to board the vessel but were quite concerned as it was now causing a navigational hazard.

Two hours later a very embarrassed couple arrived with a dingy full of groceries.

Today's lesson.....check the anchor and the weather before leaving the boat.


  1. More to the point, anchor correctly in the first place, with proper equipment and scope! An anchor that's pulling out may have no warning or may feel soft. This is such a common problem and it's entirely preventable. I'm writing a comprehensive series of articles on anchoring, in my blog and have already covered the reasons for this, if you're interested. I'm glad the cat missed you and everything ended well.
    - Jerr

  2. Kevin Bennett,Green Turtle Cay, The BahamasOctober 25, 2009 at 10:58 AM

    Thats standard fare in Abaco,if a cold front comes through you can count on someone in the area dragging around. At least you can dive on your anchor or look at it in a look down bucket to see if its set. Some places are great with either sand or mud and your anchor digs right in and others with whats known as hard pan are smooth rock with holes which the anchor grabs and you think its good untill it starts blowing 40kts as a cold front comes through.Also hard grassy areas are hard to anchor on. Look for areas of sand,sometimes like a big saucer 10-20 feet around and indented to throw your anchor in.

    Unrelated but something you should know as well are fish muds which look like very shallow water ,milky whitish and big. They are fish churning up the bottom and currents carrying the mud. Abaco cruising is quite easy though. Later, Kevin

  3. Welcome to my blog Jerr. I look forward to reading your blog and the articles on anchoring.

    Thanks for your advise too Kevin. Can't wait to hook up with you in the Abaco's.


  4. So that's what you've been doing while we are here in Deltaville at anchor (not dragging) although I would be the last sailor to say "That would never happen to me". We are heading to Hampton Sunday. We met Robin and John "Breakaway IV" tonight..very nice mid-afternoon gathering. Steve and I miss you guys.

  5. Congratulations, you've survived your first cat attack!
    Gypsy Blues

  6. Hi Cheryl (or Rene)! That's too funny!

    We've been thinking of you lots lately. With envy we checked out the Bluewater Yachting Centre yesterday where the 1500 is gathering. Maybe someday we'll have a boat big enough to enter.