12 February 2012
I've spoken about the challenges and complexity of anchoring previously in my blog; suffice it to say that safe, secure anchoring is part art, geometry, physics and a lot of luck. We find what looks like a nice little hole among several boats including two which we know from cruising. We drop the hook and back down on it to set it. The holding is very good and we are well set and seemingly in a decent spot. As the boats settle down, we soon realize that we are quite close to friend on a lovely Monk trawler so they having been there first, it is incumbent on us to move further away from them.
With Judy at the helm and me retrieving and relaunching the anchor, we move within the same general area but further from our neighbours and reset the anchor. Judy does a great job manoeuvring the boat and applies reverse to back down on the anchor, which would normally cause it to dig in an bring the boat to a halt. Unfortunately the boat keeps backing down getting increasingly closer to our aforementioned neighbours' new-to-them trawler. I can't understand it but we need to bring the anchor back up and try again. Using the powerful electric windlass, I retrieve the 60 feet or so of chain we have deployed and just as I would expect the anchor to emerge from the green but murky waters, instead, we hoist up a barnacle encrusted BICYCLE, firmly attached to our trusty anchor. I was yelling directional orders to Judy but she could not hear me and had no idea what we had hooked. Our various neighbours got a great kick out of our slight misfortune but, true to form, various offered to help. Karl, a congenial Swede who with his partner Laura, cruise on a well equipped Morgan Out Island 41 comes to our aid and snags the offending bicycle and drags it to shore. We continue our anchoring effort, and, in the absence of the additional junk, we quickly set our anchor and settle in to spend some time in Marathon.