20 April 2011 | Bennett's Harbour, Cat Island, Bahamas
When we first dropped anchor here we were all set, then Bud got worried that we didn’t have enough chain out. He looked around at the little coral heads and thought we had room for a bit more chain without having the chain hurt any of them. So I brought in the chain until I could reach the part where the snubber was tied, untied the snubber, let out some chain, retied the snubber, then let out more chain and helped the snubber over the bow roller, and let out a final bit of chain until the snubber was again taking the load.
Yesterday after he snorkeled Bud decided that the chain was too close to a small coral. So we took about 15 feet of chain in. And I untied and retied the snubber.
This morning, the wind had shifted and we were now way too close to a coral patch, so I untied the snubber, we brought the anchor up (almost to the bow roller) we moved the boat forward about 30 or 40 feet, we dropped the anchor again, we let the wind set it, Bud backed down on it with the engine, and I set the snubber again. I’m getting really good at tying on the snubber, but it’s not an easy knot to tie. The snubber line is ¾” and I have to tie two rolling hitches, each of which has three loops around the chain. To make it more difficult, the shortest dock line Bud could find when he bought this was 25 feet long, and I only use about 15 feet of it. That means I have to pull the extra 10 feet through six times for each time I tie or untie the snubber. So by the time we leave Bennett’s Harbour I will have pulled 600 feet of ¾” line through a small loop, all while squatting at the bow. (And yes, we could shorten the line, but we’d rather wait to see if we could get a 15-foot line and not cut off 10 feet on this one. We can always use another 25 foot dock line, but 10 feet of ¾” line is not too useful.)
Being the careful (read paranoid) sailors that we are, we went out again to check the set of the anchor with our viewing bucket. This time I decided to bring the camera along and try to take a picture of the anchor on the bottom. That’s what the photo is. You can see the curved bail of the anchor sticking out of the sand at just above the center of the viewing bucket. You can just see the shank of the anchor and the chain going off at about 5 o’clock. The main part of the anchor is buried as usual.
Later in the day I did some more work on the lines. All of the ends of the ropes on the boat need to be finished off. The best finish is to whip them; that is wrapping a small, waxed cord around the ends so they won’t fray. You do it so you can pull the ends of your whipping cord under the wraps. Then you seize them, you take another piece of the small cord and a needle and you sew the whipping in place, so it can’t slip off the end of the rope. Very few of the lines on this boat were done like that. I had worked at it a lot before we left and a bit along the way so I have all of the running rigging done, that is all of the lines we use to handle the sails. Today I did the ends of the lines we use to tie our fenders on. We have 5 fenders, three of them have two lines, and each line has two ends. It was a couple of hours of work.
Bud, meanwhile, has been working on the stainless fittings on the deck. He’s been cleaning the rust off them (yes, in salt water stainless will rust, at least a little) and then coating them with a protectant.
We took time to snorkel again. This place has the best snorkeling we’ve seen in the Bahamas so far. Bud found a live conch under our boat and I saw a small sea turtle. It’s been a nice couple of days.