The pleasures of downhill anchoring
29 May 2014
Thursday 29 May: The pleasures of downhill anchoring
We spent the morning cruising the small island near our anchorage in Cloi (Cl o ee) the dinghy and went ashore in search of a market to buy some milk. Well the Turkish people are as good as the Greeks in giving directions. After being pointed in the general direction and told only 5 minutes away a slightly longer hike found us at a tiny market store tucked away in the middle of nowhere and we were able to get some long life milk.
We returned to Clio and after lunch upped anchor again and made our way to Kuruca Buku. All of these bays are very close so very short trips mostly under motor. Once we got to the anchorage, it turned out that it had steep shores and the 6 m depth on the charts were in effect 15 m. And even the 15m disappeared quite quickly into a 45m deep shelf, too deep for us to anchor. But as we did not expect much wind and felt well protected by the surrounding mountains, we settled for the 15m spot. When trying out the anchor it did not feel completly stuck, but we ignored that symptom too.
Once there we settled in for the night, the wind was predicted to get up to around 17 knots. By 21:00 it was blowing over 40 kts and for the first time the anchor was not holding well. So it was all hands on deck as we secured the bimini and then Francis set about raising the anchor to move to a more secure spot. As he cannot see from the cockpit where the anchor is, Chris had to brave the elements in her pj's by getting up to the bow with a tiny torch and yell through the wind when the anchor was up and as it was relowered yell out the metres of chain to Francis. Fortunately this second position was much more secure and Clio's anchor was holding well. Then we looked over the side to see Cloi the dinghy floating upside down, including the outboard motor. We were able to get her the right side up and get the outboard onto Clio. As we could not really see where we anchored and as the boat swung around in the morning in the shifting wind, we found that we got too cloe for comfort to the local swimming enclosure (see photo).
There was not a lot of sleeping done especially by Francis for the rest of the night as he took on anchor watch. The 17 knots we had expected turned out to be 42 knots and yet another reminder to act on symptoms had been given by the sailing goddesses.
Since then we've come to experience that many bays in Turkey have this 'steep shore' profile. A solution is to ignore a skipper's natural fear of shores to anchor close to it, letting the anchor dig into the uphill bottom. Then you bring a long line on land around a rock or a tree to keep the stern from swinging away from the land. If the boat swings away from the land, the anchor that has dug itself in on an uphill slope will loosen its grip and quickly drop down the steep bottom profile. We bought a spool with 50m braided (flat) tape to prevent repetition of this eventful night.