Nick, the anchor's stuck
15 December 2019 | 21 42'N:72 28'W, West Caicos
21 42 N
72 28 W
Weather: sunny, wind 4knots NE variable, waves 1foot.
10 MORE SLEEPS, BUT WHO'S COUNTING?
We caught up on our sleep but were still up and drinking coffee in the cockpit by 7am. We had a close look at the chart plotter and decided that we could get into the "marina" with a lot of care as there were some shallow spots and reef just at the entrance. I've very loosely called it a marina, it really isn't one. Apparently, the developers began to build a proper marina but then left it without finishing it as they went on to the next best thing and began developing a resort a little further away and no one has picked up the ball and finished off the marina, so basically it is a marina basin in which boats can anchor.
So high tide was at around 9am, we began our preparation to move with Gerry on anchor hauling duty and me at the helm. We didn't get very far as a whole lot of sailor speak came loud and clear through the headset followed by "I can't get the anchor up Nick". I wasn't too concerned yet, thinking that Gerry had just gone into morning panic mode and it would all be OK with the next couple of maneuvers. Well quite a few maneuvers later and we still hadn't managed to get the anchor freed from the seabed, it was well and truly stuck on something! Gerry got out his diving gear with the intention of diving to see what was holding the anchor so firmly in place, into the water he went whilst I manned the boat. His head popped over the side of the boat with the news that the anchor was caught under a rock, he came back on board and got a line with the thought that he would be able to attach it to the top of the anchor and take the strain in a different direction to the anchor chain. Bac
k into the water with the line then suddenly he reappeared and shouted that he had managed to free the anchor without the line and we needed to hurry and move to prevent the boat from moving and trapping the anchor again. Gerry scrambled back on board, heading to the bow to haul the anchor whilst yelling instructions to me about where to turn, reverse, go forward and give it some hard revs. Phew, the anchor came up at last, it was a little bent at the tip but not so much that it mattered. For anyone that followed our trip on Orpailleur last time, you may recall that we "lost" an anchor overboard during a bad crossing from guess where Ð The Turks and Caicos! We really didn't need a repeat performance of losing an anchor here so we were greatly relieved to have the anchor back on board. We then began heading towards the entrance to the "marina", I noticed that the 2 boats that were already anchored inside the basin appeared to be leaving and as there is only room for one boat
at a time to negotiate the entrance I had to do a circuit of the area until they were both clear of the entrance. My circuit took us around the stern of Passage who, like us, were preparing to go into the basin. As we got close to them we noticed that they too were having difficulty retrieving their anchor, we called out to them that we would dink back out to them and help them once we were anchored inside the basin and made our way through the entrance and dropped our anchor, we were the only boat inside so had our choice of spots. As we dropped our hook Gerry noticed that Passage had managed to free their anchor and were following us into the basin, all good!
It was time to clean off the dive gear, have showers and breakfast then while away the day. I managed to upload yesterday's blog and read for a bit whilst Gerry had a midday nana nap. We invited the couple from Passage over for sundowner cocktails at 5pm and got caught on the hop when they knocked on our boat at what we thought was 4pm, there is a 1 hour time difference that we hadn't realized, it was just as well that Gerry hadn't decided to have a snore o'clock and I'd prepared some nibbles in advance.
We finally got to introduce ourselves to Marina and Hayden and spent the next 3 hours chatting up a storm, exchanging experiences, telling stories and generally getting to know each other. Priss made an unexpected appearance in the cockpit and smooched up to Marina, luckily, she is a cat person and made a fuss of our third crew member, so much so that Priss finally ate something whilst they were here Ð just showing off methinks, but we were very glad to see her finally eating something again. The sun set, the stars came out and it was finally time to say good night and for them to make their way the short distance to their boat for the night. I feel certain that we will be seeing more of them as our paths are very similar as far as Puerto Rico and possibly the Virgin Islands.