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A Shark Ate Our Anchor !

Posted on Wed 11 January 2012 in Uncategorized

OK, not really, but a rock tried to.

We tidied Deep Playa last night and went to bed early with the idea that we would pull up anchor around 0400 to depart beautiful Isla Isabel and head to Chacala. Well, our anchor was hung up on a rock so we let the scope back out and went back to bed to wait for daylight to deal with it.

At daylight, I first tried to snorkel down and put a trip line on the anchor. A trip line is attached to the anchor opposite the boat and let you pull the anchor backwards, (i.e., away from the way it is set) to hopefully unstick what is stuck. The anchor was in about 3.5 - 4 fathoms of water (21-24 feet) and I just couldn't get down that far. The pressure in my head was too much.

I got out and we consulted Nigel Calder's Cruising Companion for ideas. The book suggests running a line down to the anchor by shortening the rode and using a length of chain around the rode which will weight it down and let it slide to the anchor and hopefully around the shaft. From the dinghy you can can then pull the anchor out backwards and clear it.

Well, it worked like a charm! We cut 2' off our stern rode and the old furling line, I ran it down the main rode from the dinghy. With the dinghy going slowly in reverse I let out about 60 feet of line so I could get a good angle. I basically had the dinghy holding steady as it coudl in the considerable swell and I yanked and pulled on the anchor for about 5 minutes until it seemed like the main rode was moving every time I pulled. I then held my line tight as Dawn pulled up the remaining 30 feet of rode with the windlass.

We were now off the hook, with me in the dinghy, with the outboard and the main engine running. Dawn put the engine in gear so we would not was up on the beach or into our friends anchored 30 feet away on sv Camanoe. We managed to get the outboard and dinghy back aboard which was difficult but without incident.

I highly suggest if you don't already have it, go cut 2 feet off your stern rode or pick up and extra 2 feet of chain so you can do this yourself!

We are now underway to Chacala about 4 or 5 hours out. We owe lots of posts on Mazatlan and Isla Isabel (amazing!) and a ton of pics and videos need to be uploaded. We'll do that when we have unlimited data uploads so we don't use up the data plan on the card.