So I said to Michael, that I wanted more anchoring experience on this trip to the Bahamas…he obliged and has continued to deliver. Manuals are one thing, chocker block full of great information, cool diagrams and even colorful photos…but it is what is NOT in the manual that has helped me gain a greater confidence in anchoring…
It’s hard not to admire an anchor…they are strong metals, come in different shapes and sizes. When set firmly in whatever the bottom of the sea/river has to offer, there’s a sense of good old-fashioned satisfaction. With the boat going in reverse pulling the anchor chain taut and feeling that resisting tug, you know you’ve set anchor! Then, the anchor watch can begin!
Now…enter the Bahamian Mooring. It gives you not once, but TWICE the amount of satisfaction to enjoy. It gives the boat some much added stability while anchoring in tidal changes and winds that clock around the compass. Plus, you get to utilize the dinghy to set it.
After setting the first anchor, someone would let out the rode from the anchor locker for the second anchor and walk it to the back of the boat to attache the rode to the anchor…anchor safely in the hands of one person, another person would drive the dinghy out about 180 degrees from the first one and then drop the anchor. Since we are in the Bahamas and there are tides, sometimes the water level is low enough you can trace the rode visually from the bow of the boat all the way to where the anchor actually lands on the bottom. Someone would pull on the rode from the bow to help set the anchor…when taut, another would snorkel up and dive down to really set it if needed.
Using the sense of touch in addition to the sense of sight, when you think the chain/rode is taut, and it LOOKS it to be, place your hand on it and feel for vibrations…it might be tight, but the anchor could be “walking” across the bottom and not set at all.
Anchoring in West Bottom Bay off of Rose Island in the Bahamas, proved another visual and touch sensitive opportunity to learn from…we dropped the hook in the most beautiful white, sandy bottom you can imagine…about 4 feet of water, some grass…chain was in clear view from the bow all the way out. But looking at where the anchor went, there was a blur of sand mottling up a trail behind the anchor in the water. The anchor tips were walking right across the bottom! After another chance to feel what “walking” felt like for future reference in case the water was too deep to see the anchor or even at night with limited visability, I would KNOW by feel, not just sight what was going on at the bottom of the sea.
I look forward to more experience in anchoring while on this wonderful trip…