Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pulling up anchor

For as much fun as anchoring can be, there is a dark, smelly and dirty side.

To start with, the rule of thumb in how much scope to put out (scope is meant in this case chain or rope you set out) is 5-7 ft of chain for every one foot of depth. Our depth at the North Pungo River was 10-12 ft so the rule would imply that we deploy 70-84ft of chain plus the height from the water line to the anchor roller on the bow which adds an additional 8ft.

For us the chain acts as a safety measure. In the event the anchor breaks free the weight of the chain will pull down on the flukes and reset......We typically deploy about 110-120 ft of chain as an additional safety measure. As an aside we put out snubber lines. These are 2 ropes that attach with a connector to the chain on one end and then tie off to the boat through 2 hauser holes port & starboard. The reason to do this is to transfer the stress of the chain to the snubbers and off the anchor windlass. The windlass is not built to take the pressure of the chain snapping when the wind blows or when currents tug. Snubbers act then as load transfer shock absorbers. For completeness we have a large Rocna anchor, which is 121lbs. Our windlass is upgraded to vertical Maxwwell 4000 with a band brake, which is hydraulically powered.

So..the dark and dirty side you ask? Pulling it all up and hosing it off as it comes aboard after sitting in the muck. The north Pungo River has great holding, in that our anchor buries itself into the bottom and does not budge. But it is black, smelly, oozy mud.

We set up a hose on the bow and pull in 5-8 feet of chain at a time, hosing it off as we go and trying to stay out of the smelly spatter from the spray, while at the same time being aware of where the boat is and what the wind and current conditions are doing to the doing to the boat.

We control the windlass with a wired remote control and Jeannie and I wear wireless headsets. One of us is on the flybridge controlling the boat and the other is on the bow with the windlass controller in one hand and a hose in the other.
So how does this play out in real time?

He says: Ok I am going to start, you hear the sound of the windlass and hose
She says: ok do I need to do anything?
He says: damn this stuff stinks and is like black Elmer's glue, move the bow to the starboard a bit
She says okee dokee
He says: move the bow to the I mean starboard, wow this stuff is a mess.
She says: nothing, being the smart lady she is
She says: you have 90 more feet to go and starts giving a 5 ft count down
He says: yuk this &^#(%@ stuff is &^^%$# awful

You get the picture.

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