Thursday, 3 December 2015

Sailing Around Australia; Easy Tiger and the Seven Anchorings

Tipplers Passage, Gold Coast, Queensland

4/12/2014  Easy Tiger and the Seven Anchorings

I guess we were due. Having been on our sailing adventure for 2 full years now, we have anchored at least a hundred and fifty times. A hundred and thirty times we have got it right, held tight and slept well all night.

Normally you position the boat, drop the anchor down and let out enough “rode” or in our case 10mm chain, to hold the boat in the position where you “parked it”.  Some times in places like Duke of Orleans and on South Australia’s weedy west coast we had the occasional anchor drag. An anchor drag means that if the wind or water current or sometimes both contain enough force, they can dislodge the anchor and carry the boat off to an often undesired location like the beach, the rocks or up against another boat.

This has only happened a few times to us, but yesterday we had to reset our anchor seven times.

Following a couple of days in the Coomera River, we had motored back to Tipplers resort, to prepare for a change in the weather to strong Southerlies.

We found what looked like a suitable spot, went through our anchor routine, had our dinner and went to bed, to get an early night.

By early next morning we had pretty strong winds from the south as predicted.

ANCHOR MOVE No 1. = We woke in the morning and in our still SLEEPY state, found the boat was creeping down the channel.  Up anchor and moved back to the original spot, reset the anchor and let plenty of chain out.

ANCHOR MOVE No 2  = After sitting and waiting and watching for an hour or so, and feeling HAPPY with our reset anchor, we sat down and had breakfast. While going through our morning routine Easy Tiger again began drifting down the channel. UP the anchor and back to the original spot, reset and let heaps of chain out.

ANCHOR MOVE No 3 = OK so it might have been a bit DOPEY to put the anchor back in the same place that we have twice had it pull out of. This was made very clear as not long after we re-set it, it pulled out and off we went again.

ANCHOR MOVE No 4 = By now we are both getting a bit GRUMPY. We figured that our selected spot is not good holding for our anchor type. This time we relocated to a spot further down the channel near the pontoons for Tipplers Resort. We reset the anchor in 5 metres of water and let out 45 metres of chain. We sit and watch it for 2 hours and all seems good. The wind picks up to over 30 knots and the tide changes. We start drifting…again.

ANCHOR MOVE No 5 =  We are now very BASHFUL as we drift past a couple of houseboats who have far more windage than us and are skippered by amateurs, but are hold their anchors well. We motor back past them , reset our anchor and let out fifty metres of chain. As we sit and watch our anchor alarm app, our chart plotter and our visual landmarks, it was not long before we see that we are creeping backwards.

ANCHOR MOVE No 6 =  We again motor up to the houseboats and drop anchor this time very close to them. In fact we were that close, it was lucky we were not SNEEZY as they would have caught a cold. A bit close for comfort, but we must have had a premonition that we wouldn’t be there long. Sure enough it came true. Off we drifted down stream in the gushing tide.

ANCHOR MOVE No7 =  It was now time to start thinking like a DOC. Assess the situation, diagnose the cause and prescribe a remedy. I looked up stream and saw a boat anchored about a mile away. We consulted the book and the decision was made. We motored around to the ”dux” anchorage and dropped anchor, let out 55 metres of chain and waited. We set our anchor alarms and had our chart plotter set for alarm at the slightest movement. After three hours in the same spot we figured we had it right this time.

Finally fell into bed nervously, got up three or four times to check that we were still where we thought we were. Got up this morning and voila… still in the same spot.

After plenty of anchoring practice yesterday, we are actually looking forward to the confines of a marina, where we can take a break from being at the mercy of mother nature, the weather gods and the anchor alarm for a while.

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