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Old 05-02-2015, 10:18   #1
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Fjord Anchoring?

I posted a thread very similar to this one in the anchoring section, but haven't had much traffic, hoping to get a few more tips here.

Will someone please give me a run down of techniques used to anchor in fjords? My wife and I are hoping to take a trip into BC (PLI & Desolation sound hopefully) this spring and I know a lot of the anchoring has to be done in relatively deep water and close to cliffs.

From what I've gathered, the process involves dropping out a fair bit of anchor chain in deep water and then backing towards the shore until the anchor contacts the bottom. Then continue backing towards the shore to hold the boat in place with the engine and then tying the stern of the boat to whatever you can find on land. Does this sound right? Are people anchoring with short scopes this way? Anchoring on steep sloping bottoms? Or is the point to anchor on a flattish bottom that might be close to an underwater ledge, then the stern line would keep the boat from swinging around and potentially dragging the anchor off the ledge?

Do people just use a single stern line? 2 lines? relatively straight back from the boat or off to the sides more? What about the bow? Does the anchor hold it in place or does the bow need to be tied to shore also? Am I missing any key points? I'm guessing a lot of this depends on the specific situation, but I'm just looking for general tips and techniques so don't end up on a cliff in the middle of the night or adrift somewhere.
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Old 05-02-2015, 12:06   #2
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Re: Fjord Anchoring?

In most of the anchor areas around Desolation we use stern ties. Make sure you have 400 ft of good rope. I anchor in about 60 ft at times, with the stern ties just making contact. 2 lines (your stern tie will be 200 x 2) is better. You will still get up at night, but eventually you will get used to it.
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Old 05-02-2015, 12:31   #3
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Re: Fjord Anchoring?

Agreed, in south America we used at least 2 stern lines spread ideally 45- 60 degrees. And if we could run bow lines, or lines off the beam we would. We tried to minimise the load on the anchor. One sternline can really load up the anchor in a beam wind situation, but it might be ok for offshore winds, or short stops.

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Old 05-02-2015, 12:32   #4
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Re: Fjord Anchoring?

Norwegian style!

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Old 05-02-2015, 13:12   #5
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Re: Fjord Anchoring?

You are not really anchoring in the fjords. The fjords would be too dangerous with strong winds blowing in during the day and out during the night. Also the sides are way too steep. Within 50 feet from the shore you may be in 300 feet of water.

The anchoring is all done in small bays. Many are in marine parks. Most anchorages in Desolation and south of it are 3-10m deep at low water. Get the Dreamspeaker cruising guide for great hand drawn charts of the anchorages and the specific types of anchoring used in said anchorage.

Most anchorage are small and would allow only 1-2 boats if swinging on the anchor. Using the stern ties you can get 10-15 boats into the same space.

You want a floating line that is at least 400 feet long for stern ties. I actually got a full spool of 600 feet. With a piece of line I hang it from the bimini when ready to anchor, such that I can easily unwind the line. You pick a spot with a good tie position on the shore. This may be a tree or in many anchorages there are small metal eyes, some with rings, set into the rock. Watch for a bit of red paint on them.

It makes sense to go slowly parallel to the shore and have your mate check the shore for the stern tie eyes or trees. Go a good 5-scope plus 1-2 boat lengths away from the shore and drop your anchor as you slowly back up and let the rode out. A fast setting and good holding anchor such as a Manson Supreme, Rocna, or Mantus really help. With a good 1-2 boat lengths to spare start setting the anchor slowly. Make sure that while backing up you consider your prop walk - while setting the anchor the boat will walk quite a bit - the wind and the current also play into it. Have fun. You may have to go forward on your anchor and back up with a different course to compensate. Once the anchor is set with at least 3/4 throttle, get one of your guys into the dinghy with good boots on. Keep the boat in aft idle so it does no drif from the shore and make it harder for the dinghy person.

Now comes the trick not to tangle the lines and make it easy to for the dinghy person to get to shore. I usually have about the length of line to use ready to throw into the dinghy and the end tied to it. This way the dinghy person can pay out line and you can also pay out from the boat. We prefer to feed the line around the tree or through the eye and back to the boat. That way we can leave any time, just by untieing one end from the boat and slowy motoring out. This also washes the seaweed you picked up over night from the line before you retrieve it. It is a little more difficult to brin the line back then to tie a bowline at the shore and untie it the next day.

It takes a lot of practice to do this right, especially at low tide. The shore person may have to climb up over slippery rocks to get to the tie up point. Sometimes, in difficult conditions such as a lot of cross wind, I have to go forward to go up wind in then back up to shore again, while paying out more line and taking it in to not get tangeled it in the prop. Initially, try to pick a spot with the wind from the aft or the front, if possible.

Here is a typical Desolation Sound anchorage.
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Old 05-02-2015, 13:41   #6
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Re: Fjord Anchoring?

I've always wondered about something too, and didn't see an answer in the med mooring thread. With your anchor set, you're 1-2 boat lengths from the cliff/shore/etc. Do you set your stern line such that you're still 1-2 lengths from shore, keeping your chain pretty taut? Or do you let your chain fall back on the bottom and put out more stern line? If the former, does the constant tension on the chain cause the anchor to drag?


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Old 05-02-2015, 13:43   #7
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Re: Fjord Anchoring?

It might be very difficult to anchor in PLI. As mentioned can be very deep right next to the rock wall. Has anyone ever found any shelves up in there that would be anchorable?
Desolation is not an issue really.
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Old 05-02-2015, 16:07   #8
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Re: Fjord Anchoring?

What is PLI?
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Old 05-02-2015, 16:37   #9
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Re: Fjord Anchoring?

Princess Louisa Inlet


Also, thanks everyone for the replies/tips/suggestions.
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Old 05-02-2015, 17:00   #10
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Re: Fjord Anchoring?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
It might be very difficult to anchor in PLI. As mentioned can be very deep right next to the rock wall. Has anyone ever found any shelves up in there that would be anchorable?
Desolation is not an issue really.
PLI = Princess Louise Inlet

I guess you need to consult some cruising books or specific sites on the internet. All the anchorages are listed and explained there.

PLI has a nice anchorage/dock right at the end next to Chatterbox Falls. Shallow water, even a dock there. Also mooring bouys around in the inlet.

Here is some info from the web Travelling To - Princess Louisa International Society marine park boating cruising environment
"
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Four Mooring Buoys (9) are available behind MacDonald Island (W) to port approximately halfway up the Inlet. Watch for a drying rock off the South end of the Island. Anchorage is also available at the head of the inlet at the foot of Chatterbox Falls (10). Set your anchor in close to the falls in 10 feet (3 m.) And let the river current keep you in position. The Society has placed mooring eyes at various locations along the rock walls from MacDonald Island to either side of the falls for stern ties to assist in anchoring at other locations in the Inlet but does not warrant the locations as being good anchorage."

Here is our boat tied up to the dock in PLI at Chatterbox Falls.
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Active Captain shows three places to stop in PLI.
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Here the write up for the dock at the end of the inlet.
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Dream Speaker Guides Dreamspeaker Guides - Explore the Pacific Northwest with the authors has nearly every anchorage explained in detail along the coast. Here the page of PLI from their web site.
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