In my decades of cruising, I have picked up all kinds of carp on my anchor
, including an old bicycle, an old lawn chair, old mooring cables
, fishing gear
, you name it.
But the other day, I finally picked up that thing which we all dread so much: an electrical
When I saw it come up with the anchor
, my heart sank. My first thought was "I'm dead". Then I realized, that I wasn't dead yet, and therefore probably wouldn't become dead in the immediate future, so set about trying to figure out how to get free.
This was in a cozy anchorage in the Finnish archipelago, ironically one I've anchored in many times before. It has shelter from three sides, but rocks all around (the rocks are usual) less than a cable on each side. It was blowing 25 knots, and I was single
handed. So from the moment I lost
holding on to something, including this bloody cable, I had only seconds to get to the helm
to prevent being blown on to the rocks. A pretty pickle.
I looped a piece of rope
around the cable and drew the loop up tight on my bow cleat, dropped the anchor clear of the cable, then raised it out of the way. Dropped the cable, pulled out the rope
, then tried to get the anchor into the bow roller. Damn, the clutch
on the windlass
opened and the anchor dropped away again. No winch
handle to hand -- I keep meaning to put a pocket for one in the anchor locker
So I had run back to the helm
to maneuver -- in terror that I would hook the cable again -- to stay off the rocks. I left the engine
with the helm locked to try to offset the drift, then went back to the bow with a winch
handle. Got the anchor up and finally headed out to safety
Had a nice sail in winds gusting up to 40 knots, using my blade jib
alone, mostly unreefed.
So here's the question -- why did I not die? Has anyone else hooked a cable with an anchor? There was no sign and the cable was not marked on the chart -- maybe it was unused and that's what saved me?