We have just completed a five day trip up the inside passage
of British Columbia
. It was a wonderful trip with many sightings of whales and some sea lions, porpoise, etc and went off without a hitch... almost.
We only experienced one problem and that was anchoring
on the final night.
Here's the situation and I would like to hear how others would have handled it....
I had originally chosen a different anchorage when planning our trip but when we arrived there at about 16:30 in deteriorating conditions, we found that it was not to our liking.
I decided to go around to the north side of Hanson Island to a very nice looking anchorage (on the chart). It was about a 7nm trip that took about an hour.
We arrived at the new anchorage at about 17:30 and found the best area was occupied by a stray log and I didn't want to risk bumping into it in the middle of the night, so we chose to move over to a smaller corner of the bay.
Our anchor rode
is 200' of chain and 100' of rope
. Distance from the bow roller to the water
is 4' and there was to be a 4' rising tide. Winds forecast
for that night were 15 - 20 kt, NW. The charted depth
where we anchored was 28' 8" and drops off to 58'.
We put out 250' of rode
Because of depth
, we were forced to anchor
fairly close to the rock shoreline and weren't really comfortable doing that but I figured that I would rather be anchored securely, even if it meant being a little too close to the rocks, than anchored out deeper and not having enough scope
out to be held securely.
So we anchored and set our alarm
. We went below and had dinner and while we ate, the wind
started to pick up and daylight faded.
After dinner I thought it would be a good idea to give one more tug test on the anchor, so I went out and did that. All was good, we sprang forward and as I back up again to set the boat near the end of the rode, the painter line fouled the prop.
I put it in neutral immediately, then tried jogging it to forward to see if it would free. It did not. So we cut the painter and jumped in the dingy with a knife taped to the boat hook and tried to cut it free. After two hours of unsuccessful attempts at cutting the painter at the prop, I started trying to pull back and forth and it did come free. Yay.
So anyway, for a time, there we were, anchored solidly too close to the rocks but with an alarm
set and then suddenly were without the ability to move the boat should the alarm go off. We certainly felt vulnerable at that point and knew that freeing the prop was absolutely top priority.
Thankfully, we were able to get it freed and the forecasted winds did not materialize.
Now having had a brush with disaster and coming out unscathed, I'd like to hear how more experience sailors would have handled it. Please no answers like, I would have more anchor rode and anchor in deeper water
. The question is, what would you do in this situation, with the equipment
we had to work with?
I'll hang up and listen to your answers