I guess I will be a frequent contributor to this section.
Once I was anchored off the inland side of Fraser Island which is the largest sand island in the world (I think) off the Queensland
coast in Oz. The island used to be logged but is now world heritage listed. It was blowing strongly offshore
and you felt the gusts if you were not in the lee of the tall sand dunes. The water
dropped rapidly away to over 30 metres within 50 metres of the flat sand beach that formed a narrow strip between the inland waterway, the Great Sandy Strait and the sand dunes.
After a few attempts I had managed to set my 55 lb Delta
(my cat is only 33 ft long, but I consider it insurance). The sun was setting and we had settled down for dinner when the whole boat
made a huge shudder and I heard a bang. Not wanting to break rule
#102 (always investigate the source of any funny
noises, though this noise
was far from funny) I went on deck
and looked around. It was a bit windier and we seemed a little further from the beach than I remembered but nothing else seemed amiss. I decided to check our GOPS position. When I turned on the instruments
I doscovered that instead of being in 2 metres of water
we were now in 30! I had put out 20 metres of chain and when I looked the chain was dead straight down and straining against a heavyload as the wind
increased from offshore
. The anchor
had dropped straight off the edge of the shallows and the boat
had drifted until it suddenly snagged some piece of machinery below. We had anchored off an old derlict timber cutters wharf and some discarded item had caught us.
I started the engines and attempted to pull up the anchor
. It was stuck fast. I got the wife to let out another 20 metres of chain then powered into it after securing the chain on the samson
post to take the strain off the winch
. She stood back and grimaced as with an almighty bang the chain took up. With a huge amount of luck we had dislodged the fouled anchor. There was a nasty ding on the Delta
but it came up.
Old wharves = a fouled bottom.