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Old 26-05-2021, 18:07   #1
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To dive or not to dive?

In the northern latitudes no one dives there anchor. Simply the waters to cold.
The the lower latitudes it seems the norm. Why? Is it because in warm waters you can and why not?

I have an ear problem and can't dive. Believe me I'd love to. I've always paid close attention to depth and scope length and of the type of seabead and have never had an issue.

Recently I was chastised as reckless for not driving my anchor or at the least having a crew member who was capable of doing it for me.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks, Steve
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Old 26-05-2021, 18:17   #2
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Re: To dive or not to dive?

Southern waters you have coral - don’t want to damage it, and if your anchor is just laying on it, you might think you’re okay when you’re not. It can also cut a rope rode......

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Old 26-05-2021, 18:48   #3
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Re: To dive or not to dive?

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Originally Posted by Traumerei View Post
In the northern latitudes no one dives there anchor. Simply the waters to cold.

Fwiw I was out diving today in 60 degree F. water to look at the fish. A short dive in 34 degree F. water is not unreasonable in a suitable wetsuit, I've done many.


I don't dive my anchor because the Mississippi mud provides predictable holding and viz only goes out to my elbow.



Quote:

I have an ear problem and can't dive. Believe me I'd love to.

A visit to dive-oriented ENT and some 1:1 training with a patient instructor would be 99% likely get you through that if you're serious. Ask at ScubaBoard.com for an ENT in your area who understands diving.
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Old 26-05-2021, 21:32   #4
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Re: To dive or not to dive?

There is always gonna be someone that thinks your doing it wrong, smile and thank them and go on doing what you can. Sometimes it bites you but with modern anchor design and good cruising guides to pick anchorage good weather forecasts and common sense you are so far ahead of folks that cruised decades ago. Keep smiling and keep focusing on your strengths.
Fair Winds
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Old 26-05-2021, 22:48   #5
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Re: To dive or not to dive?

When you can't dive the anchor (and that is in lots of situations) an extra bit of attention to setting the hook is a good substitute practice.

Actually, setting hard is better than just diving IMO, for simply LOOKING at the anchor tells little about the quality of the substrate. A solid pull in reverse is actual data showing that the anchor will withstand considerable stress, no matter what it looks like.

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Old 27-05-2021, 03:23   #6
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Re: To dive or not to dive?

I dive when I can, especially if I think there's hardpan under sand, or if there's a lot of turtle grass. Some harbors, even if warm, are not good to dive in.
But if the water's nice, I'm usually ready for a dip by the time the anchor splashes anyway.
If you cruise in the right places, you can see your anchor from the surface with a mask without actually diving. I remember anchoring in the lee of San Andres Island in five fathoms, and seeing the anchor while floating on the surface.
Still, being able to have confidence in your anchor without diving is pretty important.
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Old 27-05-2021, 03:34   #7
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Re: To dive or not to dive?

False premise...it's not the norm to dive on the anchor in warm or cold water.

Lots of arguing over how to anchor. The most common is to back down on the anchor and test that it's not dragging but even there you will get a small faction who say it's not needed.
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Old 27-05-2021, 03:47   #8
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Re: To dive or not to dive?

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Setting hard is better than just diving IMO, for simply LOOKING at the anchor tells little about the quality of the substrate.

A solid pull in reverse is actual data showing that the anchor will withstand considerable stress, no matter what it looks like.
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If the water's nice, I'm usually ready for a dip by the time the anchor splashes anyway.
As Jim, our resident Sage, says, setting it right is more important.

And like Benz, after anchoring in the Caribbean, I was always ready for a swim, so would incorporate an anchor-set check.

Conversely, I NEVER dive the anchor here in Ontario (Lake temp was, oh, 11C yesterday) but in the tropics, it was an added dimension to my swim.

Avoid ear infections/problems at all costs! Don't swim and as Valhalla implies, no need to get yer knickers in a twist (that's just me attempting to use a colourful phrase ) - with the caveat not to anchor in coral!

The way you avoid this is angle of the sun. In the South Pacific, we were always on the hook by early afternoon (2 or 3 pm) so that the coral heads were clearly visible and we could avoid them.

Fair winds,
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Old 27-05-2021, 04:39   #9
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Re: To dive or not to dive?

A sechhi disk is a device painted with contrasting black and white surfaces that is lowered in water to determine the turbidity. There is a point at depth where you can no longer discern the color contrast.

Although I often dived at my anchorage locations, particularly in the Bahamas, I found it very convenient to paint the flukes of my anchors with bold patches of black and white. In less turbid water, regardless of the temperature, I could often see if my anchor was buried or sitting on the surface and merely caught on a rock or small ledge. This was likely more suitable for me as I frequented anchorages at 15 to 20 foot depths.
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Old 27-05-2021, 06:28   #10
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Re: To dive or not to dive?

If in doubt, get a bigger and modern anchor. Ours is 54 kilo Rocna. We modified the bow pulpit to fit it. I paint the aft fluke surface with yellow Rustoleum. This thing always sets unless you are on hard pan. We rarely dive the anchor even in the Caribbean. Better anchor = cheap insurance and peace of mind.
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Old 27-05-2021, 07:02   #11
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pirate Re: To dive or not to dive?

Only place I have dived to check the anchor was in Andratx, Mallorca and that was to see why my anchor refused to set on my first stop there in 96.
I found the bottom was nearly bare sandstone but scattered with long crevasses which I moved the anchor into one of.
I then handballed the chain back in till I was almost up and down then marked my position from several shore marks for future use.
Never dragged again.
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Old 27-05-2021, 07:13   #12
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Re: To dive or not to dive?

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If in doubt, get a bigger and modern anchor. Ours is 54 kilo Rocna. We modified the bow pulpit to fit it. I paint the aft fluke surface with yellow Rustoleum. This thing always sets unless you are on hard pan. We rarely dive the anchor even in the Caribbean. Better anchor = cheap insurance and peace of mind.
This is the answer. Big anchor of modern design and good setting method. I've got a 73lb / 33kg Rocna Vulcan on my boat. If it holds both engines in reverse at 1000 RPM, I know it's a good set (judging by apparent rode tension that's more load than I've seen in 30 kts of wind). After setting it like that in medium to soft-ish (but not soupy) good holding mud, it typically has mud caked onto every part of the shank on retrieval, indicating that it was fully buried.

Diving would be an extra bonus to be sure everything looks good, but only if it's practical to do. If it's not practical for whatever reason, then don't worry about it as long as it holds a good power set.
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Old 27-05-2021, 07:14   #13
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Re: To dive or not to dive?

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Recently I was chastised as reckless for not driving my anchor or at the least having a crew member who was capable of doing it for me.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks, Steve
We live in a day and age when people seem to carry weaponized opinions on how others should be going about their business. Unless that person is the skipper of the vessel you’re anchoring, their opinion carries no weight.

You anchor as you need to best mitigate environmental impact while ensuring the security of your vessel. I have dived an anchor a few times over 20 years, but it’s been the exception not the norm. How often do you see crew of commercial vessels diving their anchors?

Do it when it’s appropriate- but from the sound of your physical condition, that may be never. It’s entirely your call.
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Old 27-05-2021, 07:20   #14
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Re: To dive or not to dive?

I have never dived to check my anchor. I have, when the water allowed, drove the dinghy over it to check when in it for something else.
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Old 27-05-2021, 08:58   #15
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Re: To dive or not to dive?

I have never dived on my anchor either.
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