Monday, July 04, 2011

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July 4, 2011 4:00PM
Underway Khutzeymateen Inlet

Ended up sharing Somerville Inlet anchorage last night with 62 gill net boats. Most of the fishermen just rolled into the anchorage and droped their anchors with a measly 2:1 scope, making no effort to set their anchors. More on anchors below. Anyway, the fast approaching cold front, a 996 mb low, promising up to 45 knots was set to strike late this morning but we have yet to see it. Perhaps these steep mountains surrounding us are blocking the winds? We're moving to Tsamspanaknak Bay to wait out the weather then on to the head of Khutzeymateen Inlet to check out the bear reserve.

Anchoring properly:
1). Selecting the correct primary anchor and rode for the region in which you sail.
In our case we like the Spade and Rocna anchors best and also carry a Fortress FX-37 which is a danforth style anchor for soft bottoms. As for rode we prefer all chain for our primary anchor and use 200' of 5/16" (8mm) high test '3G' galvanized steel anchor chain. For spare anchor rodes we have (2) 250' rope rodes connected to (2) 20' sections of 3/8" (10mm) high test chain. We use these spare anchor setups for stern anchors or when we set a second anchor for riding out a big blow.

2). Deploying the correct amount of 'anchor rode' which can be a combination of chain and rope.
The correct amount of rode depends on several factors, but should never be less than three times the water depth (3:1 scope) and more ideally five times or more the water depth (5:1 scope). I prefer to anchor in shallower waters to maximize my 'scope' and minimize the water depth in the event I need to dive on my anchor if it were to become fouled. I learned this lesson after fouling my anchor in Tahiti in 43' of water. At this depth you don't have much bottom time on a single breath.

3). 'Backing down' on the anchor is critical to ensure the anchor sets into the bottom.
We most often get the anchor set then pull forward then back down hard with some momentum. If the boat comes to an abrupt halt, we know we can sleep soundly, confident the anchor is secure. If the anchor drags or pops free on our second hard back down then we start the process over, sometimes changing anchors and sometimes changing location until we get a super solid set.

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