These are our six steps to effective and efficient anchoring, learned through practical experience over the 12 years we have been anchoring in all kinds of conditions from Turkey to Thailand. This guide is aimed at beginners and those wishing to gain confidence in anchoring.
We went on a little shopping trip to Phuket just to demonstrate how easy it is to spend money on a boat with little to show for it. But stumbling across a bargain Fortress anchor was too difficult to resist.
A new word for an age-old problem: people who anchor right next to you in a bay three miles wide. No excuse for it, it comes down to lack of etiquette and politeness.
…we received an unexpected call from the officer in charge, who invited Jamie to meet the skipper of the barge that rammed us. So he went back with Alica, leaving Liz and Millie-the-cat to guard Esper. After five cups of coffee Wat the translator arrived…
If you would like to know which is Liz’s favourite anchorage, what superpower she has always wanted to have and where she would like to be right now, you’ll need to catch the video…
We make it to the southern entrance of Phiphi and are horrified to find this once peaceful anchorage packed with dive boats, long tails, day trippers, super yachts, hundreds of private mooring buoys and not forgetting mini booze cruises (cut to bob’s booze cruise).
This is a new one for us, a sailing interview with a non-sailor! In actual fact Jia, manager of PSS Shipyard, does own his own (motor) boat but he rarely gets the chance to go out in it.
Of course this isn’t Esper’s first sail per se, but this is the first time we’ve shaken out the sails since the refit. There’s performing planes, fishing nets… and a before-and-after montage of Esper’s interior.
Galvanising your anchor and chain is a cost-effective way of lengthening the life of your gear. Here in Penang we used Steelway, who picked up our tackle and double-coated it in less than a week. Along the way I learnt a bit about the process and I’ve included some photos to show you the shiny result.
The EnGenius 2610 is a magic box that provides a wired internet connection for the ship’s computer. The basic principle is that it is mounted at the top of the mast, or as high as possible, and it sees available wifi networks for your onboard computer to connect to… and if you’re not a yottie or interested in setting up a long-range wifi connection then you’ve probably fallen asleep already! The article for the yottie-geeks only…
My troubles started when I attempted to turn the engine off. I pressed the ‘off’ button and nothing happened, the engine continued to trundle away. “Relay switch”, I thought. I picked up instructions manuals, reference books, and anything else that might offer a solution. In the end I bottled it and called John on the VHF.
Liz has left me. She has gone and now it is just me, the cat and Esper. To pull myself out of my misery I attempted some single handed sailing, proving to myself and the world that I can stand alone, man against the elements, a conqueror, a hero. Impressive was the fact that I have never sailed solo before; even more impressive was that I managed to log two continents. Well, this all sounds good on paper, but the reality was that my first week was a complete screaming disaster. Dragging anchors, smashed solar panels, dysfunctional engines and rolling harbours all contributed to me desperately wanting my Queenie back on board. All this is set against a background of consistent 25-30knot winds that have been plaguing the Greek Islands all month. The usual self-deprecation is illustrated with loads of pics (look out for ‘Moon Goat’) and a couple of video clips too.
Introducing a new series on followtheboat: A Day In The Life. In this new category we take one day and break it down for you, hour by hour, offering a lighthearted view on what it’s like to spend 24 hours aboard Esper. In our first essay we examine an average day at anchor in Turkey, from dragging anchors and evil clerics to woodland creatures and smelly poo.
Oh, and if you’re using Internet Explorer 6, we’ve finally got round to fixing a display errors in the website – of course you should have upgraded or migrated to Firefox by now 😉
In the next few articles we’ll be featuring some photographs, video clips, maps and personal experiences of our current home Fethiye, offering something for all our friends and family to enjoy. This article, however, is very definitely for the serious liveaboard: visit any online sailing forum and there is one subject that will rouse more furious debate than any other subject known to man, beast or Poseidon: anchors. The simple anchor is the one thing on our boat we need to trust more than anything else (except perhaps our vessel’s ability to keep water out) so it is little wonder grown men pull each others’ hair out when arguing which anchor is best.
We had a bit of cash to spend on an anchor last year and, after pulling some hair, we opted for a new generation Rocna. We promised its designer, Peter Smith, to return an unambiguous account of our experience with his design. He said explicitly “be honest”. You know us, Peter, a spade’s a spade…
It does, thank Neptune, and when we reach Gocek, we anchor up some 50 yards from the pontoon and board “Tinker”, a dinghy that has seen better days. Why is it though, that when men get into a dinghy or a canoe, they feel as though they have to paddle like the clappers to reach their destination? Everything on water is a race, I call it the “Columbus Effect”.
We’d heard good things about Kalkan so we anchored in a spot recommended by two friends. The dip in the water was a real treat as somewhere close by there was a cold-water spring in the sea-bed, causing random little spots of cool water in the otherwise bath-temperature seas. Alas a quick dive down to inspect the anchor showed that we were on top of rock.
A dragging boat is not a pretty sight, especially when it’s your own. It’s even worse when your outboard has only half the revs it’s supposed to and, like a scene from a Hitchcock thriller, the more you rev, the faster your boat drags.
“It’s a real eye-opener”, commented Astrid. “Another time one of our girls used to get up at four in the morning to get the milk in off the door-step. When I told her she didn’t need to do this she explained that her mother had taught her to steal milk from people’s doorsteps. She was three.” Sadly another of their foster children got into a fight in an underground station and was knocked to the tracks and killed. “Of course that was very sad”, says Astrid, “as he’d only left our care a week before.
Jamie put out a call and within minutes we had a response from fellow yachties (several actually), but the first proved to be the nearest and also have all the right equipment. We gulped a cup of coffee and waited patiently for “International Rescue”. More exchanges on the VHF followed and after about an hour a rib driven by a salty sea dog came hurtling towards us with two divers all togged up with tanks, flippers and wet suits to sort us out.