Anchorage Axioms

When Anchoring…

1. Just “do it”… if you never try – you never learn.
2. One (person) if necessary – two is better, three is not a crowd!…but there is only one Captain (he’s responsible).
3. Chalk Talk and After Action Reviews (AAR) enhance learning – make them a practice.

Just “doing it!” Second anchorage on our journey south. Dropped the hook in a beautifully quiet place south of Deltaville VA called Fisherman’s Bay. An easy trip into the creek with plenty of water and good ATNs…and only one other boat in sight (small audience)!

One, Two, Three! The crew did well (Kimberly and David) with handling the windlass. Communication while anchoring is key. Everyone does it differently. We use hand held radios on an obscure channel to talk between the helm and the bow (with about 35 feet and a pilot house in between). We haven’t mastered hand signals yet = but that will come. At the helm, I pick the spot; check depth, tides, wind and distance to hazards. Kimberly or David handles the windlass and calls out chain markings, direction and tension. Diving on the anchor in the Chesapeake is not an option (can’t see 6 inches in front of you in this water). Backing down the anchor is by “feel” and we let SV Take Me There’s big John Deere diesel eat nearly 1200 RPMs in reverse to ensure a good set. Then its onto clean up before dark.

Chalk Talk and AAR! Before we go into our designated anchorage we take a moment to walk through the procedures and safety rules so no one forgets if its been awhile since we last dropped a hook or we have a new crew member. When we are done (Kimberly is so good about this) we review what we did and evaluate how well we did it. This is also a great time for anyone to question why we did something a certain Amy or why I (the Captain) gave certain instructions that were unexpected).

What did we learn: Attaching the bridal still needs some repetition but all will soon know what to do!…we will certainly get plenty of practice. Next training opportunity will be applying the snubber and anchoring in the dark (hopefully not a habit) – we didn’t need the snubber here. We hope to eventually try to deploy two anchors (we have 3); in a current; use an “off-set” bridal to deal with wave direction versus wind and practice picking up a mooring ball…there are lots of opportunities ahead. We have all chain rode which is heavy and daunting to the unseasoned crew member. Learn as you go…but just get out there and try it.

Anchorage planning is all about wind, wave and current direction coupled with where you want (or need) to be to do what you want (or need) to do.. I pick our stop-over spots where I have the most options for safety and comfort based on forecasts. Active Captain is AWESOME! We are contributing to the anchorage notes on this great application platform of cruisers helping cruisers. Our hat is off  to Jeffery and Karen aboard Red Head…and Garmin!

Today was a great day – Now we sit and wait for Maria to blow out.