The Chain Gang- Huahine - French Polynesia

Steve and Lynda Cooke
Sun 12 Jun 2016 00:45
16:47S 151:0W

The Chain Gang- Huahine - French Polynesia.

We had been having increasing problems lifting the chain up after anchoring.
The trouble was, it kept jumping off the gypsy after a few links had been retreived.
The bow crew of Lynda and Peter had been increasingly nursing the windlass and carefully recovering the chain when lifting after anchoring, but it wasn't getting any better. In fact it was getting worse. Recovering the anchor was becoming a difficult, time consuming, and even worrying task. It was a case of three or four links up, one or two links back.

We had bought new chain when in Almerimar last year, ready for the greater depths on anchorages in the Pacific, specially imported from Italy, and blooming expensive, as it was 'calibrated'. We bought 80 meter of the stuff, and added 30 meters of rope (warp) spliced at the end of it.
We put it down to getting worn, and stretched, especially during times like in the Tuamoto Islands, when we had a wrap around a coral head during a big blow, and it felt like we were going to pull the front of the boat off!
We measured it.……………….
10mm ISO chain is supposed to be 10mm inside each link.
Our chain measures from 10.5mm to 11mm. Yes, really!! its not even any use as 11mm chain!
Italian and calibrated are obviously an oxymoron. (bullsh-t) Grrrrrrrrrrrrr
Luckily we had kept our old 50m chain in the bilge as emergency back-up.
Thank goodness I had bought this old chain in England when we first brought the boat back from Denmark, from Jimmy Green Marine. Yes, each link measured exactly 10mm inside the links…..

So we had to lift out the 50m of chain from the bilge, swap it with 80m of chain in the bow locker, replace the anchor for our Danforth, and re-splice the 30m anchor warp on. No problem, just a bit time consuming to make sure we didn’t do any damage to woodwork, deck and brightwork.
Its going to limit some of our anchoring options, but better that than not being able to lift the chain anyway, especially in bad weather.
I was going to dump the whole lot over the side in 4Km of depth, but one never knows with the current weather? We have kept it 'just in case', but I hope it never comes to using it, really.

Does anyone want to but 80m of ISO 10mm 'calibrated' Italian / Spanish anchor chain by any chance? No, neither will I, ever again!