Hang in there... on your anchor

Salsa af Stavsnas
Ellinor Ristoff Staffan Ehde
Sun 21 Jul 2013 03:20
We got a mail today from Xanadu, a family from Australia that is still in Panama due to rigg repair.
I loved their greeting at the end of the mail, "hang in there".
We do really hang in there, believe me. All our 17 tons plus are hanging on the anchor and 10mm chain (10 mm thick material, not the link). With these wind forces that are going on now you realize this conditions is above normal.
The atholl is slowly filling up more than normal since the horrendous waves crash by the reef and the currents coming in are beyond what we have seen before.Coconuts, palmtrees etc are passing by us now.
The boat moves back an forth, and the pull on the chain is immense. I was on the bow working on the kayak (it has to be cleaned with fresh water now and then, on the inside, otherwise the aluminium frame will corrode to one piece), and when I heard the sound of strain by the snubbline it occured to me that ALL stress is on the chain and the anchor now.
So if you want to sleep well and want to go on a long trip by boat, never ever compromise on the quality of chain and anchor.
IF our anchor or chain would brake we would sit on a reef within 2 minutes now. The wind is so hard and it would move the boat like nothing.
It was hard to find quality chain certified in Europe, not that I think we are better than anybody else but there are horror stories about chines chains giving up when they shouldnt.
The anchor we have is a ROCNA, the weight and dimension is for a boat that is 50% heavier than we are. And yet when you look at the pull on the chain you wonder. And I do not sleep very well at night.
We have an anchor alarm of course, that is our plotter that reads the GPS and if we move more than 120 feet it goes off.
And still when I listen at night, the howling through the rigg, screaming its way along the hull, will it hold?
We have been trough this before and will again, and it is wonderful to be in sheltered waters now.
By the way, did I write how we anchor in water sprinkled with coral heads? We put a fender on every ten meter, so when there is no pull on the chain it is lifted from the bottom, looks like archs when you snorkel on it. When the wind picks up the chain is pulled and the fenders disappear one by one until the only one visible is your trip line by the anchor. If that one moves we are in trouble.
Now our fenders are down under for sure.
Today the kids have been on a Chilean boat with a 7 year old girl named Amelia, the boats name Kaueskar 2. Now Amelia is with us in the late afternoon.
We write and paint, thats it, nothing more to tell. Ellinor has a great idea that we should take her paintings ashore and put them on palmtrees etc and take pictures of them. Love to do that when the wind has slowed down and the rain is giving up.