At Anchor

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Fri 19 Jan 2018 12:45

Position: 37 09.56 S 139 45.38 E
At anchor off Robe
Wind: SSE, F5 (fresh breeze)
Day’s Run: 46nm

We have made it to anchor after a stiff bash to windward. We managed to sneak past the Black Pigs, two rocks that lie just below the surface at the northern end of Guichen Bay waiting to snarl the unwary, without having to tack with which I felt very relieved not wishing to have to tack outside the Bay in the strong wind and lumpy seas. Once we were inside Guichen Bay the seas smoothed out while the wind continued to pick up. I debated with myself whether to put another reef in the main but with only a short distance to go and with Sylph enjoying the ride I decided to let her have her head. We tacked five cables off the beach and I was pleased to see that we would easily lay the Robe breakwater on the new heading. The next decision was whether to go to anchor or to go alongside the marina. The idea of having a peaceful night alongside and a stroll into town on the morrow was appealing so, as we neared the harbour, I started the engine, handed sail and readied fenders and lines for going alongside. I steered Sylph between the port and starboard entrance buoys, lined up the leads and, as we were about to pass the breakwater, ran firmly aground. This, not surprisingly, rather took me aback. Sylph and I have been in and out of the Robe boat harbour numerous times in the past and have never had a problem. On reflection, I think perhaps a combination of low water (0.3m which should have been enough on top of the minimum charted depth of 1.6m) and the strong southerly breeze likely would have reduced low water below the predicted height. Fortunately the tide was making so it did not take long before we had enough water to back off. Having gained deep water again I decided to forgo a night alongside and proceeded to anchor where we now are.

The last few hours have been an exhilarating sail but I am glad that we are at anchor and not having to continue bashing to weather. A short work to windward in a strong breeze is refreshing but a long bash is exhausting and the excitement soon wears off.

I have since had a late night pizza for dinner and now I’m looking forward to an uninterrupted night’s sleep (I hope – the trusty anchor drag alarm is set and Sylph’s new Rocna anchor is thus far proving very reliable (touch wood)).

All is well.