Lisa with fouled anchor

Dick and Irene Craig
Mon 31 May 2010 05:06
Defrosting the fridge in the galley was awful. We had big rolling seas and
it was almost impossible to stop the door from moving while it was open,
despite jamming it with a box of snorkel gear on one side and a bucket of
shoes on the other.
We tend to keep our outdoor shoes in a bucket while we are on the boat and
leave the bucket near the door to the salon so that the shoes are easily
accessible when required.
Moe took us off the anchorage when we left Suwarrow and managed to chop the
rope holding Bob, our anchor buoy before getting it caught around our
propellers. It was necessary therefore to get into the water and free the
props. It was obvious there was a problem as the boat was shuddering.
Meanwhile Lisa, a 42 foot Outremer catamaran had her anchor wrapped around
several rocks, 25 metres below. Once we had sorted out our own problem, we
re-anchored so that Dick could dive to free the anchor. While Dick was
donning his scuba gear, an American chap from one of the non WARC boats
arrived in his dinghy, along with a crew member from Lisa, to take Dick
across to the dive site.
After freeing the anchor which had been wrapped not once, not twice but
several times, around the rocks, Dick was brought back to our boat but
stayed in the water fully kitted out, while we waited for Lisa to lift her
anchor. At one stage it was thought that the anchor was again stuck but
fortunately it came free and Lisa stood by waiting for us to lift our anchor
in the event that we might have problems. All was well, probably because
Dick was prepared, with another full tank ready, to dive to free our own
anchor should it have been necessary.
We encountered squalls almost continuously during the entire passage.
When I came on watch at 4am, taking over from Dick, he had the parasailor
flying at 95º off the wind and had performed perfectly through the squalls
with winds up to 30knots.
A squall passed over dumping even more heavy rain. A few minutes before 5am
I felt a few raindrops so taking note of the compass reading, went below to
do the hourly log, optimistic that when I returned to the flybridge, the
rain might have stopped.
As I stepped back into the cockpit I heard a huge crash and of course
thought that the mast had come down. I quickly climbed on deck and saw the
new parasailor, still flying but in three pieces. I immediately went below
to alert the captain who came on deck with Moe and Bev. The parasailor was
snuffed and bagged and we raised the main and unfurled the genoa.
Initially we had thought that we had become too complacent flying the
parasailor through the squalls but it soon became evident that the reason
the sail had blown out was due to a faulty masthead fitting which had
broken. We are not now able to use the original parasailor or the cruising
shute until this fitting has been fixed/replaced.
The wind strengthened and the seas grew bigger. We had 2 reefs in the
mainsail and 2 reefs in the genoa as the wind continued to blow at force 7
and force 8 with water breaking over the port hull and stern quarter.
To boost morale we had a fry-up for lunch.
Dick had slept badly the night before we had left Suwarrow and had remained
on watch most of the first day, as well as from 2am till 10am next morning.
He went to bed and slept for a couple of hours.
Bev was also exhausted and we sent her to bed after lunch. She quickly
recovered and was back on watch again that afternoon.

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