ANCHORING ANTICS - WIND AGAINST CURRENT
If I had my old 45 pound CQR anchor right now, I would be going crazy. Why is that?
When we sailed across the Pacific Ocean, I dragged that anchor in nearly every port we visited. There was simply too much boat for a 45 pound anchor even though we usually put out 150 of 3/8 inch high test chain to help the anchor out.
The problem we had with the CQR was that we could not trust it to reset securely when wind direction shifted or current reversed. And if you can’t trust your anchor to reset when wind and current change, you can’t leave your boat for any significant period of time. If the anchor drags, you may lose your boat on the rocks and reefs while you are away.
Here in La Paz, my old CQR anchor would have driven me to distraction. We are frequently in a wind against tide situation, and currents reverse direction every time the tide changes. The currents in this shallow harbor move fast, very fast. In one location, the nautical chart shows that the current moves at 5.7 knots.
We routinely get three knots of current pushing us first to the southwest, and then when the current reverses the current is three knots to the northeast.
If we had our old CQR anchor, Exit Only would have been dragging it all around the harbor, and we would be getting up at night every couple of hours to check whether our anchor had dragged.
The accompanying graphic shows the position of Exit Only for the past five days in La Paz. You will see that we spent most of our time at the top and the bottom of the graphic. The current pushes Exit Only from the top to the bottom and back again with the daily changes in tide.
If you have an anchor that does not reset with the changes in tide, then you better stay tied up to a dock in a marina rather than anchor out. Boats with anchors that do not automatically reset with changes in wind and tide are simply courting disaster in a location like La Paz.
Today we had wind against current which made anchoring even more challenging. When the wind is stronger than current, the boat lays to the wind. When the current is stronger than the wind, the boat lays to the current. Because of this, Exit Only was zooming this way and that as the wind and current battled for supremacy.
The saving grace of the whole situation is our 75 pound Bugle Wasi Anchor. This anchor works well on Exit Only because it promptly digs into the sea bed, and when wind and tide shift, it promptly resets so that we don’t have nail biting nights worrying about whether our anchor will reset in the dark of night. Dragging anchors at night is very high on the list of things that I do not want to happen, and having to pull up the anchor and reset it at one in the morning is pretty much my definition of misery.
Before we entered the digital age, it was frequently difficult to tell if we were dragging anchor, especially at night when you can’t see landmarks that give you clues as to whether your anchor is holding.
Now with digital charts, with a quick glance at my tablet, I can tell if we are doing ok or if we are in trouble.
If the anchor is dragging, I can use the digital chart to return to the spot where I dropped the anchor five days ago knowing that I can safely navigate my boat in the dark to a previously known safe location to drop the anchor once again.
After I got my 75 pound Beugel anchor, midnight anchoring antics no longer were a part of my life, and with the help of digital charts, I can deal with a dragging anchor confidently knowing where to maneuver Exit Only in the dark.
When we came to La Paz, they would not let us dock at Marina La Paz. Because of the Covid 19 pandemic, they did not want transient boats to come to their docks as they were worried that there could be coronavirus on board.
Fortunately, we like to anchor out, and our 75 pound anchor made it easy for us to deal with the wind and current.
In spite of the wind and current battling for supremacy, life is still good.
Awesome music video that captures the essence of what it's like to sail offshore in a catamaran around the world when conditions are less than perfect. David Abbott from Too Many Drummers sings the vocals, and he also edited the footage from our Red Sea adventures. This is the theme song from the Red Sea Chronicles.
Sailing up the Red Sea is not for the faint of heart. From the Bab al Mandeb to the Suez Canal, adventures and adversity are in abundance. If you take things too seriously, you just might get the Red Sea Blues.
If you like drum beats, and you like adventure, then have a listen to the Red Sea Chronicles Trailer.
Flying fish assault Exit Only in the middle of the night as we sail through the Arabian Gulf from the Maldives to Oman. And so begins our Red Sea adventures.
Sailing through Pirate Alley between Yemen and Somalia involves calculated risk. It may not be Russian Roulette, but it is a bit of a worry. Follow Team Maxing Out as they navigate through Pirate Alley.
Stopping in Yemen was just what the doctor ordered. We refueled, repaired our alternator, and we made friends with our gracious Yemeni hosts. We also went to Baskins Robbins as a reward for surviving Pirate Alley.
After you survive Pirate Alley, you must sail through the Gate of Sorrows (Bab Al Mandab) at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The Gate of Sorrows lived up to its name with fifty knots of wind and a sandstorm that pummeled Exit Only for two days. Life is good.
Captain Dave and his family spent eleven years sailing around the world on their Privilege 39 catamaran, Exit Only. During the trip, the crew shot 200 hours of video with professional cameras to show people what it's like to sail on a small boat around the world.
The Red Sea Chronicles is a one hour and twenty-two minute feature film showing their adventures as Exit Only sails through Pirate Alley in the Gulf of Aden and up the Red Sea. The professional footage documents their experiences in Oman, Yemen, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt, and the Suez Canal. It chronicles the rigors of traveling in a remote section of the world rarely visited by cruisers. Exit Only dodges Yemeni pirates, fights a gale and sand storms in the Bab al Mandeb at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The crew explores deserted islands on the western shores of the Red Sea, and learns to check the cruising guides for land mines before venturing ashore.
The Red Sea Chronicles also has outstanding Special Features including an Instructional Video on Storm Management that tells sailors how to deal with storms at sea.
The Red Sea Chronicles is a first class adventure that stokes the sailing dreams of both experienced and wannabe sailors alike.
Join Team Maxingout as they sail through Pirate Alley and up the Red Sea
See what it's like to cruise on a catamaran before you spend a bazillion dollars purchasing one
After watching the Red Sea Chronicles you will be able to see yourself sailing on the ocean of your dreams
Although I like the feel of a paper book in my hand, I love trees even more. When people purchase an eBook, they actually save trees and save money as well. Ebooks are less expensive and have no negative impact on the environment. All of Dr. Dave's books are available at Save A Tree Bookstore. Visit the bookstore today and start putting good things into your mind. It's easy to fill your mind with positive things using eBooks. No matter where you are or what you are doing, you can pull out your smart phone or tablet and start reading. You can even use electronic highlighters and make annotations in your eBooks just like paper books.