1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: Time to Play Catch-up....

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Time to Play Catch-up....

This post, let's catch up on a few things that I've written about in the past that have been left hanging.
First - the Pardey's book - if you haven't yet bought it (and why not, it's a great read!), help out the author by purchasing it from his website (really cheap sailors can read excerpts there), at 'As Long As It's Fun', where his profit is maximized. Amazon will survive the hit, promise! Herb will appreciate it. You're welcome Herb!
For all of those who requested the free PDFs on Surviving the Storm and Mariner's Weather Handbook, both by the Dashews, they're on their way - there were some download problems but they seem to be ok now. Most of you have the first instalment by now, or should. If they aren't in your inbox by Friday, email me please and we'll figure out what's gone wrong.
Next, my new anchor. After dragging one evening recently at 2 am, and after hearing friends Bill and Paul bragging about their Mantus anchors,
I decided I needed to look into the new generation anchors. It was well after 2 am when I got resettled and back online with Dave Skolnick, past president of Seven Seas Cruising Association (you need to join, go here: SSCA. Or at least join their Facebook page if it's too soon to join the group itself. Tell them I sent you, and ignore the groans!).
Dave filled me in on the new generation anchors and suggested some brands I could look at. I researched online and that, along with my friends' recommendations, settled the issue for me. I contacted Mantus the following day. My anchor arrived at the fedex drop a few days later, and let me tell you, carrying a 35 pound anchor two miles on the back of a folding bike is a chore.
The anchor requires some assembly, which as you can see from the video at the bottom of this post is very easy. Then it was just a matter of removing the old CQR and putting on the new Mantus.
Ok, maybe it doesn't REALLY look like this
but it sure feels like it does!
Now I have to be honest here - I'm used to a traditional anchor on the bow. My first thought on looking at this anchor was that it looked like a set of bull's horns on the hood of a Cadillac.
Kinda cool, but not quite right.
So, Tuesday evening, another front was coming through. I had anchored for the first time with this anchor the night previously and I had been impressed with the 'feel' of the anchor digging in.
Assembled and ready to attach to the rode...
The CQR when anchoring always felt a bit 'mushy' as it set, unless you were in sand such as in the Bahamas. The Mantus, even falling back slowly with just the wind had a very different feel - it dug in quickly. The difference was apparent, and when I backed down, there was no slippage, something I was used to experiencing with the CQR before it set hard. Looking to my side, it was quite apparent that the anchor was set and the boat not moving, even while backing down at half throttle.
In this anchorage, the CQR took a very tender hand on the throttle while backing down to get this strong a set. I was impressed, but the best was yet to come...
Tuesday, around 4 pm, the winds started backing as the front arrived, and a half dozen sailors popped into their cockpits to nervously watch and to be sure they were well anchored - and that everyone around them was too!
Within just a few minutes, the winds had swung from SSW to NW, a full 90° and more. I stood at the bow, observing the rode, looking around as the winds picked up to about 15 - 20 knots, some stronger gusts. Holding just fine.
Then, all hell broke loose. First one boat, then a second, started to drag. The power cat behind me was inching back towards the seawall, less then 20 feet behind him. One couple in a dinghy raced out to their older, and new to them Beneteau 39, catching it just as it ran into the mangroves. No damage, other than to their pride. Ouch.
Then a Morgan OI 41 that had earlier anchored well upwind started dragging. The crew started the engine and raised the anchor to reset it. The transmission chose that moment to blow apart, and suddenly, they were racing at over 5 knots, pushed by the wind towards the seawall. I turned my head, I couldn't bear to watch. This was going to be very, very bad, but I forced myself to look.
This guy should be buying lottery tickets. He lucked out, totally completely lucked out. Someone threw a guy on the seawall the stern line and he knew enough to rapidly cleat it and use the cleat to slow the boat down. What were the chances of that? Not a scratch...not even a thump into the wall. Just a very dramatic docking by a competent, and lucky, captain.
Back at the mangroves, the Beneteau was now motoring away from the scene of their problems to tie up at the seawall. The power cat got clear of the boat in front and moved off to reanchor upwind. Life in No Name Harbour was returning to normal.
And Gypsy Wind? I stood there on the foredeck taking video and photos of all the drama, although sadly I was too late bringing up the video camera to catch the OI 'docking' drama. In the middle of all this carnage, my boat didn't budge an inch.
Did I mention that I really, really like my new Mantus anchor?