Monday, July 16, 2012

Dragging Update

The "Ladybug Rescue Reserve" on board Astarte. From left to right - Deb from Buena Vista, Rani, Ann from Charisma, Barb from Astarte, Chris, Don from Buena Vista, and Bob from Charisma. Photo courtesy of Mike from Astarte.

I dived the anchor today now that the winds are down and found our drag pattern from the other day as well as the pattern from where we tried to reset the first time. The bottom type in this anchorage varies greatly. There is an area extending from the shore that is mixed fist sized and smaller coral chunks with sand. Just outside this is a nice area of fine sand that appears to be fairly deep. As this drops off, larger coral chunks appear, some of them a meter across. We were initially set on the edge of the mixed coral/sand and our drag pattern showed that we simply pulled free of this and our CQR plowed merrily along until it dropped into deeper water. A similar straight furrow was evidence of our first re-anchoring attempt. The anchor is now only partially set, having gathered a nice mound of loose coral to half cover it as we dragged it while resetting. I believe it is the weight of the chain and great scope (10 to 1) that has held us for the last two days. If I had put out more chain in the first place, we probably would not have dragged.

I swam over to look at some nearby boats, which is how I came to realize that the bottom varies so much. Astarte is swinging over clear sand and their anchor is buried nicely well inshore of them. The only way we could set this way would be to drop our hook just behind their transom, but even here, there are larger coral heads that need to be avoided. We will likely remain where we are because we intend to leave tomorrow and the forecasted winds are much lighter than the last few days.

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