Re: Re: OH! OH! OH!

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Posted by Brad on December 12, 2009 at 15:06:28:

In Reply to: Re: OH! OH! OH! posted by seahunt on December 12, 2009 at 11:57:39:

Hello Mike! long time, hope you and yours have been well~!

I was out at Nic for 3 nights a couple weeks ago and the vis was great, 58' in the water. I left late in the morning on a Thursday, (How presumptious of me!) nice run out. I spent the first night in Dutch. Friday morning i went out to the Boilers and there was a current and it was a bit too surgy to leave the skiff so i went to Begg Rock to check it out. There was an unruly swell and a current so i slept (n) in the sun for a couple hours as i drifted away from the rock. That afternoon i was back in Dutch and i swam all over that reef that i call Treehouse (named after my favorite rockfish specie:). I actually have a photo of 4 mature treefish in one frame--No big deal maybe, but for me that place is absolutely amazing. I once saw a swell shark wedge himself between two rocks so he could take a nap without the surge knocking him around :)

Sometime early sat morning my anchor gently lifted off the bottom and the wind coming over the island took me about a mile offshore before the swells woke me up. By then the moon had gone below the horizon and the night was pitch. I stowed the gear and made my way back to Dutch to re-anchor, but i did a very bad job of it, evidently. The next morning was beautiful and i stayed put all afternoon--swam all over that reef! later in the afternoon there was a small craft advisory for that night thru the next day. So late that afternoon i decided to move down the island because where i was anchored, i was directly exposed to the wind and seas. When i went to pull the anchor, it was a NO-GO! I was in 45ft of water and i worked it from the skiff until just before the sunset. Something was very wrong, so i put the wetsuit back on and swam down thru that dark canopy to see what the problem was. My anchor had fallen into a crevas and there was a 5' section of chain that stretched around a rock outcropping. That section of chain was wedged tight--no way! I tugged on it a few times, but it wouldn't budge...

I can't complain, in all of those nights anchored in sheer desolation, i had only lost one anchor and that was back in 1987. I was going home the next morning so i had no choice but stay put in the wind and seas for the night. It was 15-20kt wind and 4-5ft seas until about 4AM when the wind shifted and mercifully, gave me a small lee by sun up. It is not a pleasent night knowing that you are going to have to cut your anchor rode in the morning. I would much rather be without a compass than an anchor...

The next morning i packed my gear, warmed up the engine, fastened the velcro around the wrist and ankles. I went to the bow and gave it one last Hail Mary effort. Then, with a primal scream i cut the rode, bumped the engine in gear and thankfully, cleared the east end of the island...

I now have 20ft@5/16BB of brand spanking new SST chain and a new Navy style anchor. Back on top! Stainless chain is kelp friendly--it slides right through the kelp while galvanized chain grips the kelp, damaging it.

The islands can sure use this rain, they are parched!

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