Sunday, February 1, 2015

First night at anchor

We left Sidney North Saanich’s reciprocal dock this morning and tonight we’re the only boat anchored in Pirate’s Cove, directly south of Gabriola Pass.  This isn’t our favourite anchorage – the holding kind of sucks.  But its a really convenient jumping off spot to get through the slack at Dodd Narrows. 

The bottom here is mud but it must not be very deep.  The shoreline is relatively steep rock and the bay is pretty narrow and shallow so I think what happens is that the rocky bottom doesn’t really have enough of a mud cover to get a decent set.  In the past I’ve pulled hard against the anchor and always ended up dragging it.  So tonight we dropped about 200 feet of chain and pulled for a long time (maybe 5 minutes) with both engines idling.  That’s not a great way to set an anchor but its really sheltered in here and with that much chain out in about 15 feet of water we’ll probably never so much as lift all the chain, let alone pull against the anchor. 

My new bow roller bracket worked just fine for launching the anchor.  We used it to retrieve the anchor off the dock at Cow Bay but we haven’t done a full retrieve with it yet. 



The tilting bracket keeps the chain clear of the stock on the stainless CQR that we carry as a backup.  I used to mount a block of wood as protection for the stock so that the chain didn’t rub against it.  It looks like the remodelled bracket will keep the chain clear of the stock with no further need for wooden bits.  The acid test will be tomorrow morning when we retrieve the anchor.  My hope is that not only will it come back onboard unaided but that it will orient itself upright once it emerges on deck.  Based on our trial in Cow Bay I think it will – that was a complete accident – I had no expectation that it would work that way but if it does happen to work out it will be very convenient.




Despite the marginal holding, its still a wonderful spot and its so well sheltered that I have difficulty imagining how it could be a problem unless there was some serious wind blowing outside.  There’s next to no wind in the immediate forecast and, as the photos show, nothing in here tonight.

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