Akuna Bay Cruising Club

Bob (the wanchor!) lost his Anchor (by Bob Taylor)

Thursday 31 January, 2008

I recently took my son-in-law and future son-in-law fishing offshore. It was a beautiful day with a light nor'easterly breeze and about one metre of swell.

We initially trolled at the Fish Attracting Device (FAD) which is about 9 nautical miles abeam of McMasters Beach and caught a couple of Dolphin fish of about 3kgs each.

Things quietened down so we headed for Long Reef where I initially set up a drift, but with a run out tide and freshening North Easterly I felt that we'd be safer at anchor.

So I set the anchor in a depth of about 15 metres due east of Long Reef,we fished for about an hour without success and decided to up anchor.

That's when the fun began! I tried everything I could think of including driving over,sideways and every which way but the anchor was well and truly stuck and after an hour I made the painful decision to let it go.

So with a tear in my eye and a pair of multi grips in hand the "D" shackle was undone and a stainless steel anchor and 60 metres of chain are now on the bottom.

While there are probably a number of lessons to be learnt from my expensive adventure, I don't think we did a whole lot wrong.

From speaking with a number of offshore fishing and boating mates however a couple basics stood out:

1) When anchoring on or near reefs or rocky bottoms use a (cheap )reef anchor with chain and rope attached.

2) Carry and use a device known as an "Anchor Wanker". This piece of equipment is available from Whitcoull's, it's small and together with a float or buffer assists in driving off a fouled anchor.

I still have heaps to learn about boating and I'm philosophical about the recent expensive lesson, as I believe that if you never get out and have a go you'll never learn much either, and life would be pretty boring.

Next time the boys want to go fishing though we'll be drifting or trolling!!

Bob Taylor
SezAm 11