The art of proper anchoring

There definitely is an art to anchoring around the British Columbia coast as it can become very dangerous if not done properly.  As an example, when we slipped our mooring buoy to leave Nanaimo and crossed over to go to Gibson’s Landing we were at low tide and noticed that a catamaran anchored near us did not take into account for the very low tide in the morning and their proximity to the shoreline.  They ended up on some rocks near the shores of Newcastle Island.  Unfortunately, it looked like no one was there and not much could be done until the tide came back in.

Catamaran on the rocks, Nanaimo

Catamarin on the rocks

Catamaran not taking into account low-low tide!

Catamaran not taking into account low-low tide!

Once we crossed over to Gibsons, we discovered that tide ranges are much more extreme (15 feet range versus the 6 feet range we saw in the Gulf Islands) and we had to be very careful with the amount of scope that we let out.  Usually, we aim for 4:1 scope but we discovered while anchoring in Gibsons that this number did not work very well when the tide dropped 15 feet and the boats swung in all different directions when there was no wind.  The first night our boat ended up 10 feet away from another due to the crazy movement of all the boats and we had a nice discussion with the owner of the boat while trying to figure out if we should bring in some of our anchor rode or not.  The next morning, the same boat was almost hit by another boat as the two boats swung very close to each other.  Though we pretty much anchored by the book (150 feet), other boats, mainly power boaters, were putting out as little as 30-50 feet of anchor rode and did not take into account for the swing.  It was quite a nerve-racking two nights in Gibsons and both Rob and I did not sleep very well, checking the anchor and boat every few hours and then being rocked around by strong winds coming down Howe Sound.  Sophia eventually slept on one of the settee berths as she felt she was going to fall out of the v-berth with the amount of rocking that occurred.

Boaters too close

Boaters too close for comfort!

We have learned that our anchoring technique learned in the Gulf Islands would not work here in the Sunshine Coast.  We cannot anchor as close to other boats as we did in the Gulf Islands and we have to either to bring in or let out the anchor rode depending on the tide predicted for the day/night.  Our next challenge will be to learn how to stern-tie with Blue Tale.~Sophia & Rob

Early morning currents and boats too close

Early morning currents and boats too close

 

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