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Our two bow anchors…a 75# CQR secondary on the port side, a 110# Bruce main on the starboard side.

We’ve been in Biloxi, Mississippi for a month now and, overall, it’s been an enjoyable stay, boat repairs excepted. Regarding the repairs, they have all been made. We are going to replace our roller furler, dinghy, and main sheet lines but that’s strictly maintenance. We will measure these lines here at the marina and then order them online so that they will be shipped to our home in League City. We will pick them up there and bring them back with us. We’ll leave for the seven hour ride back to Texas next Monday, 21st…returning shortly after the first of the year.

I personally have mixed feeling about returning to Texas. On the one hand, it will be nice to see Sarah and family…on the other hand, we still have a ways to go to get to the Keys and on down into the Caribbean and the memory of our Friday 13th adventure back in November is still pretty fresh.

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This shot shows both of our anchors tied back to a bow cleat to prevent jumping their guides.  The 110# Bruce main anchor on the right is also secured with a chain lock.  Anchors should never be dependent on the windless to keep them on board.

A week or so ago a boat from the next dock over from where we berthed at Seabrook Marina (K dock) completed what they refer to as a “Gulf crossing…” in weather similar to what we experienced back in November. We wouldn’t call motor sailing from Kemah, to Galveston, to Venice/Buras, and on to Destin, Florida as a “Gulf crossing…” but coastal sailing, none-the-less, they do. Regardless, it seems pretty evident they got caught in similar weather as we did. According to their post on Facebook, their anchor jumped out of its guides and rode on the outside of their boat for a spell. Long enough to do fairly significant damage to their cap rail and a stanchion, as well as banging up the front starboard hull enough to go through the fiberglass and into the core. Not good.

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Our chain lock for our 110# Bruce anchor, designed to keep the main anchor chain rode from playing out should the windless fail.  Notice this anchor is also tied off with line and cleated. 

Captain and I had quite a discussion regarding our two main anchors on the front of our yacht prior to departure. Conventional wisdom is to remove the anchors completely when on an offshore passage. Husband insisted on not only not removing our main anchor, but adding our secondary anchor to its bow guides as well. We have three anchors on board. I wasn’t happy with this arrangement but, back to conventional wisdom, if one doesn’t remove the anchors prior to a passage it is more than a little important to make damn sure the anchors are securely tied down to prohibit such a catastrophe as happened to the couple above.

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Anchors are a big, big thing.

Our two main anchors weigh 75 and 110 pounds respectively, should they jump their anchor guides while underway in huge seas they just have to set there and bang up the boat. One doesn’t go to the bow of their boat and manhandle those kinds of weights in large confused seas. Research is showing more and more that falling off of one’s boat, even if tethered and still attached to it, will as likely as not result in one’s death before crew can get them back on the boat if seas are heavy.

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