Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Eld Inlet: Anchoring in the Wrong Spot

On 15 Aug 2012 Wednesday

I was exploring Eld Inlet and stopped to take a look at Frye County Park. The tide was flooding and I noticed a small lagoon behind a land spit. This looked like a nice place to stop for a while and grab a bite to eat. I dropped my stern anchor and it set easily in mud. I had a nice time exploring and then left to explore the rest of the inlet.

This boat looks like it is sinking and is anchored in an area of Eld with several boats high and dry on the shoreline.

I enjoyed the ride into areas that are normally dry with this flooding tide. I see lots of jelly fish, of all types and thousands of them in waves and currents of them. I see a float with a different species of seals on them. They were much larger than the harbor seals and had thick, dark brown fur. They were much smaller than sea lions.

I return to Frye Park and anchor in a slightly different spot to get out of the afternoon sun. I had a funny feeling about how the anchor set and in close examination of the chart I notice for the first time it says,
" submerged obstacles." Well, I don't like this and take a look at the morning tides and see there will be a  minus tide so if I am caught on something, perhaps I can be in shallow enough water to salvage my anchoring gear.

The next morning I discovered I was in trouble. I had brought the anchor line in so that it was vertical. After cleating it, I put Shatoosh in forward and it wouldn't budge, but then it slipped some. I went forward to pull up the slack some and again found it caught firmly on something.  On trying to go forward with the engine again I could hear metal against metal. I did not like that sound, but continued to move at many different angles in forward and reverse and changing the tension and slack. Then for no special reason or event I was free. It was a miracle.

Lesson learned: pay close attention to the chart when anchoring.
Another thing: Because I waited until low tide, I was in 10 feet of water and would have been able to unshackle my anchor chain from my  line and attach a buoy to it. Down the way a bit were lots of divers on boats harvesting sea life. I could have gotten one of them to dive for my anchor. This would have been a nice back up plan.