I was all ready to leave at 05:30, then I tried to raise the anchor and couldn't. After motoring round the anchor I finally broke it out but then the windlass had problems lifting it, with a bit of help I got it close to the surface and saw the trouble - another anchor, that is not uncommon in a crowded anchorage and is usually relatively straight forward to sort out but I was the only boat in the anchorage and it became clear that this anchor was not your standard modern yacht anchor coming from a much heavier vessel.
Initially I could not get either anchor above water but I got a line round it and used the Handy Billy (a block and tackle with snap shackles at each end and a built in jammer) from the pulpit to hoist some of it within reach, this is what I saw:
|My 10 Kg / 22 Lb modern anchor with its chain
wrapped around an ancient "Fisherman" type anchor
probably weighing well north of 100 Lb., certainly
more than I could lift without the benefit of the
With the weight of the rogue anchor taken by the pulpit letting out chain allowed me to unwrap some chain and get my anchor on board and disconnected from the chain. I had hoped that without the anchor on I might be able to unwrap my chain by hanging over the bow and with deft use of the boat hook. Unfortunately I couldn't, it was too tightly wrapped on the anchor stock well under water,
I did consider getting into the water but even with the wet suit it would have been very cold work and I did not fancy being in the water next to a large anchor swinging around, drying out against the quay was a possibility but without knowing the state of the sea bed rather dodgy with a fin keeled boat - it could fall over or more likely forward or aft potentially damaging the rudder.
|The rogue anchor with as much chain removed as I
could manage, note the long cross pieces under water
with chain still wrapped around it.
So out came the hacksaw and I cut off about 15 meters (update: actually 18 metres) of my 50 metre anchor chain, I have 40 metres of nylon line attached which has never been used so I still have a working anchoring system with the windlass and in dire straights I have a couple of kedge anchors, including a 24 Lb CQR and 80 metres of very strong 14mm platted nylon.
With everything sorted as well as I was able, I motored away from the mooring and cut the rogue anchor free in deeper water where no one is likely to want to anchor.
Last year at Holy Island I anchored through a car tyre so its not the cleanest of anchorages.