01 July 2009


There are all kinds of places you are going to want to anchor, or will have to anchor, even if not a first choice. The above photo is an example; a beautiful setting, but presenting challenges, typical of many anchorages in Turkey that were desirable, but ever so tight. We used the usual technique, drop your anchor in what is usually fairly deep water, judging the spot, (we used the radar to get some idea of distance) that will allow you to have adequate scope for the depth, but you know you won't run out of anchor chain before you reach the shore, dig the anchor in, then continue backwards until you know your stern line will reach the shore, keep the engine in gear so the weight of the chain won't pull you forward, while your mate leaps into the dinghy, and you feed the line kept stored and tied securely in the back of the boat- and hope it is floating line to be doubly sure it won't get into the prop, and rows or motors, or even swims the line to shore, ( and pity the woman who is given a chain to swim ashore, but that has been done), secures the line to a tree, a bollard built for the purpose, or around a large rock. Once this is done, the motor is taken out of gear, and the anchor chain is tightened, or loosened, to a proper tension. If you are in one of those favorite places where everyone wants to be, and the boats get a little close, you may want to take two stern lines into shore, to limit swing sideways. Sounds complicated, but done a few times, it becomes routine, plus, if you are very lucky, another kindly boater may help get the lines ashore. This isn't always good. We got our floating line after an eager helper leaped aboard and tossed all of our former line, non floating, into the water, not realizing we were in gear. It was immediately sucked into the prop. After that we had a spliced, non floating line, for the secondary, and a new heavy duty floating line, which is also better if you have to tow someone. Other nice things to have, especially if you are going to the Med and want to take advantage of all the great anchoring possibilities,is a very good, very heavy anchor, lots of chain, up to 400 feet, since we many times anchored in 100 feet and 40 to 60 feet was routine, and what I can only call an anchor line grabber. This is a heavy duty, approximately 8 inch flat C shaped piece of metal, with a hole at the top end, to attach a shackle with line to hold the other guys anchor line when you have accidentally picked it up, and another hole half way down the C to attach another line for a trip line. When you pull up someone else's anchor line while pulling up yours, you use this to grab his line, keep it off yours, until you are housed, and then use the trip line to drop his line. It is not an every day occurrence, not even an every year one, but when it happens, you are going to be so happy you have it. Also, if you are a tree hugger, and want to protect the trees, get a heavy duty piece of canvas with cringles sewn into both ends, put the canvas around the tree, and tie your line into the cringles. You can buy this at places that sell trail riding equipment for horse camping. Turkey is aware of the damage done by the boats, and is working very hard to put rings and posts along the shores of the popular anchorages. But you can do your part too. It is a great system where there is almost no tide, no current, and consistent wind in protected anchorages. Our preference was always to swing on our hook, if possible, which is why we had the 400 feet of chain.