Fouled anchor

The wreck with Aquarella anchored in the bay 
Today I motorsailed a few miles across to the western end of Limenos Poghonos where there is an old shipwreck I thought would be a good subject to paint. The weather was calm and I anchored about a hundred meters from the wreck. Taking the dinghy over to get a closer look I photographed the picturesque wreck from different angles. After a swim, lunch, a rest and another swim the wind started getting up so I decided it was time to leave. The other boats that were anchored here had already left. Although I like the peace and quiet of a secluded place I felt rather insecure. If anything happened I would be quite alone and left to my own resources.
Something did happen.
While taking the 30 meters of chain up I heard a scraping noise and noticed the windlass was using more effort than usual. I thought at first it was the gusts of wind causing the trouble. The windlass then moaned and jolted to a full stop as the anchor broke the surface. A thick rusty cable was hooked onto it.
Fortunately I had a so called trip hook on board which I bought last year thinking it might come in handy. 
The trip hook

This would be the first time I would put it to use. With a line from both ends the idea is to attach each end to the boat, then sink the hook down under the chain or whatever you've fished up. When I did that I pulled it up as tight as I could and then let my anchor down a little so it was freed. Then it was only a matter of using the other trip line to unhook the hook.
Wow, it worked ! I was afraid I would have to wait until tomorrow to get help from other boats.
My next problem was getting back to my mooring buoy and picking it up in the gusty wind. I thought I would try a few times and if I didn't succeed in stopping 6 tons of boat without pulling my arms off, I would go to a nearby anchorage and stay there the night or until the wind died down. On arrival I went up in the wind and got so near the buoy I couldn't see it anymore in front of the bow. With the engine in neutral I dashed forward grabbing the boathook on the way. Leaning over as far as I could get, I managed to reach the the buoy's lines, hook them up on deck and thread my mooring lines through the buoys ropes before the boat started shying away in the next gust.
My "buoy" consists of a canister and a fender with lines attach to a thick rope.
The rope goes down to a chain on the sea bed, connected to two oil drums filled with cement.

My most successful manoeuvre and nobody saw it!
I can't even brag about my  achievement of picking up a buoy (pronounced boy in british english) without people thinking I'm promiscuous...  


  1. Wow Elizabeth, you're such a role model! Thanks for sharing, it made me grow too.

  2. It never fails that our perfectly executed sailing moments go unwitnessed, yet there are always plenty of spectators when something goes wrong!

  3. Elizabeth, stumbled across your blog today. Very fascinating and inspirational. I look forward to reading more.