FINALLY, some internet.
As noted in the previous dispatch, we are now in Grenada, on the island of Carriacou. We stopped in Hillsborough for the first night, which was fine, but then the winds have become highly variable (15 gusting 35) and periodic squalls come through day and night. Add to that the fact that the bottom of Hillsborough Bay provides some of the worst holding we’ve experienced. The seabed consists of mostly weed, with small patches of sand, and the whole area is covered in small rocks, lumps of coral and detritus.
This led to us dragging our anchor during a squall while we were off the boat exploring the island. Fortunately, two other boats also dragged which alerted their crew, Per and Monica, from Stockholm, aboard Abilene. Per drove over to Picaroon and reset the anchor–I think by diving on it, though we are a bit fuzzy on how. We were just sitting down to eat lunch on the beach when we saw his dinghy tied to our boat, so we raced back. We had dragged about 300 feet. Per said their was a large lump of coral stuck in the Bruce anchor, which I can well believe because the next three times we tried to re-anchor it picked up some chunk of rubble. In the end, we decided that despite being tired, the best thing to do was up and move to Tyrrell Bay, where the holding is better.
Couple of notes on this for anyone who is interested:
1) This is only the second time we’ve dragged in 3500 miles of voyaging. We always put out at least 5:1 scope (including the height from the water to the bowsprit), and back down hard until we stop going backwards. So no lectures on how to properly anchor, please.
2) We usually dive on the anchor, where the water is clear. We did not this time, which reinforces the benefit of doing so.
3) The Bruce anchor has been excellent for everything so far, but this highlights a major weakness in the design: In holding with loose boulders or coral, the Bruce will pick up anything large enough and will not dig in at all. We are planning on switching to the old CQR to try that for a while.
4) Backing down, even pretty hard, on your anchor is not as much force as 40 knots of wind.
Sorry about the not-so-fantiastic image quality. That’s a still from the video camera, which is the only way we have of taking pics right now.