After leaving Morehead City, we anchored at Mile Hammock Bay and had a good night’s sleep. From there we headed, Thanksgiving Day, to our known anchorage at Wrightsville Beach. Our fellow Gemini travelers continued to a state park marina at Snow’s Cut. In hindsight, that would have been a better option for us. But, a storm was on the way and so we stayed put at Wrightsville. What a next day. Wind was at 18 with high gusts expected. Yet the Sun was out.
I had become worried during wee hours of our Thursday night about whether the anchor rode to chain shackle was wire seized. Such is the plight of a captain…..
Friday morning, after two cups of coffee, I went on deck and winched in 20’ of rode and saw it properly seized. When letting out the rode, I almost got my left fingers between the cleat and rapidly tightening line. It could have been bad due to the force of wind and bouncing waves.
Later that morning, I called Deep Point Marina for river conditions. An inexperienced dude gave too large an estimate of wave height. So, we stayed put when we could have left the anchorage and made progress south. The other Gemini, OASIS, left Carolina Beach and had smooth uneventful travel on the Cape Fear. Staying put set us back two days due to a need for propane fill and logistics missed. The delay to Southport until Sunday would mean we couldn’t get propane until Monday and travel toward Myrtle Beach on Tuesday.
Oh well…….. But there became an anchor dragging issue.
Oh yes………when we had arrived Thursday and set anchor I was concerned about potential dragging. So I cautiously imbibed only slightly- as in, one beer that evening.
After having verified the following morning the rode shackle seizing to the chain (and inadvertently adding ten more feet of rode) I was confident enough to have three drinks before dinner that night! Life was good.
It would have been better to have left and made Southport. However, having been cautious about river conditions means we did not have terror on the Cape Fear. Two days extra in exchange for peace of mind is generally not a bad thing.
Day three at Wrightsville Beach- Since it was to be a rainy day, we slept and woke and slept some more- until 10am.
Winds were close to 20mph. Yacht A Fun had swung 90 degrees. Both of us questioned whether we had drug anchor earlier. So I used a couple of techniques for comparing our “swing position”. Using a piece of marked torn paper I measured the original drop position to boat location. Then compared that to the boat’s current chart plotter display. Thank goodness for the little tracks showing prior travel. The awakened chart plotter yielded valuable info.
What I learned- the visual noting of location (outstretched arms pointing outward toward fixed objects while looking straight ahead to another reference) works fine unless the boat has swung 90 degrees or more on a long rode.
Before 11AM I had thought, “It will be interesting to see how dug-in the anchor will be when retrieved tomorrow morning.”
However, by 1pm the winds had picked up enough to break our 35′ Delta out of the hard bottom. We began sliding thru mud. I couldn’t retrieve the anchor line to untie the two attached bridles- so I cut them. By doing so, I could increase the length of line and thereby the scope increased. Thankfully the anchor reattached to the bottom, and held! So, I added another pair of bridles.
Lot’s of boats began anchoring in Banks channel. And then, even more began anchoring near us. They had come for the Christmas Boat Parade. Due to our dragging and lengthened anchor rode, we were in the best position to see the parade. All the boats passed by us on their way to the Blockcade Runner dock judges.