British Columbia Desolation Sound

Prideaux Haven, Desolation Sound Marine Park

Saturday, September 01, 2012S.V. CAMBRIA

Kayaking in Prideaux Haven.

Here it is the first of September and it occurred to me that we still have two months left on the water before we have to tie up for the winter.  Normally I would say we only have two months left as I mourned the passing days of summer.  But not this year.  This year I’m tired, both mentally and physically, as is David.  The past four months have been a blur and we’re both reeling from the experience – everything from the two-week haulout in Nanaimo to our time along the Central Coast.  From start to finish it’s been stressful and we’re both tired: Tired of moving.  Tired of thinking.  And most of all, tired of planning.  At the same time, we want to hang out with Jeff and Karry so off we go. 

They left Prideaux Haven this morning to circumnavigate East Redonda Island (a polite way of saying “to dump their holding tank”) while we stuck around in the anchorage until three o’clock.  I went out in the kayak for an hour or so, but David has a pinch in his shoulder and wasn't feeling up to it – an injury most likely incurred during an impromptu race with me in the kayak and his innate inability to lose. 

The wind picked up and it was getting a little lumpy for an inflatable kayak, so I went back to the boat sooner than I’d expected … or wanted.  We always enjoy our time in Prideaux Haven and leaving can be a little sad, so it came as no surprise that both of our moods dropped when it was time to up-anchor and move on.  Of course, that could have also been because the windlass really struggled to finish the job with the added strain caused by the wind.  I’m sure we’ll both be a lot happier and more relaxed when the problem has been resolved, even if that means buying a new one.

We took our time travelling the four or five miles to Roscoe Bay and, by the time we arrived, Jeff and Karry were already anchored … but they had a “friend” rafted to them.  A boat had dragged anchor and came within inches of hitting Fantasy.  Fortunately, another boat nearby called out to alert them and Jeff managed to stave it off in time.  Once we were safely anchored, we went over for a couple of drinks and to learn what had happened. 

The crew was at the lake and completely unaware of their problem but probably should have been more concerned.  Apparently they had dragged earlier in the day and when they came back to claim their boat it was obvious why … a Danforth anchor and all rode (rope).  People on smaller boats swear by them, but to us in larger vessels they’re only purpose is as a stern anchor, if any at all.  They’re lightweight, coming in under 20 pounds, making hauling your anchor by hand possible.  But they’re not suitable for rocky anchorages, like so many are in this area.  That doesn’t mean he should have dragged.  Roscoe Bay has a mud bottom and Danforths perform well in these conditions, but you have to set them.  After watching them attempt to re-anchor a couple of times, it was his technique that was the cause of the problem.  He had out enough line for the depth of water (120 feet in about 20 to 25 feet of water – though we had out a similar amount of 3/8 inch chain with a 45 pound CQR) for the conditions (a 5 to 10 knot breeze).  But he simply laid the rode in the water without slowly backing up to dig the anchor into the mud … it and all of its 15 pounds of glory were just sitting on the bottom of the sea not doing much at all.  If we hear a bump in the night, at least we’ll know what it is. 

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