We caught ourselves a BOAT! - March 18, 2020

Woke up and did a workout (Dirk rowed and I did bow exercises and then rowed) and got ready to leave Long Bay to come back to Red Hook to do a few more errands. We were raising the anchor and all of a sudden, the chain went tight and would not budge. Dirk put on SCUBA gear and hopped in the water to find our anchor completely lodged underneath the hull of a sunken 40’ monohull and the chain firmly wrapped around its bow. Since he had a visual on where the chain was lying, Dirk directed me where to drive the boat to try to unwrap the chain from its berth under the bow of the boat and then try to raise the anchor. Of course there was another catamaran right off the starboard side of Catatonic that I had to make sure to avoid during this procedure and I didn’t have a visual on Dirk at times and I certainly didn’t want to run over him or prop him if he was trying to board the boat, so that was a little bit tense. After all of that, we were unable to raise the anchor.

Once we started driving the boat around and pulling more and more on the chain, we created a silt out condition on the bottom, so Dirk could no longer see the anchor or chain or how it was lying at this point, so we weren’t sure the direction that we needed to move the boat in order to keep attempting to get free. We would have to wait several hours for the silt to clear if we needed to get another visual on the anchor and chain. Dirk swam back and boarded Catatonic.

We were getting concerned that we may not be able to get the anchor up at this time or possibly at all since it was not just hooked on, but COMPLETELY UNDER the 40’ mono, but I said a quick prayer or three and we kept trying. This time, we tied the anchor off to the cleat on the bow in order to take the load off of the windlass (the large winch for raising the anchor) as we do not want to burn its motor out, or we will be having to drop and raise the anchor by hand which is NOT something that we want to have to do.

Now, with Catatonic’s anchor tied off to the boat, Dirk did some serious pulling and tugging with the boat’s engines, and finally the anchor started rising to the surface! But there was still load on it and the windlass was straining again. When the anchor got about 8’ from the surface I could see that it was completely fouled in a huge tangle of ropes and lines and that we needed to free ourselves from that web before we could raise the anchor. So with the boat pole, I started to undo the string puzzle and got most of the tangle untied when a sailor from a small monohull zipped over in his dinghy and helped me remove the smaller lines with the aid of a very sharp knife. He quickly sliced the remaining lines away and we were off. Whew, that was a little bit of a nail biter!

When we finally got to Red Hook, we picked up our propane cylinder, made one more stop at Moe’s, went to the office and made a quick stop at the bank. All was business as usual except that the bank was allowing only a few people inside at the time. They had designated areas for people to stand while waiting on line. They disinfected the countertops between customer transactions.

We stayed on our mooring ball at Red Hook for the night and had a burger from Tap and Still for dinner.It was delicious but they forgot the fries, which as anyone who has been to Tap and Still knows, was a serious bummer.


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