Back when we bought Elektra in Nov 2016, she came with a CQR anchor and she needed new anchor chain. In Cobbs Quay yard was an excellant chanderlers, I was always down there getting bits as I needed them. The CQR, I was going to change, I had always liked the Bruce anchor because I had seen for myself how well they dug in, out in Scilly during 2 gales back in 2013. At the chandlers they had a anchor chart for finding out which size was needed, it suggested 8kg for our Sadler 29, the chanderlers had a shop soiled 7.5kg genuin Bruce round the back still with lables stuck on it, I said I will have it, in the end the CQR went in the yard skip!
40m of 8mm chain bought from a Plymouth based online chanderlers was delivered on a pallet to Elektra,s bow in Cobbs Quay, Poole for £180. After spending 176 nights at anchor during the last 5.5 seasons this chain had gone quite rusty which tends to make the deck rusty when in use and I thought a new chain would be a good idea.
So a trip to the chanderlers in Falmouth on Friday was planed, being holiday season I set of early before the visitors get on the roads, arriving down in Falmouth at 0845 after 16 mile drive which normally takes 40mins. First I wanted to replace my flare pack, putting my old flare pack down on the counter, I was told we don’t take them. I asked if they sell them, yes they said, I said I am not buying another pack unless you take the old ones. So the old ones went back in the pick-up and back aboard over the weekend. I asked did they have 40m of 8mm chain, they didn’t know and would have to check, it turned out they did. So I came away with the chain after loading hand over hand into the pick-up at the cost of £238. I tried another chanderler for the flares but he hadn’t renewed his storage licence because of the Covid lockdowns.
So homeward bound, left Falmouth at 0915, turned off the main Helston Falmouth road to cut though to Gweek down narrow lanes only to get jammed up! Narrow lanes only work if not too many cars and folk know how to reverse! Visitors don’t go back, we did get though in the end but, it was long time after leaving Falmouth that I got back home, 16 miles in 1.5hrs.
The next day I had a few jobs plan aboard Elektra, we wanted to move her out of Carne Creek around HW, being neap tides she would only just float. About half an hour before HW I started her engine, dropped the bow mooring and pulled her back on the stern mooring and dropped that too, put the engine in reverse to port to swing her bow to starboard to face the channel. With “0” showing under the keel on the sounder, it’s nice to see “0.2m” appear as we turn to port over the channel. Being in very shallow water tends to be where the paddle boarders and kayakers are, and they don’t tend to know where the channel is and are suprised to see a large yacht coming in their direction! Inside the narrows over the channel the depth under the keel never was more than “0.5m”, only going though the narrows did 1.2m show. We motored around to Flushing Cove and dropped anchor in shelter to do some jobs.
The anchor chain had a story of it’s own! I didn’t really think how much I would have to handle the chain to do on the water. The day before I had loaded into the pick-up hand over hand, I thought a wheel barrow would be useful to move the chain on the beach. So hand over hand from the pick-up to the wheel barrow, hand over hand from barrow into dinghy. Hand over hand on to Elektra’s foredeck, we were anchored at the time (chain made fast) so the old chain had to come out of the anchor locker on to the deck also. Then I could undo the shackle between the anchor warp and old chain and connect to the new chain, then the new chain hand over hand into the locker! Then we moved Elektra back on to her swing mooring before undoing the anchor from the old chain and connecting the new chain, you would think job done, you would be wrong! Then the old chain hand over hand into dinghy, hand over hand into barrow back on beach, hand over hand into the pick-up, hand over hand into barrow at home and finally hand over hand into shed at home, who needs a Gym membership?? Lol
I didn’t tell you about what had happened before the chain. We had anchored in Flushing Cove to get shelter from the strong SW winds. The furling gear had jammed the last time we were out and needed sorting out. We had a problem with halyard wrap and I had read in the book of notes that the top swivel berring needed to be at the top of the gear to avoid halyard wrap. The problem I had was I couldn’t unfurl the sail and I couldn’t pull the halyard up more until unfurled. Which meant I had to take off the genoa sheets and unfurl by hand around the forestay! Well we thought it would be sheltered there, didn’t seem so sheltered when I had a 330sq ft sail flapping around my head! The anchor was holding well, the chain was almost horizontal most of the time until I could furl it in a little! It took a bit of doing but we have it working again.
I was a bit sleepy that evening.