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DATE: November 28, 2006
LOCATION: Sophers Hole, Tortolla

The 28th finds Parallax in Sophers hole, on the east end of Tortola. I have been single handed for the last three days and am still breaking things faster than I can fix them. I didn't like the workmanship on the repaired trampoline so I sent it back with Sam for another try. On the positive side Sam agreed that the workmanship was poor, and promised to personally do the re-stich. We will see. Meanwhile, it is very tough to work on the foredeck of Parallax, since mainly, without the trampolines in place there is no foredeck. I dance around from one side of the boat to the other picking up moorings and retrieving anchors, it would be very embarrassing to fall in, hope Sam has done a better job with the tramps this time.

The main anchor was bent in our time in Lee bay, the fluke caught under a rock and was bent beyond repair. On closer inspection it appeared that the anchor was a “knock off “ spade type anchor and the metal was just too thin. No way should it have bent, on the good side it was nice to discover that the anchor was substandard in benign conditions, not a thing you want to discover when your lying to the anchor in storm conditions a few feet away from a coral head. I hauled the spare CQR anchor out of storage, no easy thing as it is a beast of an anchor, and rigged it in place of the jettisoned spade.

I have no experience with CQRs. But I figured this brute would set anywhere, after all it was intended to be the storm anchor, the one you haul out when that storm with your name on it is just over the horizon. I can't make the damn thing set. I use short scope, long scope, drift down, back down, fast, slow, it doest matter. I drug that thing around for the best part of an hour in three different anchorages, might as well have been flying a kite. I am no stranger to anchoring and have used spades, Danforths, Bruces, in al sorts of conditions all over the Chesapeake and the islands. They all have their quirks and bottom conditions where they excel, but they all can be made to set at some point and with the proper technique. But I cant make the CQR work I hauled the brute back on deck lubricated the pivot point, put a larger shackle on in case the other was binding and even got my high-speed grinder out and made the pointy end pointed (noticed it was a bit dull) but I don't really think any of these fixes are significant.

I will try one more time with the CQR, if it doesn't work this time Ill haul out my aluminum Fortress Danforth. Since I can't anchor I have to stay at a marina or pick up a mooring. Picking up a mooring single-handed is not particularly easy but I do it all the time. But single handed, without a foredeck to work on and blowing 30 to boot, as it was last night complicates the deal. There were a gazzilion boats on moorings and I picked up one of the few available right in the middle of the pack. Working the throttles from the side deck I came up on the mooring straddled it and went over it about ten feet, tiptoed out to the foredeck and caught it as we drifted back in the blow, no problem. Crews from the other boats applauded. Wonder what they would think if they knew I couldn't set the freaking CQR.

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