Thursday, June 7, 2018

the cat and the anchor

Because of my recent experiences with anchoring, sailmaker Stuart of Dabbler Sails shared some of his and Dee's experiences with anchoring during many years of sailing.  From Stuart....


Over the long years Dee and I had various episodes relating to anchors. We always had a CQR plough and a fisherman. The plough was our all-‘rounder, the fisherman for tough grass and what the Bahamians call “bar bottom” – hard, encrusted, but with little pot-holes here and there. We never dragged ashore, but we did drag a few times. 
We once anchored in a lagoon-like place almost completely encircled by land  (Royal Island, Eluthera). Safe as sin. But while we were exploring ashore, we caught sight of Sea Wind ambling along toward the rocky shore in very light wind. We got back aboard in time, and when I lifted our plow, it was decorated with an empty queen conch shell stuck right on the point. The Bahamians never drop their shucked conch shells where they anchor, they carry them ashore and pile them up on the beach. That was one of the few times I didn’t dive overboard with mask and fins to swim down the anchor rode and inspect the anchor’s situation. Water was a little turbid, and we had seen a Hammerhead shark while coming through the narrow, shallow entrance.

And about that cat....


Here’s a photo of Sea Wind’s plough anchor, housed in a bronze roller on the short plank bowsprit. Miss Puss always waited for me there to come back from shore.

Miss Puss had a long happy life aboard Sea Wind, grew up there, but when only middle aged she was allowed ashore when we were docked in Ft. Lauderdale, and contracted feline leukemia – there was no vaccine back then.  She loved sailing in the little pram dinghy, which had a small bow deck. She would range back and forth on that, switching to the high side every time we tacked. If I caught a fish, she was on it the minute it was in the dinghy, but she had to wait until we were tied up alongside Sea Wind for me to clean it, and hand over her little piece of boneless filet. If I came back from diving with some kind of seafood, she had to jump down into the dinghy to oversee the knife work. Was extremely fond of raw Queen Conch.


And about the photograph, Stuart shot it with his old Leica, processed and printed in the 3x3 head of SEA WIND with the portlight blocked out.  (Next time I begin to think of myself as an adventurous photographer I will remind myself of Stuart souping and printing photographs in that tiny space on a boat - that will keep me properly in my place.)

Thank you for sharing, Stuart.    

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