Dragging anchor

Friday, February 13th, 2009 at 16:40 | by Alistair Baillie

Time for another update, training wise not much has really happened since the last entry, my family and some friends were onboard during the last cruise which was fun but slightly tiring.

Since the last entry we dragged anchor twice, the first was at Dominica where due to the large number of cruise ships (six of them), we and the Eurodam were at anchor and tendering ashore to a very annoying pier. I say annoying because it was square with a small entrance at one of the corners and we had to drive the tenders into the middle, turn them around then come alongside. Leaving was a bit more challenging as you had to get off the berth, back as far over to the other side as possible and then make a run at the entrance to get clear before the current sent you crashing into the side. The advantage of being on the inside was there was no swell, however Eurodam were having a much easier time on the outside edge of the square. Anyway, during the 1200 – 1600 watch which I was on, we observed that we had moved around 2 cables out of the bay. This wasn’t a major concern as it was all safe water and no traffic around. About 1600 a squal hit us and the wind speed increased pretty much instantly to 50 kts and then died down again as the squall past. While re-checking the position during the handover it became pretty obvious that we were dragging anchor (Eurodam was sailing past our windows and we were doing 2 kts out of the bay), the captain had already appeared on the bridge when the squall hit and opted to wait a few minutes to see if the anchor would regain its hold. This unfortunately did not happen and 10 minutes later we had one of the son engines started and clutched in to begin maneuvering back towards our original position.

As we were due to sail at 1730 and it was now 1640 the captain decided to just use the engine to hold position while the last passengers came back onboard and we sailed from Dominica an hour later with no problems.

The next cruise was a bit rough due to strong winds from the north, we had to cancel our port of call in Grand Cayman as the port authority closed the port due to the weather, meaning we proceeded directly to Isla Catalina and added in an extra stop in Antigua later in the cruise.

We got to Isla Catalina where we were experiencing a moderate swell and gusts of winds and began tendering there. Mid morning the ship dragged anchor so it was retrieved, repositioned and dropped again, however throughout the 1200 – 1600 watch she continued to slowly drag anchor, however as it was in a safe direction the captain took the decision to leave her dragging slowly rather than attempting to re-anchor again.

We also stopped off at Sint Maarten where I went to a beach which is directly at the end of the main airport runway, it was a lot of fun, but a 747’s engines blow a lot of sand very fast, and its very painful when it hits you! But I did get some good videos and photo’s which will be on Facebook when I get home in around 4 weeks.

Be the first to comment
Your email address will be kept private!
The views and opinions posted are those of myself and not necessarily the views shared by my employer(s) or other related parties. This site allows visitors to post comments, these are the views or opinions of the original poster and may not be shared by myself.