Confession and Corrections

February 6, 2011

First the confession. I didn’t set enough scope yesterday. I can blame that on the fact that our chain isn’t yet marked, but that would be another embarrassing admission ( and there it is). As a result of these two mistakes we drug anchor last night. To make matters worse, the direction of travel was towards the pier, the very pier that had been plaguing Victoria’s restless thoughts all night.
So it was that, at 3am, I found myself firing up the engine and raising the anchor. I did a circuit of the cove to reorient against the other vessels and came back surprisingly close to our original spot. This time I wasn’t shy with the chain. Vick and I sat out in the cockpit in the surprisingly warm early morning air and tried to get comfortable with my mistake and subsequent resolution. We returned to our berth and tossed and turned while the boat did the same. I didn’t fall back to sleep after until Ruby called me.

Now for the correction. I don’t think Paradise Cove is so aptly named after all. Sure, it was warm and the air was dry while the rest of the Bay was cool and damp. Sure the sunset was beautiful, and highway noise is blessedly absent. The problem with this anchorage is that it doesn’t have any protection from N through ESE. We had a mere 10-15 knots out of the north last night and the boat was rocking harder that it ever has at any anchorage or mooring. I might stay here again if the forecast predicts W winds, but otherwise i think I prefer the noisier but more protected Clipper Cove anchorage at treasure island.

Some have recommended China Camp, just north of the Richmond bridge. We will have to try that one some day that we can manage and earlier start.


  1. Comment by Sara Johnson

    Sara Johnson February 6, 2011 at 11:04 am

    When we meet up in September we’ll tell you the recent story about how we woke up one morning at anchor and asked the guy who’d anchored right next to us during the night to move. Then we noticed our GPS track….

    • Comment by admin

      admin February 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm

      Can’t wait to hear it 🙂

  2. Comment by Todd Huss

    Todd Huss April 24, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Hey Tucker, sounds like a rough night but good practice for Mexico! After our first year in Mexico and many sleepless nights I eventually got an external GPS antenna and GPS power cable so we could move our handheld GPS into our berth at night and set the drag alarm. Then whenever I woke up I could just look over at the screen and see our swinging pattern and immediately tell if we’d drug anchor. However, if we had someone else anchored in front of us we’d still do anchor watches to make sure the boat in front of us didn’t drag down onto us.

    When you get to Mexico in December there will still be a lot of northers (if you go up into the sea) so those windy nights where the boat is sailing at anchor and pitching up and down will occur with some frequency until about March/April. It’ll wear your nerves down at first but you’ll get your routine down for getting through those nights without staying awake all night.

    Just keep your guard up. You’ll get through lots of rough windy nights and it will build your confidence in your ground tackle but every anchor will drag in the right conditions. We once drug anchor in 20 feet of water with 175ft of chain out with 35-40kt gusts on a crusty sand bottom and I was more than a little surprised. However, I didn’t bother to dive on the anchor after setting it with the engine so the GPS drag alarm put in my place at 2am.

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