Knowing When To Let Loose Can Be Hard

Sometimes knowing when to say goodbye to something that you have been through a lot with and trust your life with can be hard to see sink.  Many of you know what I am saying when it comes to boating you have to have faith in your boat and equipment & gear. Having an anchor you trust is very important.

No rope, No chain. no power tool and no swearing was going to be enough to save our 44lb Bruce anchor. Bryce tried everything he could think of to save Bruce. We powered her forward to backward to sideways every-way…. every-way but loose.  Two hours into lets try this and lets try that. Nothing was happening! she was stuck wrapped-around something. He was going to put his wetsuit on and dive under but the water was to dark it would not be worth his life to save a 100 dollar anchor.  Bryce was determined; 30 + years of anchorage we have never lost an anchor and we are not going to start now with out a fight!

I tried to stand on the chain to see if my weight could help in some way. Bryce did laugh at me.

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Nothing was helping. Bryce said well there is one more thing I would like to try before we give up. We are going to take the anchor line and try exerting pull on it with the winch. Our biggest winch is capable exerting about 5000 pounds of force.  Much more than the windlass.

I just rolled my eyes like the kids use to do. Then I would yell at them for doing it.  lol  Bryce just said we have to try this then we can say we tried everything. I agreed so we dragged the line back to the winch. Actually Bryce did, I carried the camera. 📷

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okay… we are all set Bryce started cranking the winch. You could feel the bow of the boat go down. I went up on the bow to see if I could notice any slack in the chain.. I just thought that I could help by standing on the chain again, but Bryce yelled at me and told me to get away in case the chain or line snapped. I guess I can’t get mad at him, I am sort of a klutz.  We were passed by by 5 power boats with nice wakes and one tow.

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“Bryce this isn’t working”!!! I yelled back to him I was getting tired “Are you sure about that?” as he pointed to the port side (left) of Beauty. WOW,,,my eyes 👀popped out of their socket. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

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it grew and grew till the winch couldn’t do anymore. I was so excited that we were going to save our anchor. Okay, what’s next?  Well… time to start the generator and get my saws out. He pulled out his sawzall and circular saw and went to work.  This wasn’t a log it was a monster tree!! How in the world does an anchor get wrapped around this crap when the boat doesn’t move? He took the dinghy to the bow. Bryce stood on the tree to see how solid it was planted.

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You can see by this picture the chain is at the other end of the tree. It is time to start cutting so we can unwrap the anchor. Bryce started on the top side but quickly decided it would be better to use the dinghy.

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Nothing can always go smooth… right? The wakes from the other boats just …well you can imagine they didn’t help the matter at all. Bryce decided that he should tie a line on to the tree end so we didn’t loose the anchor again. Then he cut away the last part of that breakage.

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Yey…we saved the BRUCE👏🏽 Bryce was able to unwrap the chain from the tree.

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We are so excited that we didn’t use common sense. It was time to take off the line and bring in the anchor & chain. However, that didn’t happen! we took the line off.   Too soon; it seems the anchor chain was also wrapped around lower down on the tree.  If we had not removed the supporting line, we might have been able to unwrap the chain. No doubt, now it would require lifting the whole tree trunk.  The thought of winching up the complete tree and floating down the river tied to a tree trunk was not a pleasing image.

So this time Bruce was gone and not coming back. Bryce, it’s time to cut the chain and bury Bruce. I’ll sacrifice a rose to the burial and say goodbye to a faithful anchor & 15 feet of chain. As a last resort, Bryce took the dinghy out one more time to see how deep it was down. But he came back around and took his sawzall back up with a metal cutting blade and we said our goodbyes. I dropped two roses in to thank them for being part of our adventure for the last 6 years.

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After we were loose (5 hours later) we pulled way. Bryce needed to get his frustration out so he swabbed the deck. I took the helm and headed to our new anchorage 20 miles south for the night. Yes, we had a spare anchor; a “Danforth Super Hooker” and a rear anchor “Delta”.  We will have to buy a new one. Lets pray we don’t loose another one to soon.

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5 thoughts on “Knowing When To Let Loose Can Be Hard

  1. Nice job of trying to save Bruce. Too bad it did not work out for Bruce. Such is the cruising life. You win some and you lose some.
    Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

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