I can’t tell you how many times we have been grateful for the sheer tenacity of our 33kg Rocna anchor. The confidence it has given us when yet another squall whacks into Pèlerin is priceless. But anchoring in strong winds is not just about the design of your anchor, as size is of equal importance—if in doubt, go large!
And that’s not the complete story either. Chain, with its dampening catenary effect, is important, too, which, when combined with a long nylon snubber, can really absorb the energy of the gusts and take shock loadings off the anchor and associated shackles.
All of these factors have a secondary benefit in that, when combined, they significantly reduce stress amongst the crew sheltering below. There’s nothing worse than lying in your bunk enduring loud cracks, creaks and shocks as the chain comes up tight—there’s always an air of tension, and rest doesn’t come easy.
And then there’s another dimension, that of stopping the boat sheering around like a mad thing in the gusts, heeling hard and coming up tight on her cable at the end of each run, worrying away at the anchor like a pit bull terrier.
But how to tame that particular beast? Over the years I’ve tried many well-known strategies, with varying results, but I believe that I have finally found a technique that answers that problem, at least in our case.