In sailing school you learn to anchor as follows:
- Choose a suitable location
- Drop the anchor
- Pull back to check it is holding
- Take some bearings to fix your position and hoist the anchor ball
In the Tuamotos anchoring is more of an experience:
- Check all the charts you have and satellite imagery and read any and all pilot books, guides and reports you can get your hands on.
- Check the weather very carefully paying particular attention to the wind direction.
- When you reach the atoll, hope the current through the pass agrees with your calculations.
- Place a coral spotter in the bow and head slowly to your planned location avoiding the coral heads.
- Look for a patch of sand with no coral
- Drop the anchor so it holds
- Jump in the sea to check the location and if there is too much coral try again – keep telling yourself that sharks don’t eat human.
- Let out chain affixing buoys to the chain to keep it “floating” above the coral.
- Attach a long “spring line” to the anchor chain to add elasticity
- Snub the chain and spring line to your cleats.
- Set the anchor watch.
- Pull back to set the anchor while some one is in the water checking the situation under water – sharks are OK; really!
- Drink a coffee with a shot of rum.
Maybe not surprisingly, once the anchor is in, we stay a few days.