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  • Anchoring overnight

    I mostly fish out of Seward and have never spent the night on the water.

    What advice would you give me about anchoring, what type of location to look for, what weather conditions to avoid?

  • #2
    Your anchor will hold best on a soft or muddy bottom. If you can find a bay or cove that is protected on all sides that is obviously the best, but if you can't then you want to pay close attention to the weather forecast and make sure you aren't anchoring up in a bay that is open to the wind. Also give yourself enough room for swinging on anchor, I anchored up in real tight quarters once, and the wind was howling and I swung around pretty good and was getting closer to hitting shore than I was comfortable with. And I might be a little over cautious, but I almost always drop a second anchor, it helps me sleep better
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    • #3
      In Resurection Bay, I would not overnight. There's just not a place that is well protected. Even in Thumb Cove, there is exposure a SW wind. Out of Whitter, no problem. Lots of protected achorages. Just MHO. I'm sure there are others.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by hoose35 View Post
        And I might be a little over cautious, but I almost always drop a second anchor, it helps me sleep better

        i have never anchored over night either,,but i am pretty sure the 2nd anchor is a given for me, too!!....heck, i might even throw out my third one for good measure---until i "grow a pair!!"
        ..... larry
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        • #5
          Couple of things. Scan the area with your depth finder first to check for rocks, and the depth. Remember to "set" the anchor and allow for tide fluctuations. Remember that when the tide goes out, your rode will be longer. Purpose of scouting the depth is you might be floating high and high tide but swing into shallower water once the tide goes out.

          Also set the alarm on your depth finder for a max. and a min. alarm to go off. That way if you do loose the bottom and or drift to close to shore or far from your anchor spot it goes off to awaken you. Your chart plotter may have a similar feature on you location or anchor setting.

          If I am not sure, I have an extra anchor and 300 feet of rode in the bow. Camping on shore, I set the one anchor over a log on shore or a rock, and the other from the bow. Gives you some peace of mind that the boat is going to be there in the morning.

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          • #6
            "Exploring Alaska's Kenai Fjords" (Davis Miller) is a great resource with anchorage locations and advice.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Doug from Anchorage View Post
              In Resurection Bay, I would not overnight. There's just not a place that is well protected. Even in Thumb Cove, there is exposure a SW wind. Out of Whitter, no problem. Lots of protected achorages. Just MHO. I'm sure there are others.
              There are plenty of places in Res Bay to overnight, I do it all the time. Agnes Cove is quite popular, Thumb Cove is too. As is the case anywhere, the weather plays a part in your plan. That being said, there's no way in hell I would be out there this coming wekend!!!!!!!

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              • #8
                Camping on water...

                It's great to sleep on a boat in the ocean, the key to a peaceful sleep is the size of your anchor. "Lunch" anchors or "lunch" anchor spots refer to a place that is great to anchor up for a nice lunch break, but not to overnight in the dark while you are asleep. Seward has lunch anchor spots, but none you would want to be caught in overnight.

                Your anchor should be big and your chain long, should be more than you really need for the size of your boat. Seems every new boat coming out of the stores have the minimum puny little anchors that would drag in a heavy wind.

                Set your depth sounder alarm; they have a shallow and deep setting, it goes off if you drift into the deep or drift into the shallows. Plus, the tide might get so high as to float you free if you don't let out enough scope. This alarm setting is easy, most sounders have it, and totally allows you to relax.


                Radar alarm; Same idea, except it's used if you are in an area that an iceberg might drift into you (see story of boat sinking as berg drifted over anchorline and boat) or a log, or other vessels. Open waters, unprotected coves would be the place for the radar alarm. It would go off if something came in range of what you set the alarm at.

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                • #9
                  I think the Key to sound anchoring, is keeping the shank of the anchor down, so it is digging in rather than being pulled up by any surge that occurs,

                  either use plenty of chain as the first gear coming up off the anchor, or attach a weight,(trolling cannonballs work well for this) some where down the anchor line, like 20-30ft up towards your bow from the anchor,

                  this weight, will act as a surge dampener, always keeping the flukes of the anchor laying down on the bottom, digging in.

                  Another tip is to back down a bit after dropping the anchor, watching for it to come tight, "Proving to your eyes" that it has indeed "Set" into the bottom and is not just skidding along. Hold it in reverse, or just take it in and out of gear in reverse until you can actually feel it come tight or can clearly feel the boat stop going back and pull around some to the side, the bow should pull down a bit, you'll know, when it's set good.

                  That's how you can really go lay down in peace,

                  Also, what the others said, Mud is best, sand also, but you can do it on rocky ground, if in a bind, just make sure there's weight keeping the shank down, and set it good.

                  Oh yeah, get plenty of scope out there also, stick to five to one, at least, more is always better.

                  In my opinion, Anchoring is the most peaceful part of the whole boating deal, shut down the engines, listen to the birds, the water lapping against the hull,
                  Think it all through, and you should be able to Relax on the Hook
                  Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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                  • #10
                    Agnes Cove and Thumb cove are what I would call, "unsecured anchorages" the weather changes for the worst and your screwed! Compared to a cove like the popular Surprise cove out of Whittier, you could watch ten-footers outside the cove rollin' past and be safe inside it. Agnes and Thumb are not safe escapes during a gale.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Myers View Post
                      Agnes Cove and Thumb cove are what I would call, "unsecured anchorages" the weather changes for the worst and your screwed! Compared to a cove like the popular Surprise cove out of Whittier, you could watch ten-footers outside the cove rollin' past and be safe inside it. Agnes and Thumb are not safe escapes during a gale.
                      Hence, my comment that weather plays a factor in your plan! I have no business being on the water at all if there are 10 footers outside the cove. In those conditions, I choose to overnight at the house.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Doug from Anchorage View Post
                        In Resurection Bay, I would not overnight. There's just not a place that is well protected. Even in Thumb Cove, there is exposure a SW wind. Out of Whitter, no problem. Lots of protected achorages. Just MHO. I'm sure there are others.
                        Agnes cove is a great anchorage out of Seward. You can get tucked in the back there and be very well protected, if you time it right you can catch silvers all night long while sitting on the hook.
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                        • #13
                          How about out toward Harris Bay and Grannet Island? I want to explore that direction and there looks like a lot of little islands to hide behind. Is the idea to find a lee side? And how deep of water do you want to look for?

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                          • #14
                            Pick a spot and try it, you're not going to sleep much the first time anyway, I didn't. First it's too noisy, then it's too quite, every five minutes you'll be up checking to make sure you didn't drag anchor, or are swinging to close to your neighbor. In the evenings it's obvious the spots that are good to overnight in, they start filling up just like the campgrounds. The first time I might suggest you pick a weekend with the longest daylight. I did an overnight last year late in the season by myself and it gets SPOOKY dark.

                            Taz Basin on the west side of Granite Island is protected on 3 and 3/4 sides, be advised the weather can be much different around there.
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                            • #15
                              You need the right setup first. Your chain should be a little longer than your boat first off, and 600 feet of rode is not overdoing it. Have a spare anchor setup.

                              Pay close attention to the tides. If you drop the hook at high tide in 20 feet of water with a 12 foot tide differential that puts you in 8 feet of water at low. If you put out a 3 to 1 scope in 20 feet that becomes almost 7 to 1 in 8 feet so your swing increased; there are lots of variables to take into consideration.

                              The deeper you anchor the less effect the tide will have on your scope; I like to anchor in at least 35 to 45 feet. Iíll circle the area Iím anchoring in to make sure there are no hidden rocks or shallow spots than drop somewhere center of the area I just surveyed.

                              Have never set more than 1 anchor off the bow, but will occasional toss one off the stern in addition to the bow anchor. I use the stern anchor only to position the boat in a more desirable orientation like for privacy or keeping the bow into the swells.

                              We primarily overnight in PWS, usually 35 to 40 nights a season. If the weather is nice we like to anchor on the outside of bays, but only in favorable conditions.

                              Chapman's Piloting Seamanship and Boat Handling book is a good place to start.
                              Jay
                              07 C-Dory 25 Cruiser
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