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A Beginner's Guide to Dropping Anchor

Submitted by admin on 2010-01-12

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This article will introduce you to the concept of dropping anchor and will provide you with a couple of the most effective techniques that you can begin using right away.

When wreck diving, probably the most important step of the whole process is the dropping anchor. The following will provide you with two simple but highly effective techniques that you can use to make your next outing a success.

The first technique for dropping anchor that we will look at is known as the grapple method. On the positive side, this is one of the easiest methods that you have at your disposal; unfortunately it has certain limitations that must be addressed. One thing you should be aware of is that it is really only effective on calm days.

When using this method, the grapple must be hooked directly into the structure where you will be anchoring your vessel. This method is also best used with small boats, of 30 feet in length or less. If you decide to try out the grappling method of dropping anchor, you will have to begin by positioning your boat directly over top of the wreck. Now drop your anchor and allow it to reach the bottom and then begin bouncing it off of the bottom, feeling it hitting the structure below. It will grab eventually and when it does you can tie it off to a cleat. If it seems windy when you arrive at the location, you will want to position your boat slightly upwind before tying off your anchor.

Probably the most recommended technique of dropping anchor when wreck diving is the “2 anchor” method. The only drawback with this method is that you will have to invest in 2 anchors which many people do not wish to do. In order to use this technique, you begin by pulling up the marker and allowing your boat to travel for roughly 50 yards with the wind and current. Then return to the marker, taking notice of the compass heading. When you are back to the marker, turn about 45 degrees to the port. Now travel about 3 to 4 times the depth and drop anchor number 1.

After dropping anchor number 1, return to the marker once again and then head 45 degrees to the starboard. After you have travelled about 3 to 4 times the depth of the water it is time to drop the second anchor. Things start to get a little difficult at this point as you will have to return to the marker while paying out the line on the second anchor and taking in the first. Once you have gotten back to the marker take in both lines until they are tight and you should be directly over top of the wreck. You will find that there are many advantages to dropping the anchor using this method. You will especially appreciate how it allows you to adjust for changes in the wind and current.


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