This post is dedicated to our anchor, a Manson Supreme, 'cos supreme it is.
Last night was an interesting night here at Direction Island. The wind started to blow yesterday afternoon and it just kept building until around midnight when several boats recorded gusts over 50 knots. One yacht further out in the anchorage recorded gusts over 60 knots. The wind was steadily over 40 knots from about 2100 to 0100.
Our Manson Supreme
The wind blew from the SSE initially and after it peaked it swung to the SE. While SSE there was a 1m sea running through the anchorage with lots of white water. We weren't taking green water over the bow but were copping a fair bit of spray. When it backed to SE the island created a bit of a lee and the seas were reduced. Bands of heavy rain came through at intervals.
We were anchored in 5m of water over sand. We had our 16kg Manson Supreme anchor well dug in from previous lesser blows here. We had about 30m of 8mm chain out with a 4m snubber of 14mm nylon. The snubber was protected from chafe by a 0.5m length of 50mm helisteel hose. We considered letting out more chain but I was concerned that doing so would increase the shock loads as the boat "fishtailed" to and fro. This proved to be a good call since we never felt really big shocks of the boat being "tacked" by the anchor.
It's no fun being anchored only a short distance from a lee shore when it's blowing a gale. It's amazing none of the seven boats dragged. It shows the boats all have good ground tackle and that the holding here is excellent.
Aboard Zen Again we kept anchor watch until about 0100 when the worst seemed to be over. At the height of the gale the boombag zipper unzipped itself and we had to go on deck to resecure the main with sail ties. Happily it wasn't raining at the time but the wind was certainly blowing a hooligan.
Unlike all the other boats here we have no davits for our dinghy so had to leave it trailing close astern on two painters. We had its anchor and spare fuel secured right in its bow to hold it down and the rain probably helped too. It survived unscathed. Likewise all our canvas survived (thanks Debbie!). Our side dodgers are actually attached using shockcord which probably protected them last night and particularly during the gale on our passage from Carnarvon.
Today just about everyone went ashore at lunchtime to trade war-stories, collect well rinsed-washing and windfall coconuts and/or have lunch. We had a great BBQ lunch with the Vulcan Spirits. It was actually sunny for a few hours but is now overcast and raining again. Happily the wind has been moderating and is predicted to continue to do so.
One of the skippers went over to Home Island this morning. He chatted with a few of the locals who said winds of this strength are almost unheard of here. Apparently they said "we don't get cyclones like last night very often". It wasn't a cyclone thankfully, but it was a lot of wind.
Thanks Mr Manson!