Anchor Watch - who bothers

dylanwinter

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who among you would routinely set an anchor watch?

and would you sit up all night through this - or just go to bed?

http://www.keepturningleft.co.uk/2009-season/windy-night-and-amazing-kitesurfers/

http://www.keepturningleft.co.uk/2009-season/storm-in-west-mersea/

If anyone is so nervous while at anchor that they stay awake - or set a watch schedule through the night then may I suggest that you could be using the wrong anchor

- in which case would anyone like to suggest a better anchor

Dylan
 

Little Five

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I don't routinely set one if I am happy I am holding and have been for 30 mins or so. I would if wind forecast to increase. I would also set alarm for the turn of the tide.
 

Mark-1

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who among you would routinely set an anchor watch?

and would you sit up all night through this - or just go to bed?

http://www.keepturningleft.co.uk/2009-season/windy-night-and-amazing-kitesurfers/

http://www.keepturningleft.co.uk/2009-season/storm-in-west-mersea/

If anyone is so nervous while at anchor that they stay awake - or set a watch schedule through the night then may I suggest that you could be using the wrong anchor

- in which case would anyone like to suggest a better anchor

Dylan

If it's quiet I sleep soundly because I know won't drag and I don't need an anchor watch.

If it's kicking off I might drag, but I won't be able to sleep anyway.

So for me anchor watches simply happen by themselves.

The only time I ever stayed up literally all night was Loch Scresort with plenty of sea coming in. There's no way I could sleep with the wind howling and the boat bucking but SWMBO slept soundly all night.
 

prv

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I've done anchor watch on an Army yacht and on a square-rigged ship.

On the yacht, I'm not sure if it was due to the conditions or location being unusually inhospitable or whether it was standard practice - obviously the Army are a bit more comfortable about having to do duties at odd times, and with a fully-crewed boat for racing it wasn't particularly arduous to stand your hour or so. I think that's the only time I was anchored overnight on those boats, mostly we went into little Danish harbours or box-berth marinas.

On the ship, it's standard practice. With everything much bigger (and MCA-controlled) it's only reasonable for one person out of dozens to be keeping an eye on things. If nothing else, someone needs to be on the bridge in case any of the various boxes goes bing. Horror stories are told of the time a box going bing was not reported until the morning, by which time the sewage plant had exploded and the deckhands' buckets had to be pressed into service for the rest of the voyage.

Pete
 
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ChrisE

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If anyone is so nervous while at anchor that they stay awake - or set a watch schedule through the night then may I suggest that you could be using the wrong anchor

- in which case would anyone like to suggest a better anchor

Dylan

Clearly, a CQR user with no satnav, sawdust in the wooden bilges, a blue ensign, captains hat complete with reefer jacket and a pipe.

Other than very windy nights why bother?
 

Seajet

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Normally I'd just set the shallow and deep 'anchor watch' on the depthsounder.

I have stayed up all night at Studland in a gale, even fairly close in with the wind coming offshore it was err, unsettling as we heeled to violent katabatic squalls, especially observing the line of white water in the shipping channel behind us; naturally several boats dragged, so one should be looking out for them ( ie avoidance / fend off / warn ) as much as keeping an eye on one's own anchor.
 

BruceDanforth

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I take a transit to look at or a bearing off something and set the plotter on anchor watch and haul a hurricane lamp up to the spreaders. Don't sleep that well at anchor...
 

KellysEye

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If it's blowing a hooley we do keep an anchor watch. Not for our anchor but the boats in front particularly if they are French, American or charterers, all of whom are renowned for poor anchoring. We have had a number of boats drift down on us fenders out and pushing off works.,
 
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It's my habit to sketch some anchor bearings on a pad - ideally transits at right angles - together with a clear plan/course to steer to get out of the anchorage in the pitch dark, driving rain .....and brain sleep-fuddled.

The big torch is put where it falls to hand.

That only takes a minute or two and it helps give peace of mind when one wakes in the night with the rigging whining and the bows beginning to snatch at the chain.

Standard seamanship....

:)
 

Ubergeekian

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I have only once kept an anchor watch. We were in the sound of Ulva and the Malin forecast was F12. Because the fetch was barely 100 yards there were no more than ripples in the water, but by god the wind screamed at us that night. We were anchored in 10 feet of water with 20 fathoms of chain out, bar taut from stemhead to the water. The plough held beautifully.
 

Searush

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Never set an anchor watch, don't have alarms on the E/S never woken up anywhere but where I went to sleep. But like Dylan, I spend a lot of time in creeks full of mud, so not much risk there anyway.

Tho I have picked some exposed spots amongst rocks in fine weather. And I have seen others wake up miles away & one couple didn't sleep but the boat was still matchwood on the beach in the morning - that one taught me the importance of knowing the outlook as well as the forecast!
 

Dockhead

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We always set the anchor alarm on the plotter with radius appropriate to conditions and scope out. Doors open so alarm will be heard. A couple of visual transits. Uneasy sleep with frequent checking of transits. Despite hundreds of nights at anchor over decades I still don't sleep quite well at anchor.
 

Seagreen

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I've only stood an anchor watch once, and that was in Village Bay, St Kilda, in an annoying swell, though I did wake early once and couldn't sleep again in a swell off Brittany . I only sleep when I'm happy wth the anchor's set, and thus only anchor in safe places. I suppose (not mentioning all the anchor thread ruckus here) if you have faith in your kit, the position, the set of the anchor, the light and the forecast, then sleeping isn't too much of a problem.
 
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