Subject: Rainy Bay Rock
September 2, 2004, through September 18, 2004. Round trip sail from Shilshole Bay Marina, Seattle, Washington, to Barkley Sound, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
Passed in relatively fair weather through Port Ludlow, Washington; Oak Bay, BC Canada, Campbell Cove, BC Canada, and Bamfield, BC Canada, our next evening’s anchoring destination on September 8 was about 11 miles from Bamfield: “Rainy Bay Cove,” taking Trevor Channel east and slightly north from Bamfield on an overcast and intermittently rainy day – a standard low pressure front moving across Vancouver Island - into the back reaches of Rainy Bay. Entering the cove in the back of Rainy Bay we skirted a few rocks and found ourselves in the little cove, with a fishing lodge perched up on the rocks to the left and a string of fishing cabins ringing the left side of the cove below and to the right of the lodge. The charts showed a consistent mud bottom with a fairly uniform depth.
Given the short traveling distance we arrived at Rainy Bay Cove at about 1330 and set anchor as we had done so many times before: MS at the helm, GB at the bow, signaling directions to the helm. And so dropped the anchor. As usual the helm acknowldeged the bow’s hand signals to begin backing down on the anchor.
The usual grab-and-hold movement of the anchor was missing. The boat kept moving in reverse – smoothly, oh-so-smoothly. Clearly our anchor was somehow not able to grasp Barkley Sound sticky mud.
Upon using the Lofrens Kobra 1500W windlass to raise the anchor to start another pass, we realized it was laboring uncharacteristically. And we soon found out why:
Hooked in the claws of our 30Kg Bruce anchor was a large rock – the most perfect fit for the anchor one could imagine. So perfectly fit, it did not drop off the anchor. Head-scratching ensued, but also huge kudos to the Lofrens Kobra for being able to raise such a rock with only the most minor of complaints!
A friendly local fisherman, the only other boat in the Cove, and anchored there only temporarily, suggested that the most practical way to dispense with the unwelcome boulder would be to use the dock outside one of the unoccupied fisherman’s float cabins – one of the one with the large lettered “No Trespassing” signs. What a fine idea.
We quickly tied up at one of the empty float cabins and noodled out our situation. With two blocks, about 150 feet of spare rope (every boat carries some, no?) and GB’s always-ready pry bar, plus a slight, well-timed, downward drop of the anchor chain by the windlass, we were able to angle the rock-bearing claw of the anchor upside down, whereupon the offending boulder was returned to Neptune’s watery embrace with a loud “flur-KLOONK.”
Total length of predicament: 34 minutes.
Re-set anchor in good depth without incident.
Final comment of local fisherman: “Folks, I believe you snagged the only rock IN this cove!!!”
Cocktail enhancement followed.