That’s the sound of the chain gang

We awoke this morning to a stench that neither of us could describe. This is the kind of dilemma that would naturally bother Marce more than me. I find that her finely honed olfactory is skewed more toward detecting the offensive spectrum, and she’s good at it. There’s a small river or creek that feeds into the head waters of Clarkes Court Bay, which is where we are anchored, that if you dinghied up you’d find a small shack rum distillery. They discharge every Monday. Sometimes I think the locals sit back and wait with a sly smile on their faces.


Across the Bay is Clarkes Court Bay Marina run by Bob and that is where Budget Marine wanted to deliver our new expensive Italian anchor chain. Bob said just pull right up and the wheelbarrow is around back. I told him I’d give him our old rusty chain. Nice guy, that Bob.

Marce called Budget and they said sure, we’ll be there in an hour. An hour! We have three hours worth of work to do but you can’t say no so it’s back to Escape Velocity and a frenzy of activity to up anchor and run over to the T dock and tie up, something we hadn’t done in so long we’d forgotten where the docklines were.



Luckily the day before at his birthday celebration in a charming little open air restaurant called Little Dipper up on a steep hillside, our dear friend Mark from Macushla foolishly volunteered to help and was soon knee deep in some heavy lifting.


EV didn’t give up her old rusty chain without a fight. I pulled every foot of nasty old chain, in reality only four years old, out of the chain locker, unbolted the bitter end, and passed the chain over to Mark to be wheelbarrowed down the dock for Bob.


The new chain was inspected and piled up in the wheelbarrow, once again with Mark grabbing the heavy handles, a terrible strain all the way down the dock.


It was at about this time that we found out that the beefy stainless steel anchor swivel that was bolted to the anchor was not interested in being unbolted. Upon closer inspection we found the swivel was no longer serviceable so a temporary shackle was pressed into duty.


We measured the new chain and marked it in 25-foot increments.



After changing the chain gypsy back to the old one, which I’ve been assured is the correct one for our new silvery expensive Italian chain, I pushed the up button on the windlass and wound in 275 feet of new chain out of the wheelbarrow on the dock into the chain locker on EV in a couple of minutes. Only a long distance cruiser could be excited about this.

We’d decided to re-anchor down the bay to avoid stench, flies, and no wifi, in no particular order. If you’re reading this then we were successful but the jury is still out on any improvement in anchoring efficiency.

We capped the day off at Bob’s happy hour with burgers, fries, and Caribes. It seemed like a family reunion when crew after crew of fellow Mantas and other friends started climbing the three steps into the octagonal bar. Hugs, hardy handshakes, manly back slaps, and lots of smiles. Great fun. Wish you were here.



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2 Responses to That’s the sound of the chain gang

  1. Nancy

    Yay! New anchor chain! Wish we could be there to celebrate too.

  2. Karen sherer

    As always….Loved your latest story…sounds so great to follow your dream

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