Anchoring in Greece

I wrote a couple of days ago about my interest in taking the boat to Greece.

Through the miracle of coincidence… yesterday I received the latest blog entry from Kosmos, a N43 now circumnavigating, which had this comment about anchoring on the Greek island of Santorini:

“…After days of debate, we finally decided to take a group tour to Santorini rather than take Kosmos. Santorini does have a first-come-first-serve marina, but there are not any good anchorages, so if the marina was full, we’d have to anchor in deep, rocky water. If we anchored, we would worry all day about Kosmos drifting or the anchor getting stuck in rocks, which would take the fun out of the trip….”
I wish that Kosmos had said a bit more about the conditions, and what they consider deep water for anchoring. I remember being there a decade or so ago, and thinking that the volcanic (I assume it is volcanic…) rock would make anchoring tricky. I’ve never had an anchor that wrapped around a rock, and couldn’t be retrieved. If it were in 40 feet of water, then diving “might” be the solution, although my problems would be a bit trickier than Kosmos’. My anchor weighs 300 pounds, and I don’t know what the 3/4 inch chain weighs per foot, but it is a big number. Also, Roberta doesn’t dive — so it would be me, alone on the bottom, struggling with an anchor and chain that outweigh me. If the anchor were over 100′ deep, as Kosnos’ blog entry suggests, the difficult would quickly become impossible.

 I like to think about how I’d handle these situations, so that when the time comes, which it will, I’m at least a little prepared. That said, after thinking about this one — the honest answer is that I’d probably handle it as follows: I’d dive on the anchor, and see if I could get the anchor free, but only if the anchor were 60′ or shallower. Beyond that, I really wouldn’t dive alone, unless it were an emergency. I’d then tender to shore and look for a professional diver to come bail me out. If we were off a south pacific island where no help were available, I’d ultimately cut the chain after grumbling and cussing a bit. I’d note the location, and attach the chain to a fender if there were any chance I was coming back for it. We carry a second chain and anchor, so it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Actually .. what I’d almost certainly do is what Eric on Kosmos did…. if it appears there is no good place to anchor, I’d leave the boat somewhere safe, and book passage aboard a tourist boat for the day, to go explore the island.

-Ken W

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