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We Got our Anchor Snagged on an Old Mooring!

We had spent a week anchored in the Cleddau River near Black Tar Point but with a very strong southerly blow coming through it was time to move on. But our idyllic little anchorage just didn’t want to let us go! 🤣

Raising the chain all was going well until we got to the 10 metre mark and it started to struggle. Our anchor normally breaks out around this point so it wasn’t unusual for the windlass to slow down at this stage. Putting some more revs on and allowing the boat to run over the anchor normally assists but this time it was really struggling. We would get a couple of inches up and the windlass would trip. We knew we were in mud and we knew the Mantus anchor ‘bites like no other’ but this was getting a bit ridiculous!

At this stage we still thought the anchor was bedded in so we drove around it attempting to help release it. The wind had also picked up and a chop was building. This can sometimes help so we let the motion of the waves ‘bounce’ the boat in the hope this would aid the recovery. Slowly the chain was coming up but the windlass was constantly tripping out and we were concerned this was causing damage to it.

More depth than chain!

The boat was now starting to move around the anchorage and we realised we were in 9 metres of water with approximately 8 metres of chain out – therefore the anchor had to be out and something else was causing the problem 😬

Taking a line from the anchor chain back to a winch we started to manually winch the anchor up, laying the excess chain along the deck. This was a slow process and it felt as if it weighed a ton, all whilst manoeuvring around the anchorage with this heavy weight weighing us down! Even as we got to the 1 metre mark we had absolutely no idea what was causing the issue, after all we were moving around so it wasn’t as if we were stuck on something.

And then it appeared…

Our snagged anchor!

Now that shouldn’t be on there!

Somehow an old mooring sinker pot, full of concrete, had got snagged on the hoop of our Mantus anchor, with a rope disappearing down into the water. Prodding it with a boat hook it was obvious that we couldn’t untangle it from deck height. Now normally someone would be passing by who you could possibly flag down for assistance but this time there was not a soul in sight! Getting in the water was our only option.

By now the ebb tide had started to flow and we were getting dragged down river. Fortunately we had drive but the river at this point is rather narrow and our area of adequate depth was limiting. We thought of launching the dinghy but this is quite time consuming and with the wind also building we ruled this option out. Hopping onto the paddle board crossed our minds but again with the wind and tide we dismissed this.

Tying a line to himself and the boat the captain jumped overboard at the bow and using our Race Rescue Knife quickly cut the line loose, literally like a knife through butter! Whatever was below quickly fell away leading us to believe there was more crap attached to the end of it underneath the surface.

An hour after starting to weigh anchor we were finally free! The captain climbed back onboard, albeit a little chilly, and we started on our way again. Needless to say our Navionics track looked interesting…

Our Navionics track showing our track around the anchorage!

We now had to go find a safe spot to ride out 35 knots. Cruising life….it certainly has its challenges!


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