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Voyage to the Mystic Jungles of Guyana Reid, Soayna, Darshen return from Guyana jungle coast to Georgetown North Carolina to support his father -- contact This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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Reid Stowe returned to Terra Firma on Thur June 17 2010 - 1152 days at sea

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Anchors Dragging PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 July 2012
July 18, 2012

Slowly, slowly we became aware that our anchors must have been dragging. When the current went down we stayed in the same place on the side of the river a little ways off the big bamboo grove. When the tide rose and the current flowed strongly in and the stress became harder on the stern anchor we drifted over more to the middle of the river. I pulled in on the stern anchor so the two anchors were tight holding us in line with the current no matter which way the current flowed.  It could have been the bow anchor that dragged and made the stern anchor appear loose. I took up on both anchors and this kept us in place for another few weeks. I have been very concentrated with work so I really didn’t want to spend time maneuvering the boat. Most maneuvers on this schooner take a lot of work and time. I was glad that we had been securely anchored for almost five months and could concentrate on our work.

Finally one afternoon on the rising tide the schooner dragged out past the middle of the river and I knew we were going to have to re set our anchors. We kept working until it was late in the afternoon and time for our workers to go home so I decided to do our maneuvering the next day. The tide changed and started to go down and we fell back into our normal position.

We had a beautiful full moon rise through the palm trees over the village of Supenaam where all the kicky bowed fast ferry boats moored between poles stuck down into the water. There was no wind and the moon’s long liquid orange tongue reflection pointed at us across the glassy river. The river’s powerful flow was hidden in the beautiful moon light.

In the night I woke up to check things out. It was very disorienting to see that our stern was in the mud in the jungle on the opposite side of the river. I knew we had to get out of there before the eight foot tide went down and left us high and dry so I woke Soanya up to help.  When I started the motor Darshen woke up to see what was happening. Soanya gunned the motor and we drove out of the jungle. We had no control with an anchor off the bow and the stern holding us broadside to the current. Even with the motor in neutral, before we could figure out what to do we plunged the bow with a loud crash into the bamboo grove on the other side. I was afraid our figureheads on the bow would break. Soanya put the motor in reverse and pulled us out, breaking more bamboo as we exited.

I quickly loosened the stern anchor. As the one and a half inch thick nylon anchor rode paid out the stern fell in line with the bow and we stopped drifting sideways up the river. Bit by bit I pulled the stern anchor line up to the bow so that both anchors held us as we now faced down river. There was not much else I could do at this point but wait for the tide to change and monitor the anchor lines as we turned around. It was bright outside in the moonlight, but we had awnings set the full length of the schooner and I needed my little head lamp to see my way over all the work projects spread out on the deck. Broken bamboo littered the front half of the deck. I laid down back in bed, but didn’t really go to sleep.

At dawn we turned around with the tide and found ourselves in another position closer to our original spot. At eight thirty our two workers arrived and we began the process of shifting our anchors. This requires a lot of heaving and winch work. We set out a lot of scope on both anchors, then began tightening them up by motoring in forward and reverse and taking up the slack. We began to realize that our 75 pound plow stern anchor with its 100 feet of one half inch chain would not hold. We tried re setting it, but it just would not hold. I couldn’t understand because it held us for almost five months. I figured the bottom of the river must be sand because the anchor was clean when we pulled it up.

After much indecision I decided to tie a line to trees on the shore. My main worry was that the tide and current would sweep us broadside against the shore, but I was counting on the two anchors in the river to keep us off. We tied four lines to trees on the shore. The river is very deep right up to the jungle here and we can almost touch the bamboo leaves. We were told to grease our anchor lines to keep the creatures off, so I did that. Now we seem to be holding our position on the edge of the river. We marvel at the beauty of the jungle, but it is time to get back to work.

Darhsen called out, “Mommy, Daddy, there’s cats in the trees next to us!”

I looked and it was a band of monkeys, grey with black circles around their eyes in the bamboo right next to us. One monkey walked out on a piece bamboo and could have jumped onboard. He sat and looked at us as we ran for the camera, but the other monkeys called him back and he ran away.
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