Finding the Needle in the Haystack
“Hello, Liz? C’est Manuelle. My clients didn’t show up so we can go now to look for your chain if you wish?”
“Yes, great. I’m ready. I can pick you up in town with Swell.”
We loaded her dive gear aboard and headed off to the GPS point where, 125 ft below, sat my brand new 10mm galvanized chain and the good old Bruce anchor that had held Swell fast since leaving Santa Barbara. The relentless rain had made for terrible water quality and Manuelle was not so optimistic about our chances of finding them.
“Why don’t we attach a dive weight to a long piece of rope and throw it just when I think we’re over the spot. That way you can follow it down and have a reference point,” I suggested. I was desperate to do ANYTHING that would make the chances of finding it greater.
“Good idea.” She agreed. And we tied a few pieces of long rope together, and tossed the weighted end over the side as I tried unremittingly to get Swell to hover just above the mark on the GPS. Manuelle hopped over too and descended into the murky green deep. My eyes pinned nervously to her bubbles on the surface as Swell and I drifted away with the engine in neutral.
She hadn’t been down 5 minutes when, to my surprise, her masked face popped above the surface with a smile.
“The weight landed less than an inch from the end of the chain!! All I had to do was attach the rope and come back up!”
Relieved and elated I did a little jig at the helm, got her aboard, and we proceeded to recover my precious anchoring gear.
Pheeeeeeeeeeew…I felt whole again!
Lesson learned—ALWAYS ATTACH YOUR ANCHOR TO THE BOAT, DUH—happy ending. :)