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anchor retrieval technique in fast moving WP waters

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anchor retrieval technique in fast moving WP waters

Postby frappa11 » 19 Dec 2018, 23:41

i have read tutorials and seen some youtube vids on how to do the anchor retrieval in fast moving water. Had plenty of practice in LL so i had no trouble anchoring in the main channel (15 to 20 meters) just out from the last warneet channel marker. Retrieval in fast moving water during mid tide change was also no problem. so I thought I had the technique down so tried my had at anchoring at the very deep channel (30 meters) behind craw fish rock - did this during mid tide change as well.

anchoring was no problem - my anchor held fine.

Retrieval however - was a VERY big problem. I tried turning my kayak around by moving my anchor trolley form the rear to the front - but the force of the tide flow on my kayak was so strong that I could not move my anchor trolley beyond mid point with all my strength (i.e. the water was flowing so fast it did not permit my kayak to spin more then say 60 degrees - I was pulling on the anchor trolley so hard I was afraid of breaking it)

I tried letting out more rope so I could get some slack to actually peddle and turn (I had a sailing rudder) - but again the tide flow was so strong I could not even turn much (the tide flow forward motion resisted my efforts to turn) - and the 20 meters of extra slack was gone in an instant (i.e. my anchor rope was spooled)

I was left with the prospect of using brute force and pulling on the anchor rope (and constantly adjusting the anchor trolley to make sure it stays at the back). This was very slow and tiring (I could only pull up 1 meter at a time before I needed a break) and took me close to an hour (it turned out my anchor was stuck as well so I had to break the mono line to flip my anchor).

Am I missing something ? I assume you WP guys anchor in flow like this often - am I missing a step ? My anchor rope is 3mm mostly, should I be using thinner rope ?
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Re: anchor retrieval technique in fast moving WP waters

Postby shane » 20 Dec 2018, 00:22

Been there and done that twice in the early days and won't ever get in that situation again. (One was in the main channel of the western entrance and the other was near the RIP). It's very dangerous as you know, if the leading gunwale dips underwater when side on, you'd sink in seconds. This didn't happen to me but it could have.

The most important thing first is to never fix the anchor rope to an anchor trolley. Have a ring on the trolley, loop the rope through and secure it with a cleat on the yak. Not sure of you have this setup already or not? Next it's all about preparation for when you up anchor. Get extra line ready, release the line from the cleat and anchor trolley and use the slack to loop it over a post, rod holder or similar that's at the front of the yak. Then as you hold the rope the yak will be turned around to face the current and you can pull up the rope over the pole/rod holder while facing into the current.

The above is how most people will do it. I don't do this because I still think it's risky. I anchor in some of the fastest currents in WP but I only do it with an anchor line that's fixed to the rear of the yak. On my PA I pass the anchor and line through an opening on the rear handle during setup and have a cleat next to me on the yak. To anchor I let the anchor drop from the back and to retrieve I pull the anchor up from the rear. There is no way the anchor rope can move from the centre rear of the yak, so there's no way it can get side on. On my older AI, I attached a PVC tube with a slot cut in it to the rear deck that terminated near the rudder. I passed the anchor rope through the slot when setting up so the anchor rope would pull the anchor up through the PVC tube where it would lock into position for transit. On the newer AI I just have an Aluminium hook that comes out to the side at the rear. I let the anchor out and flip the line over the hook so the yak sits straight in current. To retrieve I undo the rope from the cleat and pull up the line. The ammas keep it stable even in strong current and I pull the line over the rear aka bar. If I didn't have the ammas on then I'd keep the rope on the rear hook during the line retrieval until over the anchor. I don't use anchor trolleys on my yaks.
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Re: anchor retrieval technique in fast moving WP waters

Postby laneends » 20 Dec 2018, 08:53

Rather than move trolley from back to front, and risk it getting stuck or bowing in the middle, i have two half trolleys. That way before even uncleating i put loose end through front trolley clip and run it up the front ready. All i do then is un cleat and pull rear trolley along side. It does bow out as it is now at front end of rear trolley rather than in middle of a full trolley. I unclip the line from rear trolley and let line go which is aleady running through front trolley in place.

The anchor rope runs through a SS trolley clip and zigzag cleated on yak. As per shanes comment i dont like hard clipping to trolley itself.

That said most of the time i retreive from the back without running it forward. How safe that is depends on how far back rear of trolley is. If anchor is stuck or heavy with weed i will use front retreive method as you can haul on it better.

One big risk of letting line out and flipping yak around is if a loop of hooks on something as it will grab it and potentially cause chaos mod turn
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Re: anchor retrieval technique in fast moving WP waters

Postby Reeling » 20 Dec 2018, 09:09

laneends wrote:Rather than move trolley from back to front, and risk it getting stuck or bowing in the middle, i have two half trolleys. That way before even uncleating i put loose end through front trolley clip and run it up the front ready. All i do then is un cleat and pull rear trolley along side. It does bow out as it is now at front end of rear trolley rather than in middle of a full trolley. I unclip the line from rear trolley and let line go which is already running through front trolley in place.

The anchor rope runs through a SS trolley clip and zigzag cleated on yak. As per shanes comment i don't like hard clipping to trolley itself.

That said most of the time i retreive from the back without running it forward. How safe that is depends on how far back rear of trolley is. If anchor is stuck or heavy with weed i will use front retreive method as you can haul on it better.

One big risk of letting line out and flipping yak around is if a loop of hooks on something as it will grab it and potentially cause chaos mod turn


Just a thought on this method Keith, rather than running two half trolleys, could you alternatively just have two SS pulley rings spaced 1/2 the trolley distance apart? You wouldn't be able to have the SS ring up front when you uncleat, but could quickly run the trolley forward?
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Re: anchor retrieval technique in fast moving WP waters

Postby maverick » 20 Dec 2018, 10:32

Have a large float handy, clip it to the anchor line and release the anchor line from the yak. Drift away from the anchor line, turn around, paddle/pedal back to the float and pull the line in as you are facing the current. With a pedal yak it is eaiser, as you can pedal against the current as you pull the rope in. Make it a big float so that the float doesn't get dragged under. If the float does get dragged under, come back at the tide change and it will be on the surface again.
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Re: anchor retrieval technique in fast moving WP waters

Postby frappa11 » 20 Dec 2018, 11:22

A float is bulky and I am trying to minimise what I take out - but I think you suggestion is safest and I am thinking of taking some balloons/rubber bands out for the rare occasion when this happens I can blow up a ballnoon and tie it to my rope for retrieval later.

maverick wrote:Have a large float handy, clip it to the anchor line and release the anchor line from the yak. Drift away from the anchor line, turn around, paddle/pedal back to the float and pull the line in as you are facing the current. With a pedal yak it is eaiser, as you can pedal against the current as you pull the rope in. Make it a big float so that the float doesn't get dragged under. If the float does get dragged under, come back at the tide change and it will be on the surface again.
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Re: anchor retrieval technique in fast moving WP waters

Postby Jacko » 20 Dec 2018, 11:31

I wasn't confident in my ability to anchor in current so I asked seasherpa to give me a lesson.
Eoin taught me the way Shane described.
The moulded rod holder at the front of the outback with a PVC pipe (rod holder extension) stuck in it is forward enough to turn the yak around and face the current as I retrieve the anchor.

shane wrote:
The most important thing first is to never fix the anchor rope to an anchor trolley. Have a ring on the trolley, loop the rope through and secure it with a cleat on the yak. Not sure of you have this setup already or not? Next it's all about preparation for when you up anchor. Get extra line ready, release the line from the cleat and anchor trolley and use the slack to loop it over a post, rod holder or similar that's at the front of the yak. Then as you hold the rope the yak will be turned around to face the current and you can pull up the rope over the pole/rod holder while facing into the current.

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Re: anchor retrieval technique in fast moving WP waters

Postby Jacko » 20 Dec 2018, 11:37

frappa11 wrote:A float is bulky and I am trying to minimise what I take out - but I think you suggestion is safest and I am thinking of taking some balloons/rubber bands out for the rare occasion when this happens I can blow up a ballnoon and tie it to my rope for retrieval later.

maverick wrote:Have a large float handy, clip it to the anchor line and release the anchor line from the yak. Drift away from the anchor line, turn around, paddle/pedal back to the float and pull the line in as you are facing the current. With a pedal yak it is eaiser, as you can pedal against the current as you pull the rope in. Make it a big float so that the float doesn't get dragged under. If the float does get dragged under, come back at the tide change and it will be on the surface again.


Worst thing that can happen in this scenario is balloon gets dragged under & you lose an anchor, but at least you are safe & upright on your yak.
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Re: anchor retrieval technique in fast moving WP waters

Postby peatop » 20 Dec 2018, 11:55

I haven't been in this situation, however one thing that i remember being mentioned is if you have gps, mark you location so if your float gets dragged under you can still find its location.
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Re: anchor retrieval technique in fast moving WP waters

Postby westmantooth » 20 Dec 2018, 12:04

All very interesting the responses here, I’m slightly in awe of those that anchor in such deep fast flowing waters, much braver than me after a few nightmare scenarios I’ve encountered. I just don’t think it is safe in a yak.

I’ve had good results going with the flow, looking at the sounder and having an octopus style jig cruising along just above the bottom. Dress the jig with a fresh squid tentacle and you will catch fish. Ride the start of the ebb back home. Lovely.
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