Cruising Independence
  • Rick D.

Aug 30 Las Perlas Islands, Panama - Addendum

Updated: Oct 5, 2019

One additional story that wasn’t included in our Las Perlas summary… the time the anchor got stuck!


Two days before we were to leave Las Perlas for The Bay of San Miquel, Rick noticed we were swinging in a much tighter circle on the anchor and coming up tight in the swells… sure signs the chain is likely stuck on something! That night, dreams were filled with worst case scenarios… having to cut the chain, or worse yet, losing the new Spade anchor!


The next morning was calm and, since we were anchored in 25 feet of water, allowed a snorkel inspection of the chain. The visibility was about 20 feet and it instantly became obvious we had a serious problem – the chain was wrapped around and sawing into the bow of a sunken fiberglass powerboat! Since it was still calm and low tide, the time to attempt an escape was right then.


Rick returned to Independence and started digging out the diving gear – tank, BC, regulator and octopus, weights, flippers, knife and goggles. Fifteen minutes later he was standing on the sandy bottom, struggling to unwrap the chain from around the bow and fighting the chain out of the fiberglass hull where it had cut through like a cheese cutter (or chain saw). Luckily the fiberglass was somewhat pliable and could be torn back (if you put your feet up on the hull and pulled with all your strength…)


It took about 20 minutes of effort (Candy said there were a LOT of bubbles coming up) and at last we were free. Candy quickly winched in some chain to get us clear and we moved the boat out 100 feet and re-set the anchor. Sleep came easy that night!

Visiting Las Perlas Islands in the Gulf of Panama

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