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Date: 4 March 2014. (Joshua Slocum's) Spray replica Anja.


Gosh, it is a good to be alive, afloat and at anchor.  The other morning was misty. It was raining just enough to get everything damp and cool.  The tide was incoming so as I made another cup of coffee I scanned the harbor.  [Situational Awareness, and all that entails.] A beautiful ketch was coming in, slowly poking thru the mist. There is a special pleasure watching a captain handle a boat with infinite ease -- and Fokke certainly did so.

Anja initially anchored just west of Seaweed. Boats with a pilothouse are a treat on rainy days.

Anja is a looker for sure.  She began as a replica of Joshua Slocum's boat that he (Slocum) took around the world. Most sailors (almost all!) have probably read at one time or another the exciting tale 
Sailing Alone Around the World.  Yes, me too.

Spray, Slocum's boat, circumnavigated and the tale became a classic for boaters everywhere. In an age before GPS men took to the seas in small boats, and that voyage continues to inspire. Anja has an added pilothouse which makes traveling much more comfortable in higher latitudes.

Anja's is built to Spray's plans, though in steel so Anja is incredibly sturdy.  Parts of her rounded hull were even pressed on Luke's press in Maine back in the day. And yes, that's Luke of Luke anchor fame in case you wondered.

Many will recognize this type of Luke fisherman's anchor on the bow, port side.
It is the smaller anchor on Anja, but available for deployment at a moments notice.

The main anchor weighs in at 250 pounds and is on 1/2" all chain. It is impressive, and Lori and Fokke are quite confident when they lower the anchor that their boat will remain in the same spot. One thing I noted is that their chain exits the boat at the waterline -- thus they can use less scope than most of us with anchors over the bow sprit.

(Yes part of boating includes tightening the rigging. Fokke is on the spreader doing routine maintenance.)

The main ANCHOR CHAIN EXITS Anja at the waterline on the starboard side thru a hawsepipe.*

Hawsepipe: (pronounced Hawz pipe) is a pipe that allows chain or anchor rode to pass thru. This is a good set-up to have and one not often found on smaller boats.

On the inside, both chain lockers are visible and accessible from the forward cabin.  The chain exits the boat at the waterline, then a pipe leads up to the deck, where the windlass provides muscle. Then down into the boat it drops.  When the weather is kicking, that pipe on deck can be foamed to prevent water coming inside.


Port side anchor windlass and chain locker in forward cabin.

Starboard windlass on deck.


The chain comes up the hawsepipe from the waterline. Above, there is a small rope at the edge of the hawsepipe.

The windlass drops the chain straight down that narrow pipe at the bottom of the picture into the chain locker.


Everyplace you are on Anja there is a hand hold ready. 
Forward where the chain drops just behind Lori's arm is a hand hold.

Both anchors have separate chain lockers and windlasses on deck.


Redundancy is essential when you're away from a marine hardware store.

There's something about a boat -- versus a yacht.  Yachts are lovely, but a boat, well, it has character. Anja is brimming with character, including her builders' and now is on a journey making memories for those who cross her path.

Back in August of 2013 a fellow spotted Anja under sail heading north toward Lake Huron and took a picture. Bob Axford months later on TrawlerForum [http://trawlerforum.com] shared a picture of her in the "Interesting Boats" thread on that bulletin board.

And now, thousands of miles away from Lake Huron after a trip down the Mississippi River I meet them in a small village on the Gulf coast of Florida.  They rafted up for a bit one morning so we could visit, share coffee and hot chocolate and get to know one another.


Fokke is from the Netherlands though he's been here for thirty some years.  Over 20-25 years he built Anja, first in Maine and then launched her in Massachusetts, where he met Lori.

Lori and Skipper are friends now.


Fokke did figure out my wooden Star puzzle, finally, but Lori is the absolute best at games.  We played Scattergories on their boat and that is a fun one. I had not played in forever so had to relearn the game rules.  It is simple:

  1. Fokke gets to use words in any language, i.e. Dutch and English.
  2. Lori must use English words. Real ones. (insert laughter here)
  3. And she did when we drew the letter "L" for things that are replaced wrote: "Lovers"
    Both Fokke and I said Leftovers so you know where our minds were at: on the delicious dinner we had enjoyed aboard Anja the day before!

You tell your friend that you are having an affair. Your friend asks,
"Are you having it catered?" That, my friend, is the definition of OLD.


The best part though was meeting a couple out here having fun. Is Anja finished? No.  However she is done "enough" and that is the key to remember. No boat is ever perfect and I have yet to have a day on Seaweed when everything worked at the same time.  But I have only called her home for six years so there is still hope, eh?

Right now I'm dealing with an anchor light issue, which evolved into a problem with the VHF (connections coming apart) and neither are resolved. BUT I've two other anchor lights (okay, one is a steaming light) and two more VHF radios -- one hand held and one mounted. And what's one more project, eh?

Lori and Fokke left New England for the Erie Canal, thru the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi and now into the Gulf of Mexico with a boat that works. Not perfectly, but good enough.  Today Fokke was up the Ratlines* to the spreader tightening the rigging in preparation for the Gulf crossing when weather permits. They paint, fix, upgrade, tweak and fiddle with their home.  And have fun while underway.

*Ratlines (generally pronounced Rat Lines though old school calls 'em rattlins) are the wooden steps that run up to the top of the mast from the outer edge of the boat. Sometimes they are just rope too, but the wooden ones are easier to climb.

Fokke is coming down the ratlines after working on the rigging at the spreader level. Oversized
galvanized rigging means she's strong -- stronger than stainless. Galvanized is also less costly than stainless.

If they can do it, so too can you.  What are you waiting for?

Anja is 36' long and carries/uses a 250 pound anchor on 1/2 chain.
What size boat and anchor/chain do you use on your vessel?

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