Date: 4 March 2014. (Joshua Slocum's) Spray
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.
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
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's the smaller anchor on Anja, but available for deployment at a
anchor weighs in at 250 pounds and is on 1/2" all chain. It's
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
(Yes part of boating includes
tightening the rigging. Fokke is on the spreader doing routine
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. It's a good
set-up to have and one not often found on smaller boats.
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.
side anchor windlass and chain locker in forward cabin.
Starboard windlass on deck.
Everyplace you are on
Anja there is a hand hold ready. Even forward where the
chain drops... (just behind Lori's arm.
Both anchors have separate chain lockers and windlasses on
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
essential when you're away from a marine hardware store.
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.
August of 2013 a fellow spotted Anja under sail heading north toward
Lake Huron and took a picture. Bob Axford months later on
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
figure out my wooden Star puzzle, finally, but Lori's the
absolute best at games. We played
Scattergories on their
boat and that's a fun one. I'd not played in forever so had to
relearn the game rules. It's simple:
- Fokke gets to use words in any
language, i.e. Dutch and English.
- Lori must use English words. Real
ones. (insert laughter here)
- 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'd had aboard Anja the day
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.
part though was meeting a couple out here having fun. Is Anja
finished? No. However she is done "enough" and that's the key
to remember. No boat is ever perfect and I've yet to have a day on
everything worked at the same time. But I've only called her
home for six years so there's still hope, eh?
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?
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
(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
What size boat and anchor/chain do you use on your vessel?
Food in Foil ~
Previous Post ...
... Next Post
Stages of Life