Retrieving your anchor
There’s nothing much worse than not being able to get your anchor up. Anchor buoys are popular with some to avoid this, but they can also cause their own problems.
Here’s an alternative idea:
If you do not have an anchor buoy rigged and your anchor is stuck, you can pull it out backwards by sliding a collar down the anchor rode and slipping it over the shank of the anchor up to the crown. You can use either a very large shackle (say the size of your hand) or a loop of heavy chain about 20cm in diameter.
The shackle or chain loop must have the towing line attached. The procedure is as follows:
First, pull your anchor rode in tight, till it is vertical. Now put the shackle or chain collar around the taut anchor rode, and lower it to the anchor. You may have to play with the collar to get it onto the shank of the anchor, but you should be able to feel what’s happening through the rope.
Confirm using a snorkeling mask or a viewing bucket (these are great for all sorts of uses) that the collar has slipped onto the anchor’s shank. Ease off on the anchor rode, and either let it go overboard with the end buoyed, or, put it in the dinghy and set the dinghy free while retrieving the anchor.
Now position the boat to pull in the desired direction, working the collar down the shank of the anchor as needed. Finally, put tension on the retrieval line and increase power as needed to free the anchor.