Anchor room

Ocean Navigator|May/June 2020

Anchor room
One of the challenges of world voyaging is not only navigating open ocean, but also negotiating a busy anchorage when you finally arrive at your destination.
Neville Hockley

Above, the custom-painted “Makemo marker” the Hockleys use to mark their anchor position. Left, their Cabo Rico 38, Dream Time, at anchor in Antigua with plenty of room

Eleven years ago in Makemo, our first anchorage in the Tuamotus — a remote chain of atolls that rests in the middle of the South Pacific — a pearl farmer allowed us to select a float from an impressive collection of weathered markers and buoys stacked on the sunbleached coral on the edge of a dazzling turquoise lagoon. We chose an old fiberglass buoy about the size of a volleyball and asked how much we could pay him. It was a gift, he said with a smile, and welcomed us to French Polynesia.

Later that week, with our 1981 Cabo Rico Dream Time anchored alone in a lagoon — floating in water so absolutely clear a perfect shadow of the boat, even our kayak, could be seen resting on the sandy bottom 20 feet below the surface — we painted the buoy white and put a rusty can of green boot top paint to good use, branding our new float with an anchor on the top and “Dream Time NY” around its waterline.

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May/June 2020