Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c., 1849.

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To recover an anchor by sweeping, &c.

Whenever a ship is at single anchor, it will be frequently of the greatest importance, if the bearings of some particular object right ahead or astern be taken, upon every shift of wind, as it will greatly facilitate the recovery of your anchor in the event of the buoy not watching. It is a good plan upon all occasions of riding a heavy strain, with a chance of parting, to have a mark-buoy, made of a breaker, with a few fathoms more small line wound round it than the depth of water, and a weight attached sufficient to ride by, this thrown overboard the instant the vessel breaks adrift, and the ship's head at the time points out the direction the anchor lies in. As soon as the tide sets from the mark buoy towards the anchor, have two cutters with 60 or 70 fathoms of small line (inch), if partially worn the better, and the hawser you intend to weigh the anchor with; let each boat have an equal quantity of line, and pull away from the mark buoy, reserving enough to reach the bottom; when the line is taut, attach the deep-sea leads, and let each boat veer to the bottom; pull gently with the tide, feeling the leads touching the bottom, and you will be sure to sweep the upper fluke of the anchor. When brought up, keep the boats pulling till they join each other, and then let one boat take both lines, and haul up to the anchor, but not quite up and down; marry the hawser to one end of the line, and haul it round the arm of the anchor until you get a sufficient quantity of the hawser for weighing; bring the two parts close together, and put a bending shackle and bolt round, to which attach a small line, and let run down as a jewel, to keep the parts together close to the arm; bring-to, and weigh either by ship or boat.
Francis Liardet: Professional Recollections on Points of Seamanship, Discipline, &c.
William Woodward, Portsea, 1849. 8vo, frontisp., (6), x, 319 pp, 1 col. plate of signals.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1998 Lars Bruzelius.