Hanging on the Hook at Big Bayou Canot

With the expected front coming through overnight with gusty winds I was a fairly light sleeper and awoke earlier than usual. A bit later the entire boat lurched and spun to one side quite unexpectedly. Thinking we had snapped the anchor line to the entire raft I ran up to the cockpit and fired up the engine. With everyone now up it was found we had dragged anchor and the group quickly decided to un-raft and anchor individually as we had drifted onto the Mobile River. As dawn broke an hour later the flotilla was well dispersed on their own anchors.

Looking at the GPS data from the photos from the evening before and the next morning:

The drama for the day was not over as an island of hyacinth, cattails and grass floated up and hung to our anchor line. I tried to push them off but the mat was quite woven together.

The video…..it wrapped both sides of the boat.

That afternoon at low tide our rudder became embedded in the soft mud of the edge of the canot so we started the engine to motor toward the anchor, raise it and relocate. The hyacinth raft clung to the rode causing the windlass to raise the surprisingly heavy mat up out of the water before it would slide back down the rode. After several minutes of this the windlass overheated and tripped out. We had enough of the rode up that we began to drag and bumped into Vela Narcosis downstream of us. I managed to pull up the rest of the rode and most of the chain but our anchor was hooked onto Vela’s rode. We finally unhooked after a few minutes and motored well away from the group to re-anchor and wait out the wind.

Sunset after an exciting day!