Considering a sailing adventure to Mexico? Just look at how engrossed that guy is in the book! Grab a copy of the Unauthorized Guide to Sailing in Mexico, and you too can find yourself sitting on a Mexican dock with an oversized (but very attractive) hat.

Unauthorized Guide to Sailing in Mexico


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Entries in ground tackle (2)


got the new anchor rode

Well roughly one thousand dollars later we're the proud owners of 275' of 5/16 G4 Acco chain. Although the "three hundred feet of chain" rule is a good one to follow, a half drum ships out in 275' so there you go. We got ours from Defender.

I looped it out in ten foot sections and spray painted at the ends. The idea being that if you're in 30 feet of water and want to pay out 180 feet of chain you'll watch 18 sections of painted links go by. Actually, you'll watch 15 go by then rig the 30' nylon snubber, then watch another 3 painted sections go by. 

Of course when I went to shake the spraypaint can the nozzle flew into the water and sunk, so I had to get the paint out by jamming a toothpick into the little receiver. Needless to say my shoes, legs, shorts, and arms have little speckles of orange safety paint.

If you order this much chain, realize that you will spend a lot to ship it: probably as much as 30% of the cost of the chain itself. Also, it will show up on a semi and you will need a way to get it from the elevated position of the semi's bed to a dolly that you can haul it away with. No dice on just rolling it out as it will crack whatever asphalt or pavement it would fall on. The stuff is heavy and weighs in at over 300 pounds. 

The next time we're on the hook we'll sleep much better knowing that we have a big ass anchor secured by a big ass shackle to a big ass chain. Oh, and don't forget some seizing wire to make sure the shackle bolt doesn't come undone. I'm paranoid so I run two different ones. It's not very common for a shackle to fail but it is extremely common for a shackle bolt to wiggle its way loose


our new manson supreme anchor

Today was new anchor day. The Manson Supreme 60 pound beast is not little. In fact, it's huge. It's so big that everyone who sees it says "god damn that's big anchor". When hauling it by hand, you earn it. 

I debated between the Rocna and Manson, and both seem to get stellar remarks from everyone, the difference being that the Manson is roughly half the cost. I got ours from Defender. Our former CQR anchor will be making its way south on the Baja Haha with our friends on their trip through Mexico and across the Pacific towards France.

The 5/16 chain rode however, is not in such good shape. In fact, it's completely wrecked. It took a good hour of hammering to loosen the mess up and get it out of the forecastle, and upon examination there are links that are roughly half the diameter of their counterparts. 

The old expression of "a chain is only as strong as its weakest link" is running around in my head. Not only could a popped link cause the boat to get wrecked, but we could also lose the beautiful new anchor: simply not acceptable.

Of course, chain is not cheap. Roughly $1000 for a half drum of 5/16th high-test, which comes out to 275' feet. Still, that's less than half the cost that I was quoted at San Diego Marine Exchange; a rare example of the Internet soundly beating out my local marine supplier.

In the mean time, I'm getting some second opinions on the chain to just to make sure that indeed it's unsafe and needs to be craigslisted. I'll snip off a good section and fasten the remainder to some nylon to make a temporary rode until I can find an extra grand in my pants to spend on some chain.

The forecastle can also be cleaned out. There has to be at least a shovel full of rust and crap in there, which of course I'll need to scoop out with a tea spoon sized instrument given the lack of access.

Oh well. The fuel tank cleaning went so smoothly, it's only fitting that I should run into a land mine project.