The Great Barrier Reef offers visitors stunning vistas - both above and below the water, but it contains some very fragile environments.
By taking a little extra care when anchoring and using moorings where available, you will help protect this delicate underwater 'landscape'.
The key to good anchoring is preparation and slow maneuvering. If the anchor does not set, just go around and restart the maneuver. There is no shame in starting again!
TIP: If you need to do a second go around make sure the anchor is not dragging in the water as it can damage the bow. Pull it up snug to the bow roller so that it is ready to be deployed again.
Try to arrive at your anchorage relatively early, with enough light to locate potential reefs and other hazards. Besides, if you get somewhere too late, and for some reason you cannot anchor (no room left for example), you need to have extra time to go somewhere else before nightfall.
When Anchoring your Vessel
· Examine the area before anchoring to find the best location
· Anchor in sand or mud away from corals
· Anchor away from fragile or sensitive areas including bird and turtle nesting areas, Indigenous heritage sites and shipwrecks
· Anchor your boat a safe distance away from other boats
· Look out for the safety of people in the water when dropping your anchor
· Never wrap the anchor rope or chain around bommies or large coral heads
· If anchoring ashore, carefully place the anchor to minimize shore and coastal damage
· If anchoring overnight, anchor before nightfall and double check the swing room
· Carry enough chain and line for the depth you want to anchor in
· Use the correct anchor for your situation and environment
· Retrieve the anchor when the line is vertical
· If the anchor is caught on the reef, free it by hand wherever possible
· Do not force the anchor free by motoring forward
· Use only as much chain as you need to hold the vessel, without compromising safety
· Keep watch to make sure the anchor isn't dragging
· Motor towards the anchor when hauling it in
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