Recently a fellow metal detectorist and friend Luke, who knew that I do diving recoveries of rings contacted me to inquire if I could help his landlord find and retrieve an expensive anchor from a reef in 10.5 meters of water, somewhere between Garden and Carnac Islands off the W.A coast, where he and his mate ‘Harvey’ had snapped their anchor line when it became jammed in a reef.
“Nothing like looking for a needle in a haystack” I said and after gaining Steve’s number I called him to get a few more
details and organize when we could attempt to find it.
A few days later I met them at my friends house where Steve and Harvey keep their boat and after loading my ‘lucky anchor’ (more about that in due course), dive gear and ourselves left on the 45 min trip to the Woodmans Point boat ramp to put the boat in the water.
Luckily Steve had marked the approximate location of the anchor on his sounder but when we arrived at the location and zoomed the sounder as far as possible it showed track lines all over the area as they had tried to free the anchor from
multiple angles before the anchor line was cut by the reef which made it difficult to ascertain the actual possible location of the anchor. After a bit of thinking we agreed a particular area of the criss-crossed lines was the most likely so I asked Steve to approach the area from down current and wind at dead slow speed and to cut the engines just before we were on top of the area we had selected. I dropped my ‘lucky anchor’ when he said we were right on it, called for him to give the boats engines a couple of ‘squirts” in reverse to help me ensure my anchor was set.
Now here is the thing about this ‘lucky anchor”. In a previous post regarding a ring I recovered in less than 10 mins in the middle of the Dawesville Cut I thought I had done an amazing job to drop my anchor about 4 meters from Roberts Gold
Ring. Well after suiting up I dived down my anchor line and as I approached my anchor’s chain I realized why they had lost theirs.. It was like the Himalayas down there with 4-5 m deep, 1 m wide ravines, huge 4-6 m high bombies (large/tall rocks) and seaweed all over it. Looked like a great fishing spot too just quietly. I realized I would first need to re position my anchor or it would be the next one I had to dive for. As I turned to my right to look back up my anchor line in order to shift it (with a 28 foot floating fish on the end of my line in one hand and my feet in flippers straining against the reef!) I’d got through about 120 degrees when I saw Steve’s anchor wedged under the overhang on the same bit of reef not two meters away. It could only be seen from this angle and I could not believe my luck as I had had a bit of a sinking feeling when I had seen the bottom structure etc figuring this really would be a mission to find!
I tied a cray pot line to their anchor and slowly made my way up to the boat, where I passed the line to Steve to haul the anchor up.
Having only been in the water 5 mins or so I had a lot of air left in my tank and suggested I try and find a couple of crayfish to celebrate but as the current was fairly strong and it looked like somewhere I would hang out in if I was a big shark I suggested we try another location, its the only decision I now regret from that day as I failed to find any crays at the next location returning with my catch bag full of beer bottles and someones hoodie from the seafloor.
Anyway we all had a great day and Steve sure looked happy to have his anchor back. All in a days work eh, love my job!