Teakerne Arm Marine Park is a popular summer destination in the Desolation Sound area (map). The main attractions are Cassel Lake and the waterfall draining it that spills over a cliff into a basin at the inlet head. The park is even more spectacular in the winter, when two waterfalls gush from the lake, churning up the basin and filling the air with mist. Our first winter visit there was in 2002, and we returned this winter during our Christmas cruise in the 52.
Mooring there is a challenge, however, as the shore is steep-to all around. Our entry from that 2002 winter trip reads: “We worked really hard to anchor. The first attempt was in 100′ with 200′ down. We pulled back into the falls, but dragged into 50′ depths, so by then were too close to shore. Considered many options–stern tie here and there, perhaps tie bow to ring behind Parks sign and stern to a tree on point east of falls–but didn’t want to be sideways to the wind. Eventually we dropped the anchor in 120′, put out 350′, and pulled back to the point east of the falls. With all this logging equipment around, this would be an ideal place to lose an anchor. We had planned to tie the stern line to a tree up on top of the point, but found a logging ring lower down that was easier and closer. In the end, we spent over an hour getting our spot, but what a spot it was. Gorgeous sunset to the west–the sky suddenly opened just as we were trying to anchor and bathed us in warm sunshine, making it more compelling to stop. The falls are amazing–twins and probably five times the flow of the summer.”
Anchoring on this past trip was no easier. To keep things simple, we decided to just anchor where we had in 2002. But the anchor dragged when we tested the set, and again when we tried setting farther out. We brought the anchor all the way up to make sure it wasn’t fouled. The Rocna 70 was packed with mud, rock and branches, plus a steel cable was wrapped around the flukes. No wonder it was dragging.
The cable was under tension, and we could see something large hanging from it several feet below the surface. We weren’t going to be able to flip the cable off with a boat hook or anything lightweight. This was a good opportunity to test our Ultra trip hook, unused so far in the bow locker. We caught the cable with the trip hook, tied the hook’s main line to a cleat on deck, and lowered the anchor out of the way. With the trip hook now holding the cable’s weight, we pulled on the trip line. The cable, and whatever was weighing it down, disappeared into the murky depths.
With that problem solved, the anchor readily set on our next attempt. The final stage was running the stern-tie line, another piece of equipment we’d not yet tested. We stern-tie with a messenger. For the 52, Dave White of Whitefab had built us custom reels to mount on the center swimstep staple.
The system worked perfectly on the first attempt, and we soon were stern-tied to the logging ring on the point.
And, finally, we could go have some fun.