Readers’ favourite Anchorages of the World

Showcasing your favourite anchorages.

Makogai Island

From Kraken Yachts Chairman Dick Beaumont

Location: Makogai Island, Fiji, South Pacific

Coordinates: 17°26.42’S 178°57.16’E

Seabed: Good holding in fine sand

Protection: Very good except for strong north westerlies. In the event of strong north westerlies, yachts can move to anchor south of Makodroga Island.

What makes this anchorage special, other than the fact it’s inside a South Pacific coral atoll, is that the settlement ashore was a leper colony until 1964. Leprosy sufferers from the whole of the South Pacific were brought here and cared for by the Missionary Sisters of the Society
of Mary.

Today it is a turtle sanctuary and hatchery and the manager was happy to show us around and show us the hatchlings in their tanks. 

There is also an excellent walk from the settlement through the jungle to the other side of the island, but be warned, the turtle sanctuary manager said it was an hour or so of easy walking! The ‘so’ was actually another 2 ½ hours above the hour, so take plenty of water and go early in the morning, before it gets too hot.

I met my good friend Ding (Graeme Wilding) on his beautiful Chiquita, a Sweden 50, here. I swam across from Moonshadow, introduced myself and invited him over for a beer, but instead used my dive gear to survey his keel, which was detaching and leaking. The keel was later removed and re-bolted on in New Zealand. It was a very expensive job because the entire saloon and tanks had to be removed to get at the bolts, three of which had seriously corroded.

Ding is now back sailing around Fiji in Chiquita. Fiji which is allowing voyaging yachts to enter from New Zealand on the basis that it’s a seven-day sail and therefore anyone arriving must have got over Covid and recovered before arriving there. Ding’s a lucky guy, could there be a better way to spend the time the world will take to recover from this pandemic?

Fowl Cay

From Sailing reader Marcin Sochaj

Location: Fowl Cay, Berry Islands, Bahamas

Coordinates: Gradina Bay 42°58.34’N 16°40.45’E  /  Proizd  42°59.04’N 16°37.54’E

Seabed: Good holding in sand and some grass

Protection: Very good from prevailing north-eastern winds, open to the west. In case of west winds, it’s easy to move to the east side of Fowl Cay. There are some tidal currents, but not strong.

In the middle of the Berry Islands chain, between Devil’s Cay and Hoffman’s Cay, you will find a whole host of good anchorages around the smaller islands and sandbanks. My favourite one is to the west of Fowl Cay. Most yachts will anchor between Fowl Cay and White Cay but when it comes to north-east wind and swell, which is prevailing, anchoring behind Fowl Cay offers the best shelter. The sandbar between Hoffman’s Cay and Fowl Cay provides exceptional protection from trade wind swells that effects most other anchorages in the area. 

The only approach is from the deep water to the east of the Berry Islands chain. Round White Cay on either side and head to the southern tip of Fowl Cay. Stay fairly close to shore as you round, it so you don’t ground on a sandbar tongue that extends from the west. The best holding is in the northwest of the Cay, 4m of water with a sandy bottom. 

When it comes to attractions; you have all the standard Bahamas amenities of white sand beaches, coconut trees and blue water everywhere you look. The best spearfishing is off the east side of White Cay. Big Gaulding Cay is a short dingy ride to the south and has a secluded bay with a beach, coconut trees and a small cave, an ideal location for a picnic. Up north is the blue hole on Hoffman’s Cay. It is a fairly well-known location with day-trippers and other tourists but definitely worth a swim. When the remoteness of Fowl Cay gets to you or, more likely, you run out of alcohol onboard, head to Flo’s Bar on Little Harbour Cay. It’s a 2.5nm dinghy ride south; follow the chain of islands on the east side. Word of caution –  water depth is  0.5m at times so don’t try sailing here, however desperate you are for a beer and a conch salad!

Note: there is some discrepancy in the naming convention for various islands and other places of interest. In this article, we used names as they appear on the Navionics charts.

Knidos Harbour

From Ocean Sailor Reader Umit Ozkan

Location: Knidos Harbour, Muğla Datça Peninsula, Turkey

Coordinates: 36°41.04’N 27°22.53’E

Seabed: Good holding in sand

Protection: Well protected anchorage from all directions

Knidos is rather a hidden gem. It’s a great stop-off point while you cruise the Turkish coast south of Bodrum. Sailing around the headland, this beautifully sheltered anchorage invites you in. I remember the first time I came here, we dropped the hook and looked up to take in the surroundings. ‘Is that an….an amphitheatre???’ Sure enough, just off from the water’s edge is an amphitheatre from when Knidos was an ancient Hellenic city. This would certainly be a tourist hotspot in Greece, however here on the Turkish coastline Greek, Roman or Otterman ruins and castles can be found fairly frequently in deserted locations. 

Knidos is not entirely deserted however, we spotted a small restaurant and pier just off the beach. We made our way to shore as the sunset cast an orange glow over the ancient ruins and tied up to the wooden pier. The jovial owner welcomed us as soon as we walked up from the pier and offered us beers and wine while we examined his exceedingly fresh seafood. Turkish wine is generally unknown to foreigners as we tend not to export it, however, there are some excellent wines, especially from locations such as Bozcaada. The food and wine were both excellent from this little restaurant.

There is not a lot to do in Knidos, but peace and quiet was exactly what I was looking for, for a stopover for the night on the way down to busy Fethiye. A quiet stopover for the night on the way down to Fethiye. There is some great hiking around the area with wonderful views of the Greek islands flanking the coastline such as Kos to the north. The amphitheatre is of course worth a look and the area, on the whole, has a lot of historical significance. In fact, faithful copies of a statue, the Aphrodite of Knidos can be found in the Vatican museum. Also, a colossal figure of a lion carved out of one block of Pentelic marble, ten feet in length and six in height, which has been supposed to commemorate the great naval victory, the Battle of Cnidus in which Conon defeated the Lacedaemonians in 394 BC. The Knidos Lion is now displayed under the roof of the Great Court in the British Museum in London.

Historical significance aside, the bay offers a sheltered, quiet and beautiful refuge for weary sailors to break their passage going north or south, or those just searching for unspoiled peace and tranquillity.

What’s your favourite anchorage?

Please tell us your favourite anchorage and we’ll featured it in the next months ‘Dropping Anchor’. Send the anchorage details with a brief description of why you like this anchorage along with some photos showing the layout of the anchorage, plus the primary details: Location, coordinates, seabed type and protection.

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