Dropping Anchor January

This month, to celebrate the new explorer version of the Kraken 50, we are highlighting a few anchorages from the higher latitudes.


From Erik, Ocean Sailor reader from the Norway

Location: Holandsfjord, Norway

Coordinates: 66°42.55’N 13°42.57’E

Seabed: Deep water but good holding in sand

Protection: Well protected anchorage

With high latitude sailing, what could be better than sailing up to the foot of a glacier. One of the best locations to do this is Holandsfjord in Norway. The water is quite deep in the anchorage so you will end up fairly close to shore but make sure you leave room for the local ferry to arrive at the dock. Once anchored, you can take in the full splendour of the Svartisen glacier. At approximately 370 square kilometres, Svartisen is Norway’s second largest glacier after the Jostedal Glacier. It is also the lowest lying glacier on the European continent.  

Once you get on land there is a track which leads directly to the glacier and a cafe which has wonderful views. There is then some excellent hiking up the glacier with stunning views back down onto the fjord. If you don’t want to hike, there are bikes available, paid from an honesty box. With skiing also available, the area of Holandsfjord offers lots of activities for visitors. 

Castle Bay

From Brian, Ocean Sailor reader from the England

Location: Castle Bay, Kerrera Island, Scotland

Coordinates: 56°22.71’N 5°33.54’W

Seabed: Anchor in less than 5m for the best holding

Protection: Well protected from all but southerly winds

Scotland offers some of the best sailing in the British Isles, with wonderful views of the rugged coastline. In truth, there are too many good anchorages to choose from but this month we highlight Castle Bay. Set at the foot of the striking 16th century Gylen Castle, there are a couple of options to choose from depending on the conditions. The anchorage offers excellent protection from all but southerly winds and if the conditions deteriorate, there are plenty of options at Kerrera Island such as Little Horseshoe Bay on the eastern side of the island. There is also a small marina opposite the town of Oban on the north end of the island.

The castle itself was built in 1582 by the Clan McDougall. Sadly, the castle barely managed 100 years of occupation before it was besieged and burned down in 1647 during the war of the three kingdoms. As you can imagine, there is excellent hiking and walking on the island. Although largely uninhabited, there are a few places to grab a bite to eat. The Kerrera Tea Gardens is an excellent choice, offering food and drink 7 days a week from Easter through to September. There is also the Waypoint restaurant at the marina.

Smugglers Cove

From Brad, Ocean Sailor reader from the USA

Location: Smugglers Cove, British Columbia, Canada

Coordinates: 49°30.96’N 123°57.93’ W

Seabed: Good holding in mud with some rocks 

Protection: Well protected anchorage

In the heart of British Columbia, about 50 miles from Vancouver is the picturesque Smuggler Cove Marine Provincial Park. With a fairly narrow entrance from Welcome Passage, this anchorage offers good protection and is a perfect anchorage to dust off your stern-to mooring pack. 

The anchorage owes its name to Larry Kelly, ‘King of Smugglers’, a pirate who had fought for the confederates in the American Civil War. Larry helped smuggle many Chinese to the USA after work was completed on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Being refused official entry, these unemployed workers sought other means to enter the states so Larry assisted them to cross the border for a fee of $100 each.

The parkland itself is extremely beautiful and worth exploring by the many hiking trails. The rocky coastline is also certainly worth exploring by kayak or paddleboard. The marine park is considered a wetland park so there are some very sensitive ecological areas along the paths designed to protect the ecosystem.

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