Dropping Anchor March

Readers’ favourite Anchorages of the World. Showcasing your favourite anchorages.

Waipoa Bay

From Nigel, Ocean Sailor reader from New Zealand

Location: Waipoa Bay, Moturua Island, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Coordinates: 35°13.75’S 174°11.34’E

Seabed: Good holding in sand

Protection: Well protected except from South South West

New Zealand has some spectacular cruising grounds but the Bay of Islands is considered firmly at the top of the list. Seemingly endless sheltered anchorages, crystal clear and clean waters, excellent conservation projects and generally higher temperatures than throughout the rest of the country.

There are so many options to drop the hook but one of our favourites is Waipoa Bay, found on the south west corner of Moturua Island. Moturua is a fascinating place and was actually one of the landing points of Captain Cook who dropped anchor in Paradise Bay to the North East of the island.

The anchorage itself is well protected and there is good holding in sand. Be careful as you approach the shore as there are some rocks and shallow patches. As there are no predators on the island, the wildlife and especially birdlife is stunning. To the north west, you will find Mangahawea Bay which is believed to be one of the first settlements of Polynesian people.

Kochi (Cochin)

From René Tiemessen, Kraken Yachts Managing Director

Location: Kochi (Cochin), Kerala, India

Coordinates: 9°59.02’N 76°16.14’E

Seabed: Good holding in mud 

Protection: Very calm and well protected anchorage

India is opening up. And even more so than when I was there in 2009. Although still evident, the mountains of paperwork cruising sailors have to fill out is decreasing and marina’s are being built throughout the west coast. The Volvo Ocean Race, which stopped off in Kochi in 2009 also did wonders for sailing in India. The number of sailors casting off the lines from the Kochi International Marina on their way to the Red Sea has also dramatically increased.

We loved cruising the west coast of India and for this anchorage article, we chose Kochi (formally Cochin), not just for the place itself but also as it is a great spot to leave your boat and explore inland. The Kochi marina is the best place to leave your boat for long periods. The city itself is very raw, it hits you with the beautiful and ugly, very much like the rest of India. In October 2019, Kochi was ranked seventh in Lonely Planet’s list of top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2020. The region has drawn traders, explorers and travellers to its shores for over 600 years. It is a melting pot of cultures new and old with architecture such as Portuguese and Dutch colonial-era houses, and the crumbling remains of the colonial British Raj.

When arriving and leaving, you must contact port control and notify them of your intentions. If you are clearing in, you first must anchor for clearance off the steamer point on the north tip of Willingdon Island. Customs officials will come aboard and after that, the captain can visit the necessary offices to complete the clearing in process. When moving up towards the anchorage, it is best to do it at high tide as it can be quite shallow. The bottom however is very soft mud.

The beautiful Bolgatty Palace Hotel and marina can provide facilities to visiting yachtsmen such as water, pump out, laundry services, 24 hour security etc.

Molokini Crater

From Dustin, Ocean Sailor reader from the USA

Location: Molokini Crater, Maui, Hawaii

Coordinates: 20°37.95’N 156°29.69’W

Seabed: N/A

Protection: Well protected

This month we received a rather interesting anchorage in Hawaii. Molokini is a crescent shaped island between the islands of Maui and Kaho‘olawe. It is actually a partially submerged crater of one of the seven Pleistocene epoch volcanoes that formed the prehistoric Maui Nui island approximately 230,000 years ago.

The crater has an interesting history being used as a fishing point due to the nutrient rich waters attracting a plethora of marine life. During World War 2, owing to its shape resembling a battleship, the US Navy used the island for bombing target practice.

In 1977 the island was named a Marine Life Conservation District which has protected it ever since. Due to this, Molokini is regarded as one of the best diving spots in Hawaii, being home to approximately 250 to 260 marine species and 38 different types of hard coral. However, this also makes Molokini very popular and there are quite strict restrictions placed on visiting boats. Anchoring is not allowed, however a limited number of moorings have been placed for visiting boats. If other boats are waiting, your time is limited to 2.5 hours and you are not allowed to stay overnight.

We have included this spot as a bit of a wild card as it is definitely worth a visit to explore the underwater world even if it is not a traditional anchorage.

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