Questions must be asked about the mooring inspection certificate.
Bolton wrote in in the Claim filed yesterday some interesting details …
“Both the Harbour Master & myself have inspected the mooring anchor which dries at low tide where Classique left it in Shoal Bay. It’s one fluke is pointing skywards enabling the anchor to sledge without resistance to the extent that the Harbour Master with those assembled suggested it could be shifted manually. Classique’s mooring pennants certainly weren’t chafed.
My understanding over the years is that the Mooring contractors do not dive to monitor how the anchors lie when they are lowered to the sea bed after inspection & no doubt those contractors are the ones given the job of providing the equipment & assessing compliance for certification upon which Auckland Council & users of the moorings must rely.
At one checking I made of an earlier mooring whilst diving to clean Classique’s hull, I found a heavy shackle worn to a dangerous lack of metal, not necessarily by Classique & I was able to move Classique to an adjacent mooring. with consent of the Harbour Master’s office. Eventually Classique began to run out of scope as the next mooring chain wrapped around a vertical fluke on the anchor below until there was severe jarring when a ferry wake or waves required some give. There was a second fluke buried deep preventing that anchor shifting, consequently the bollard was being torn from Classique’s forward deck. I attempted to free that chain but it was also buried deep around the lower shank & I was down there seeing the stress of Classique trying to lift the impossible. That anchor had to be vacated for servicing, it’s red buoy had also split due to the abnormal pressure the tightening rode exerted.
That was the reason permission was given to move to this present one which I hadn’t yet had the opportunity to dive on. Even if I had, it is likely that its appearance with a vertical fluke would not have aroused suspicions about a missing second fluke because the sand is soft allowing it to bury out of site. Its vertical fluke would’ve been a concern considering the risk of repeating the previous fouling & it is unknown whether in fact that was beginning to happen & with shortened scope, Classique was able to carry it so easily, gaining momentum sufficient to continue sledging as it untangled leaving the single fluke vertical.
After further inspection yesterday more evidence appeared …
In addition to the info written in the Claim filed with Auckland Council
Bolton attaches some photos & more details in conjunction with
The photo showing a weak link which was an extra surprise to find.
He tells of his experience – “In one Caribbean hurricane I held on my own anchor
until the half inch thick, 13mm links stretched tight & broke before I
started the engine & drove off to cruise till daylight in the lee of Tortola.
A photo shows a weak link in this mooring chain hadn’t been stressed at all.
If the mooring anchor held, this link would’ve broken.
My lines going to the red buoy hadn’t any sign of chafe.
The flat bottomed anchor offered no resistance as indicated by the
right angle of the chain from the bow to the anchor.
Classique was dragging beam on to the wind as she does if my
my own anchors drag.”