Well I now know what it feels like to be a kite, the boat wants to go but the anchor has other ideas…
If anyone has advice to offer based on better knowledge and experience please contribute your techniques. This is what we did…
First thing to do (next time) is to tie a float on the end of the anchor line and do not tie it to the boat. That way when it all starts to go wrong you can just let go and come around again.
Heaving to in the conventional sense does not work very well as the boat will “fore-reach” making slow progress across the wind.
What we did was to turn head to wind, let the genoa fly (when I get roller furling that will be better), and sheeted the main in tight to centre the mainsail and while I concentrated on keeping the bows to wind the crew dropped anchor and put the rope into the fairlead quickly to ensure that the pull of the anchor was applied on the centre line of the boat.
I think the worst moment was once the anchor was down but the sails were still up and drawing; there was a certain amount of misuse of the english language. We learn from experience.
We then dropped the main into the boat then rolled it up from the head down and laced it to the boom.
We then enjoyed a leisurely lunch, discussing how the heck we were going to get under way again.
To answer that, to simplify matters I put the boom on it’s crutch while the main went up with the genoa flapping. Once we had the main up, the genoa was loosely sheeted to drive the boat slowly over the anchor and the crew pulled up the anchor while the helm released the mainsheet and took down the crutch. Next time I will have a bucket ready to drop the anchor into as time spent trying to get the mud off the flukes was time spent not sailing properly.
Using the crutch in this way is probably not practical in all situations and it helped that we had three in the boat so an extra pair of hands was available to help.
How do others do it?