Posted August 30th, 2004, 11:32 AM
You won't believe this story! I just got back yesterday from a wonderful 7 day Alaska cruise on the Statendam. We left one bow anchor in the Sitka harbor last Wednesday, and the other bow anchor now sits in the Ketchikan harbor where we left it on Friday! Our captain kept us well informed on the whole situation and in fact, held a special meeting the next day to answer questions and tell us all about it. It was strictly mechanical difficulties and he did a tremendous job and made critical decisions that allowed us to continue the cruise, basically on schedule. Luckily, Sitka was the only port where we had to tender, so that helped. I'll try to be as brief as possible, but here's what happened! Just as the anchor was almost all the way in before leaving Sitka, the electric motor burned out. After 3 and a half hours of trying to lift it using the other motor on the other side of the bow, the decision was made to attach some buoys to it and leave it in the harbor and be on our way. He made up the time and we were only an hour and a half late into Juneau and all the shore excursions waited for us. THEN, in Ketchikan, the captain decided to test the remaining bow anchor and just as it was almost in, the chain broke and it dropped to the bottom. I guess they spent the day filling out paper work, calling everyone from Lloyds of London to the Coast Guard figuring out whether we could sail. They brought in one scrap anchor - too small. Then, found a rusty anchor washed up on shore in Ketchikan, brought it to the ship on a barge, and it met the regulations so we were able to set sail. (Ketchikan wants this anchor back). We were a little late, but still made the Inside Passage in time (much concern when traveling from the north cause of tides, etc.). If our captain had set sail from Ketchikan without a bow anchor we would have had to go far outside and be pushed into Vancouver by tug boat and would have been many hours late and people would have missed their planes. We commend the captain for his hard work and good decisions. We still had a wonderful time!