Friday, January 1, 2010

The Art of Anchoring

Paul writes, "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil." [Hebrews 6:19] NKJV
Serious boaters are those who understand that on any vessel, if something can go will. Once, while motoring from Chula Vista (CA) marina aboard the MV (motor vessel) Third Angel we heard a distress call from a sail boat that was dead in the water without power from breeze nor engine. Her name was Indigo. It gets more interesting. Indigo lay beneath the Del Coronado bridge and coming from astern was a cargo carrier; a monster of a vessel, which when underway even at low speeds, takes a quarter of a mile to stop.
We pulled along side and offered assistance; among boaters, that's not just a courtesy, its an understood rule of boating. We hip-towed (side by side) Indigo two and a half miles into the marina and into the fairway with just enough way on so that when we slipped the lines she ghosted into her slip.
Indigo had an anchor but couldn't use it because where she was adrift there are signs posted saying, "No Anchoring" because of all the power cables and telecommunication lines that run between San Diego and Del Coronado Island.
Anchors come in lots of sizes, shapes, and weights and one has to choose the most appropriate one for their vessel and intended anchoring. The holding power of an anchor depends on more than just the anchor; it also depends on the rode (nautical name for rope and chain to anchor). There is a rule that the minimum length of the rode should be 7 times the depth of the water. One has to think about high and low tides when calculating the rode. So the captain doesn't just stop the boat and drop the anchor to the bottom. The anchor has to be "set" and this is done by slowly backing down until the vessel stops. It is then that one can release more rode as needed.
There is always a length of chain between the anchor and the rest of the rode. The chain serves to keep the anchor in place and prevent the rest of the rode from exerting force on the anchor. It's then that the captain and crew can sleep...but not all night. Any sailor worth his/her stripes will check for swing (tides go in and out) and will have made mental reference sightings so they can check for drift.
Our neighbor across the finger dock anchored off Catalina and awakening in the night thought that things were just too quiet. When he went above to check on things he discovered that MV Island Gypsy had slipped her anchor and was adrift in open ocean...with 200 feet of chain and anchor hanging straight down. Another lesson learned. Remember I said, "...if anything can go wrong it will..."
Paul says that our "hope" is the anchor of the soul. Is the anchor of solid strength and design? Is it planted solidly with enough rode so as to not be loosed by tides nor storms? Storms are forecast (Daniel, Matthew, Revelation, etc.) and as I look across the horizon I see dark clouds and rain squalls heading our way.
It's time to check the anchor; make certain that tide change hasn't set us adrift. Every day we read the tide tables (Scripture), take regular readings of the anemometer (wind speed and direction) to know what evils are blowing across the land and (perhaps) through the church. [Read the book of Jude. Obviously he was an experienced harbor pilot].
We should daily yield the wheel to Jesus Christ who knows these waters like the back of His nail-scarred hands and will pilot the Ship of Zion from blue waters (open ocean) to her slip in Home Port.
Will your anchor hold? New Year's Blessings. e.c.

No comments: