The following are factors for secure anchorage.
Your anchor must be able to penetrate the seabed and hold.Study the chart to choose the best anchor based on the type of bottom. The best holding ground consists of hard mud or clay.
Wind, sea, and groundswell protection
The ideal anchorage provides wind and sea protection from at least three sides. In areas with steady winds, choose a cove protected from the dominant wind direction. In areas with shift ing winds, make sure you will be protected aft er the wind changes direction.
In the Caribbean, many anchorages are exposed to a constant grounds well. Make sure you leave an escape path open in case of a wind shift . For instance, with wind out of the northeast, you might choose a two-sided headland to the north. But if the forecast calls for a wind shift to the south, you must understand that the headland could become a dangerous lee shore.
Tides and currents
You need to know the tidal range to compute adequate scope. Rising tides could break out an anchor with inadequate scope. Lower than- normal tides could increase scope to the point .In areas with shift ing currents, set two anchors. Always be aware of changes in direction and strength of wind, current, waves, and swell when at anchor.
Take the time to circle the anchorage and see if ships are using one or two anchors. In areas like the Bahamas where currents shift 180 degrees, ships anchor with two anchors. Make sure when your ship swings to a single anchor that it clears other ships and shoals.
Drag indications and bearings
Check your anchor line for dragging. Extend your arm out over the rode and place the back of your hand on the rode. Any vibration indicates dragging. Pay some line out, cleat it off . Next, take a drag bearing off the beam.