The boating scene is always ripe for an escapade, and this weekend was no exception on Lake Travis. At dusk on Saturday, we started to pull up our anchors, but one boat’s anchor would not budge. Unfortunately, we were in about 80 feet of water, and the options were limited. Leaving the anchor and chain at the bottom of the lake is the least desirable option (and an expensive one), and I’m sure there is a mile of anchor chain and rope sitting at the bottom of the lake for people in this exact situation. After an hour of circus moves with jet skis, multiple boats, and a lot of advice from passer-bys, it was time to call some divers to help.
The next morning, a couple of guys, Nik and Sam, from Oak Hill Scuba showed up to take a shot at freeing the anchor. After a couple of dives in the 60 degree water (at 70 feet), they decided the chain was wrapped around an old tree, and with one foot of visibility, the scene was too treacherous to continue with the remaining amount of compressed air. So, they headed back disappointed at not being able to free the anchor but vowing to get it out.
Graciously enough, Nik and Sam passed the story onto their friend Justin, a commercial diver, who has worked on oil rigs at depths of 300 feet. Later on Sunday afternoon, Justin showed up with his girlfriend and dive partner, Anita.
While getting geared up, Justin was casually mentioning a few experiences, like shooting straight up from 150 feet in an emergency and fending off sharks while working on the rigs. (This was like a wading pool for him!) In any case, Justin’s plan was to head straight for the anchor, release the shackle and just pull the chain off the tree. With the increased boat traffic in the area, I was a bit concerned, but within 15 minutes, Justin had free the chain and floated the anchor to the surface. A job well done
I have posted some additional pictures of the affair on my Flickr site.