The night leading to today wasn't a great one aboard, somehow I get the feeling that I'd set my kedge anchor so that boat was always broadside to the waves instead of ensuring that it never entered that angle! Nonetheless the night ended sometime and I got going by 10am. With the new stainless-steel anchor for the dinghy it was a piece of cake getting ashore this time and I headed around the island clockwise this time around and decided to do my shopping in Philipsburg first - getting a SATA to USB adapter so that I can finally load my backup disk contents to this notebook, then purchasing a GoPro camera at Boolchand's in town. The first was easy, but there were at least 3 cruise ships in town and it was impossible to find a parking space, so after standing in stop-and-go traffic for a bit I headed to Kuymans's (a hardware store) for some aluminum strips to attach my LED light strips to, then to ACE Hardware for the files, saws and assorted small stuff. Then it was time to get back to Grand Case, as the town would essentially be closed to traffic after 15:00 or 16:00 in preparation for the street festival on Tuesdays.
Once back aboard I put together the two new LED strips, but since my soldering kit was missing the essential solder strips I couldn't complete the electrical wiring and postponed that until after tomorrow's big round of shopping. I've postponed all the provisioning of heavy stuff (water and beer) until tomorrow in the hopes that the swell would settle down somewhat overnight and make transferring everything to the dinghy easier.
After completing phase I of the LED project, I decided to get the kedge anchor back aboard. I got in the dinghy, untied the kedge line from the aft cleat and then hand-over-handed the line into the dinghy until I got to the chain and then things got complicated. I tried to use the buoyancy of the dinghy and the big swell to get the anchor off the bottom but despite what must have been 200-300 pounds of lift through the dinghy the line wouldn't budge the anchor! By now Zanshin had aligned differently to the wind so I couldn't re tie the line - about 20 feet were missing. I couldn't tie the line to the dinghy and swim to the boat, as I'd not lowered the swim ladder and wouldn't be able to climb aboard. After contemplating the next step for a bit I opted to untie my dinghy anchor from the line and add that to the kedge line, this gave me barely enough length to tie the line to the cleat. I then climbed back aboard and got snorkel and fins and swam to the anchor, which wasn't too successful as the visibility was bad and once I got to the chain part I couldn't locate the anchor. So, back aboard I got the dive gear ready and dove in - the anchor was buried to it's shank in a little underground hill of sand and sea growth and I couldn't budge it, since there was still pressure on the line. So I swam back to the boat, untied the dinghy, tied the line to the kedge anchor line and waited to see if I could untie my knot in the few seconds slack line but gave up, tied my diving gear to the dinghy, swam back to the boat and clambered up to release the taut line from the cleat and then swam back, got back in the diving gear and worked very hard in trying to free the deeply buried Fortress anchor. It took about 10 minutes and a lot of leverage, moving back and forth and more leverage to free the anchor from the bottom.
After all that I had to swim back to the boat, get the dive gear onto the platform, then snorkel to the dinghy, clamber aboard and pull in the line and anchor, then motor to the boat and transfer the anchoring gear from the dinghy to the dive platform. To finish it all off, I had to wash the dive gear and store it and the anchor lines are in the sun right now and drying. And to top it off I managed to hurt to my back a litte in the process! Nonetheless, it beats sitting in an office somewhere with cold windy weather outside and a foot of snow or slush on the ground.

After showering and shaving I went ashore and noticed that the swell had really subsided quite a bit and docking the dinghy was relatively safe. The main street was closed off the Tuesday celebrations and it was fun to see the mix of stalls and things on offer. While there was a good amount of what I'd call "Kitsch", there were many more locally handmade items on offer and even the crowds were a good mix of obvious cruise ship guests freighted in from Philipsburg and locals. As the LoLos were very crowded, I ended up at Calmos Cafe for an excellent goat's cheese salad dinner - it was time I had a real salad!

Grand Case and Creole Rock The anchorage at Grand Case looks calm, but there is still a big 2m long ocean north swell moving in.
(2013-02-26 16:41:37 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.6, 1/160s] ISO 100 Focus 10.60m)
Grand Case and Creole Rock
Stern anchoring system The stern anchoring system drying out in the sun after the big efforts in trying to unset the Fortress 16 anchor.
(2013-02-26 16:42:46 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.6, 1/200s] ISO 100 Focus 3.76m)
Stern anchoring system
Fortress 16 stern anchor The stern anchoring system on Zanshin drying out on the aft platform after retrieval.
(2013-02-26 16:54:04 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.6, 1/400s] ISO 100 Focus 0.67m)
Fortress 16 stern anchor
LED rails assembled Two long aluminum rails with the LED lighting glued to it are tied together tightly to ensure that the glue holds.
(2013-02-26 16:41:13 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/14.0, 1/20s] ISO 100 Focus 0.50m)
LED rails assembled
Grand Case golden sunset Another wonderful day being closed off by a golden sunset
(2013-02-26 18:11:27 NIKON D7000 with a "18.0-200.0 mm f/3.5-5.6" lens. [f/5.6, 1/200s] ISO 100 Focus ∞)
Grand Case golden sunset
Dancers in Grand Case Dancers at the start of their procession down the main drag of Grand Case on Tuesday.
(2013-02-26 19:46:25 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/1.8, 1/60s] ISO 1000 Focus ∞)
Dancers in Grand Case
Grand Case Mardi festival The main street is closed to traffic and is filled with stands selling everything from homemade arts and paintings to more typical tourist kitsch. In addition, there is live music and lots of food and drink on offer.
(2013-02-26 19:29:29 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/1.8, 1/80s] ISO 1000 Focus ∞)
Grand Case Mardi festival
Grand Case live music Live music played on the streets in Grand Case on their special Tuesdays fair.
(2013-02-26 19:31:00 NIKON D7000 with a "35.0 mm f/1.8" lens. [f/1.8, 1/40s] ISO 1000 Focus 3.76m)
Grand Case live music
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