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The Navigation Brief - 14221_395
Precision  Anchoring,  Continued Post  Anchoring After  plotting  the  drag  circle,  the  navigator  then  selects  several  lighted Procedure, NAVAIDs  suitable  for  use  in  obtaining  fixes  by  day  or  night  and  enters continued them  in  the  bearing  book  for  use  by  the  anchor-bearing  watch.  The anchor-bearing  watch  is  charged  with  obtaining  and  recording  in  the bearing  book  a  round  of  bearings  to  the  objects  designated  by  the navigator  at  least  once  every  15  minutes,  and  plotting  the  resulting  fix on  the  chart  each  time.  Should  any  fix  fall  outside  the  drag  circle, another  round  of  bearings  is  immediately  obtained.  If  the  second  fix also  plots  outside  of  the  drag  circle,  the  ship  is  considered  to  be dragging  anchor  and  all  essential  personnel  are  notified.  In  practice,  if the  ship  is  to  be  anchored  for  any  length  of  time,  the  navigator  will usually  have  the  anchor  watch  cover  the  area  of  the  chart  containing  the drag  circle  with  a  sheet  of  semiclear  plastic.  This  is  done  so  the  chart will  not  be  damaged  by  the  repeated  plotting  and  erasures  of  fixes within  the  drag  circle. When  a  ship  is  dragging  anchor,  especially  in  high  wind  conditions, there  is  often  no  unusual  sensation  of  ship’s  motion  or  other  readily apparent  indication  of  the  fact.  The  safety  of  the  ship  depends  on  the ability  of  the  anchor  watch  to  accurately  plot  frequent  fixes  and  to  alert all  concerned  if  they  begin  to  fall  outside  the  drag  circle.  If  conditions warrant,  the  ship  may  have  to  get  under  way.  As  interim  measures  to  be taken  while  the  ship  is  preparing  to  do  this,  more  chain  may  be  veered to  increase  the  total  weight  and  catenary  of  chain  in  the  water,  and  a second  anchor  may  be  dropped  if  the  ship  is  so  equipped. Situations  in  which  high  winds  are  forecast,  the  ship  should  assume  an increased  degree  of  readiness,  with  a  qualified  conning  officer  stationed on  the  bridge,  and  a  skeleton  engineering  watch  standing  by  to  engage the  engines  if  necessary.  As  an  example,  during  a  Caribbean  cruise  a U.S.  Navy  submarine  was  anchored  off  St.  Thomas,  V.I.,  in  calm waters  with  less  than  5  knots  of  wind  blowing.  Because  high  winds  had been  forecast  for  later  in  the  night,  the  OOD  was  stationed  on  the bridge,  and  a  skeleton  engineering  watch  was  charged  with  keeping  the engines  in  a  5-minute  standby  condition.  Two  hours  after  anchoring, after  the  liberty  sections  had  gone  ashore,  the  wind  began  to  increase. In  the  next  45  minutes,  wind  force  increased  to  the  point  where  55-knot gusts  were  being  recorded. The  ship  got  under  way  and  steamed throughout  the  night  until  the  storm  abated  the  next  day.  For  additional information  on  anchoring,  types  of  anchors,  and  anchoring  gear,  refer  to Naval  Ships’  Technical  Manual,  chapter  581,  titled  "Anchors  and Anchoring." 12-20

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