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  1. #1
    Sep 2006
    Pensacola, Fl
    Minelab Explorer XS
    5 times

    Upside down anchor meaning?

    I'm trying to determine why the Spanish would have placed an upside down anchor on a chart of their's from 1760. Was this just to denote that the area was a good anchorage area or was it to indicate a wreck? I've attached a portion of the chart showing the symbol. The map is normally oriented (north being up). I do know that there was frigata that was wrecked in the same general area in 1705 but it was literally only 50 yards from shore on the bay side.

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  2. #2
    Scotland, Aye !!

    Oct 2004
    N. San Diego area (Pic of my two best 'finds'; son and grandson)
    Minelab Explorer
    8977 times
    Research and History
    Honorable Mentions (2)

    Re: Upside down anchor meaning?

    Some history:
    The 'upside down' anchors (years ago) was the way they were positioned on a boat when the fisherman decided to stop work for the day and sail home. The anchor was hung on the bow and the boats were seen sailing into harbour with the anchor 'upside down'.
    Could the symbol on your chart then suggest from that location the ship sailed away from where it was initially anchored?


    Source: http://www.norrtalje.se/upload/Dokum...%20magazin.pdf

  3. #3

    Mar 2005
    66 times

    Re: Upside down anchor meaning?

    The anchor indicates the safest place to anchor. In this case you can see that there is a deeper trench along the shore, with a maximum of 16, probably fathoms. This indicates that the tidal current runs strong along the shore. You should therefore drop the anchor where the flukes are.

    Every problem gives you an opportunity to solve it.

  4. #4

    Jun 2004
    Beaufort, SC
    Garrett Sea Hunter Mk II
    21 times

    Re: Upside down anchor meaning?


    Almost always means anchorage. I have seen upside down and right side up unchors on the same chart. Could indicate that they would anchor and drop back towards the shore. Basically, the way the anchor is pointing. Of course, wind, current and other factors could affect this.

    None the less, anyplace a ship has anchored, there are bound to be interesting items on the bottom. And who knows, maybe there is a wreck there as well. Go do some scanning and let us know what you find.


  5. #5
    da book worm--researcher

    Feb 2007
    delta 4000 / ace 250 - used BH and many others too
    3072 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Upside down anchor meaning?

    it a anchoring spot -- on the backside of a island --( which would act as a " wind and wave breaker" in case of a storm coming from say the south / southeasterly direction thus sheltering the vessel) --note the deeper water to the north/ east /west /northwest in case it should drag anchor in that direction -- if it drags anchor it will be into deeper water thus its safe .---

    only a strong northly type wind ( thus blowing the vessel south toward the land) would be a threat * to a vessel at this spot ( it could blow the vessel ashore on the island --if she dragged anchor ) --any old anchorage spots should have old bottles and other debris cast over board off vessels

  6. #6
    Sep 2006
    Pensacola, Fl
    Minelab Explorer XS
    5 times

    Re: Upside down anchor meaning?

    Thanks for the replies. That area was most definitely used for anchorage quite frequently back in the day and is in fact just offshore from where the second Pensacola settlement was located (Presidio de Santa Rosa) on Santa Rosa Island from 1722-1757. There were almost always some contingent of Naval vessels there to help guard the pass, provide pilots to get over the bar, and for tending to livestock that were frequently placed on the island to graze. The tidal currents are tremendous in this area, and yes it is quite naturally (40 - 50ft) deep - this was a very strong attraction for the Spanish and other colonial forces to acquire Pensacola in the first place.

    The one discovered Spanish vessel (Nuestra Senora del Rosario y Santiago Apostal) wrecked in this immediate location was anchored there to take on mast timbers from the island when a hurricane struck in 1705 . It's a very cool dive among the mountains of ballast stones that slope from 9 feet down to 35 feet where she broke apart upon grounding in the sand.

    Does it sound like I'm a tad bit interested in my local wrecks? LOL

    Thanks again for the replies.




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