Re: heave to or sea anchor?
Heh. Maybe not one's that big!!
Seriously though, in the stuff you get down here (lots of fetch resulting in large, breaking waves) you really don't ever want to completely stop out there. Heaving-to allows the boat to be pushed "sideways" (usually at an angle to the waves) if anything nasty happens along whilst you're down below with your cuppa in hand.. and if you decide to run for it a correctly-sized drogue will slow you down enough to stop you being pooped - at least that's the plan.
Edit: AIUI, the problem with real sea anchors (like you one shown) is their trendency to pull the bow down in the trough, encouraging larger waves to break over the bow and run madly over the deck. I guess they'd be ok for smaller/no waves or lighter winds, but then you might as well heave-to?.. Maybe they're for people who can't heave-to and don't mind storing something else below.
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"
Last edited by Classic30; 11-16-2012 at 04:04 AM.