V.I. National Park Returns Historic Anchor to Park Waters


The historic anchor where it rests today in Hurricane Hole, above, was delivered back to Coral Reef National Monument waters.

The Hurricane Hole location of the anchor is shown on the map above. It can now be viewed by snorkelers and divers.

There is a new attraction under the waves in Hurricane Hole.

A 15-foot anchor dating to the 1800s was recently returned to the V.I. Coral Reef National Monument area of Hurricane Hole for the enjoyment of snorkelers and swimmers.

After resting on the sea floor off of the East End of St. John for a few hundred years, the anchor was originally discovered almost a decade ago, when the 218-foot mega yacht Golden Shadow picked it up, explained V.I. National Park Archaeologist Ken Wild.

“On July 27, 2004, the Golden Shadow was anchored off the Hurricane Hole area and they picked up this anchor with their anchor line and couldn’t shake it off,” said Wild. “They finally shook it off out in the middle of Coral Bay harbor near Le Duck island.”

The crew of Golden Shadow called VINP’s Division of Resource Management and reported their find, Wild explained.

“They called us and told us about the anchor and gave us the coordinates of where they finally shook it off,” he said. “It was in about 90 feet of water and the visibility was pretty bad, but we dove down and found it right away. We took some pictures of it and put a little buoy on it so we could find it later.”

Snorkelers check out the historic anchor in Hurricane Hole.

Several weeks later, word spread around the island that several boaters in the Coral Bay area had discovered an historic anchor, Wild added.

“We started hearing about someone picking up an old anchor so we called Elliot Hooper at Tall Ship Trading,” said the VINP Archaeologist. “We had our photos of it and after talking to Elliot we knew it was the same anchor.”

It was fitting that Hooper, who owns the 110-foot tall ship Silver Cloud, used the 15-foot historic anchor for years, Wild explained.

“Elliot used it as an anchor which is kind of cool because he has an historic boat and it is an historic anchor,” said Wild.

VINP officials, however, wanted the public to be able to see the anchor as well, according to Wild.

“We wanted to put the anchor where everyone could enjoy it,” he said. “It’s federal property and we wanted to put it back in the park where everyone could see it.”

So last month, Hooper and his crew used Silver Cloud to help Wild and VINP Resource Manager Thomas Kelley pick up the anchor and move it back to the Hurricane Hole area of Coral Bay.

“We’re really excited to have this historic anchor back in park waters where it can be enjoyed by the public,” said Wild.