When anchoring in a busy anchorage with potential hazards, debris, or many mooring chains on the seabed, it's essential to have a backup plan for retrieving your anchor if it gets stuck. One option worth considering is a submerged anchor trip line, which has several advantages over a conventional anchor trip line attached to a buoy.
To set up a submerged anchor trip line, attach a strong floating line, preferably made of Dyneema, to the shank nearest the heel of the anchor. The length of the rope should be determined by typical anchoring depths. Deploy the rode (chain) and attach the other end of the trip line a couple of feet ahead of its length. For example, if you have a 30-foot trip line, tie it to the rode at 28 feet, so it will float above the chain but far beneath the surface.
This setup keeps the trip line out of the way and hidden below the surface. When retrieving the anchor, the trip line will show itself attached to the chain long before discovering that the anchor is stuck. If the anchor is stuck, you can use the trip line that is already on deck to release the anchor without the hassle of a buoy.
Using a submerged anchor trip line provides peace of mind in busy anchorages with potential hazards, and it's a straightforward setup to ensure you can retrieve your anchor safely.