Written by Peter Rickard, CO HMS PENELOPE, 1981 -1983.
Falkland Islands Museum & National Trust
Images courtesy of Peter Rickard
The historic heart of Stanley
The story of an anchor
HMS Penelope had moved overnight on 19/20 June 1982 from San Carlos Water to Port William anchoring at 9am on the 20 June 1982.
It soon became clear however that due to worsening weather conditions, the selected anchorage was unsuitable and I made the decision to move the Ship to a hoped for better protected anchorage.
In weighing anchor we encountered difficulty, our anchor becoming fouled and with some surprise we then brought to the surface a very old anchor. One of the two anchors outside the Museum is the one recovered that morning.
Rather than lose such a relic, but with no means of quickly getting it ashore, I "suspended it" as a temporary measure on our bow, until such time as we could land it at Stanley. The crews of ships with us in the anchorage were much amused to see Penelope with her “third” anchor.
As this was so soon after the war matters to land the anchor were somewhat delayed and we had to call on the help of the barge used to collect rubbish daily from the ships in Port William and also the services of the repair ship which had a crane.
To assist in getting the anchor loaded on to a recovery barge the anchor was briefly returned to the seabed from the Penelope with a marker and lifting strop and the relic was then recovered once more and safely placed on the "gash barge."
Thus by the time Penelope sailed on the 23rd June the old anchor had been sent ashore but nothing further was heard as to its history or where it ended up until a picture of the relic was seen in the 2016 edition of the Falklands Islands Magazine.
Penelope was somewhat busy thereafter around the Islands until she returned to an emotional welcome to her home port Devonport in September 1982.