Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Calgary Alberta
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Charterers' anchoring show
I don't want to hijack the thread, but have a little story to tell that I think is quite funny. Maybe I can bring a few wry smiles to a few people...
During the 2008 cruising season, my family and I sailed our cruising boat from Florida to Grenada, through the "thorny path". On arrival in the BVI from Culebra, we checked in at Jost Van Dyke and promptly went to Foxy's for a drink. Later that afternoon we were sitting on deck and watching the charter boats coming in in droves and at top speed, raching each other and jostling for a spot to anchor.
Now, I'm not a sailing snob, but everyone knows that there are all sorts of different experience levels when it comes to charterers. Many charterers have a lot of experience and own boats. Many others are there for the first time however. Nowhere does inexperience show quicker, than with anchoring skills. The most telling sign is the boat that drops anchor very quickly after arriving; no cruising through the already anchored boats to check out the lay of the land, the direction of the rodes, asking the other cruisers about their scope, not checking whether those have rope rode or all chain and not checking swinging room or the swing characteristics of the other boats (for instance will they sail at anchor).
The first incident was when a charterer dropped anchor and promptly and proudly reversed at a fast clip across the bow of a 65ft beautiful German flagged cruise boat that was lying to its anchor in 20 knts of breeze. The German skipper ran to the bow to fend off. Fortunately we could not hear the accompanying words... The charter boat barely missed the German boat when they finally realized this will not work and tried to cross back to their anchor, now being blown sideways towards the German.
During this escapade my wife noticed my youngest teenage daughter coming on deck with a bag of freshly popped popcorn and a deckchair. Her questioning look ellicited this reaction: "This is better than the movies!!"
Fortunately no-one crossed our bow that night. We were crashed into by a charter boat dragging anchor in Marin, Martinique though, but that's another story and not quite as funny...
Maybe a fun thread about anchoring woes would be entertaining - and educational at the same time. We all have to learn... better to read about a mistake someone else already make, than learning by making it yourself..