Join Date: May 2009
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When we dropped hook in Great Harbor, Jost Van Dyke for the old years night party this past new years on the same chartered boat from the origional post, just a couple days prior, we had a heck of a time getting the anchor to hold, the anchor was a little too small for the size boat we were on being a big part. Given the huge number of other boats in the area, and the fact that I didn't want to worry about the anchor slipping while we were ashore and drinking some of the world famous local rum concoctions, I did dive on the anchor that night.
Not that it mattered, a few hours later a guy who wasn't hooked well came down on us rather hard (we were below decks getting ready to go ashore when he hit us). We ended up boarding his vessel, starting the engine and raising his anchor (by hand, his windlass didn't work) only to find that he had let out about 2:1 scope, and didn't have so much as a shackle on the end of the rhode, it was tied to the anchor with a bowline.
What we didn't know is that while the 3 competant sailors currently on our boat were busy moving and resetting this guys hook (this time with a decent scope), when he came down on our boat, it had knocked our hook loose. To make matters worse, the 2 people still on our boat, were the only 2 people on the trip that didn't know how to start the engine, handle the boat, or operate the radio (I had my handheld VHF with us on the vessel we had commandeered).
So now we're a good 600-700' upwind, and just as we finish setting the hook on this boat, we look back at our boat, and notice it's not swinging right, and 2 seconds later I hear a desperate scream from my girlfriend over the noise of the music ashore, and 700' upwind... our boat was now drifting into the boat that was previously behind us.
I called for immeaditate assistance on the radio, and 2 people showed up in seconds that I guess had been watching the whole thing from nearby, and had been listening to us try to raise anyone who could help locate the owner of the vessel, but not previously offering assistance. One picked me up from the vessel that had been adrift, and the other went to our boat now adrift, and positioned his dinghy between our boat and the catameran to prevent any damage.
Once we were all back on board and hook reset, we dropped a 2nd anchor in case the 1st one started slipping again, and opened the nearest bottle of rum.
The next day we found the skipper of the boat that hit us, He told us that when he got back onboard, he noticed that someone had "let out too much anchor rope" so he pulled the extra "rope" in to make sure he "didn't swing around and get hit by someone". We got all of his information and turned it into the Conch Charter's insurance. They were able to track him down, but he refused to pay them for the damage as of the last time I spoke with anyone down there.
lessons to learn: Make sure everyone on board is at least familiar with basic use of the radio. Always try to anchor as far upwind in the harbor as you can as you never know if the next boat upwind actually knows what they are doing. Don't wait until you know you need a 2nd anchor to decide to use it (kinda like don't wait to reef until you need the reef to be in).
Four Points - 1990 Hunter 27'
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