Originally Posted by flyingwelshman
...so I don't look like a complete moron?
Bit too late for this eh Taffy?
Good points above. One thing I'd add is that when selecting your spot, try and select one where the wind will be at your bow. The anchorages often have spots available on more than one side, and if you don't have a side wind trying to muck things up while you're going ashore in your dinghy, so much the better.
An anchor that SETS quickly is important. I was doing this in Canada with a Fortress and trying to nurse those flukes into the bottom while backing up towards a close shore isn't fun. Having an anchor that sets right where you drop it is never more important than when stern tying.
One thing I've never figured out.... Why does everyone use poly-line? Personally I think it's because you need a lot of it and people are cheap. I bent over and bought nylon 3 strand for my stern line. Why? Because to me, it's a mooring line. If it parts, the consequences are often dire, so why cheap line? I've been in situations where the wind shifted and it's beam on with both the bow/anchor line and the stern line under quite a bit of force and there might be a nice looking rock or cliff next to you.
Speaking of all that, a leadline is an important tool to have. It's nice to anchor the bow with lots of extra scope so you can snug up on it (and get further away from shore) if you find out it's shallow. I usually secure the boat's stern line first then check for shallows and adjust accordingly.
I'll also give you some tips for how to entertain the anchorage:
1: Don't make your tender accessible before anchoring. It's no fun if you've got it down off the davits, stern line in the boat, and it's nicely tied alongside where it's painter won't foul the prop BEFORE anchoring the bow. Then you can easily get in and go ashore. No fun for us.
2: Don't flake out your stern line in the boat or have it on a well greased stern pulpit spool. It's much more fun to watch someone try and row while struggling against a big pile of line that is acting like a dog's leash.
3: Don't use Keen or Teva sandals with good grip. You'll be much more entertaining with your sea-boots or rubber deck shoes and you climb up weed and mollusk covered wet rocks. Same for gloves, the spectators like to see real blood.
4: Make sure that your bow and stern lines are BAR TIGHT. That way you'll be sure to be entertaining when the tide goes up or down. If you leave a little slack fore and aft you'll be no fun to watch at all.
5: (my favorite) Don't have an easy way set up to secure your dingy to shore while you're climbing around with the stern line looking to rope a tree. It's so much more fun to hear the cries of the newly stranded yachtie with the stern line in hand staring at his newly freed tender as it sails off without him.
PS Don't ask me how I know all the tricks to being the entertainment for the anchorage....