Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Anchor Stare

Tyrrell Bay after the normal morning departure
Dec 29th, 2014
Or alternative title......"While You Are Anchoring, Not All Speedo Wearing, Foreign Solo Sailors Have Malice In Their Hearts."

Allow me to explain.  When someone new comes into an anchorage, everyone that is already anchored there watches what the new arrivals are doing and specifically where they plan to anchor.  If it is somewhat close to them, then they watch with even more interest.  Sometimes from the cockpit and sometimes from the deck of their boat - staring intently......usually in a small speedo.  Actually this is a common anchoring deterrent.  A crazy looking, tiny speedo wearing (or naked) sailor moving around on the deck of his sailboat can frighten some would-be anchoring boats off.  Luckily, we do not scare easy.  Truth be told, on rare occasion, I have even been one of the up on deck, intently staring sailors myself.  Yes, I have!  When I think someone is anchoring too close to us or possibly on top of our anchor, I get out on deck and take an interest.   Of course this is all taken up a notch or two if the anchorage is crowded and/or if it's getting close to sunset and/or if the wind it blowing strongly.  
Big ferry swinging this way and that
Late this afternoon we motored into Tyrrell Bay Carriacou from Grenada.  On approach there were 3 boats (including us) arriving at the same time.  The anchoring field is FULL.  The few remaining good spots seemed to have homemade moorings floating there meaning a local boat could arrive back after dark and want their spot.  Or our prop or rudder could get wrapped up in one of these if we swung over it.  Darn it!  It was 17:30 so everyone was in their cockpit or messing about with their dinghy to go ashore.  All eyes were on us as we searched for a spot to anchor.  Forget the perfect spot, we were just looking for anything before dark and before the other two boats got there first.  We circled, discussed and circled some more.  Finally we settled on a spot where we thought we could stuff in.  It was in between a foreign flagged aluminum boat and big ferry.  As we drifted back, letting out chain, I spotted the speedo wearing, foreign solo sailor of the aluminum boat take up position on his deck.  Oh boy.  Here we go.  I didn't look at him.  Neither did first.  Then he did a courtesy know the if to say "Hi guy.  I know you are concerned we are dropped anchor here but don't be.  There is room and besides, you have been in our spot trying to find a place to anchor, so be cool."  However, I noticed Tom was going beyond just a courtesy look and was engaging in conversation with this guy.  Oh great.  I assumed the speedo wearing, foreign solo sailor was letting us know he didn't want us there.  In reality he was warning Tom that the big ferry swings all sorts of weird ways.  "Sure it does pal" was my thought (I know, my bad).  Tom thanked him and we moved on.  Finally, we ended up anchoring behind the big ferry in a so-so spot but a spot none the less.  Tom is currently on anchor watch as we have an unoccupied motor yacht very close by.  *Did you catch that?  Tom is on anchor watch and not worry wort me!  Anyway, being anchored where we are behind the big ferry has given us a chance to see that speedo wearing, foreign solo sailor was totally right.  The big ferry has been swing this way and that and nothing at all like the rest of the field.  We would have totally been in trouble had we anchored there.  We plan to thank him tomorrow when we go by to re-anchor in a better spot after the charter boats bug out in the morning anchorage departure.
And yes, technically we are actually the ones too close to someone this go around - the motor yacht just off our port stern.  We generally wouldn't anchor this close but it was getting late and we needed to set.  We watched for quite some time to be sure we were set and that we wouldn't hit it in the various wind angle swings.  Also, this boat is unoccupied so we didn't have to content with a speedo wearing, motor yacht guy up on the deck of this boat.  

For the record.....I do not have anything against speedo wearing, foreign solo sailors.  I just wanted you to have the full picture of the above situation.  Tom is one actually but not solo.  

** On the flip side of the above story -  Jonas of sy Lady Annilla told us that once while cruising in the Med, a boat anchored too close to them.  Before he could launch the dinghy and go say something, the captain of the anchored-too-close boat disappeared below and sent his crew up on deck.  She appeared to be (wink wink) given the age different.  She had on a scant bikini and proceeded to do some sort of stretching/pole dancing/siren song aka.....let us anchor here dance.  Smart captain that he is, Jonas quickly went below on his boat and sent his wife up to sort out the anchoring too close details.

Update- Overnight we stayed put despite strong winds and big gusts.  Tom did anchor duty all night in the cockpit, waking up when the big gusts hit and checking our position.  This morning we dinghied by the speedo wearing, foreign solo sailor to say "thanks"  He and his partner waved (not solo - my bad) and we waved back.  He pointed to our boat and gave a thumbs up.  We gave a thumbs up back.  Message conveyed.  Thank you so much Captain speedo.


  1. The only time we have been hit by another boat while at anchor, they anchored well away (then left the boat for the day) and it dragged down on us on the well known p.m. rising wind shift. Their location was fine, but they never set the anchor. We have also found a laser rangefinder helps in sorting out the situation on the darker (but not rainy) nights.

  2. I know the feeling about a boat anchoring on top of you. I have a very simple solution. I connected a very powerful salt water pump to a hose in the anchor locker. When the boat comes too close I turn on the water spray and say"You are too close......Close your hatches because the salt water will ruin all the things down below". They soon move. One one occasion the fellow got rude so I waited untii he went below then turned the hose on the boat. It only took him a few seconds to move. Not wearing speedos.

    1. Oh wow. That is certainly an interesting way to handle it. Thanks for the comments and for following along.