Thursday, February 10, 2011

Anchor Management

We read in our guide book that anchoring in Nassau Harbor was tricky.  The holding isn't good, there are strong currents, and you are subject to the wake of all sorts of traffic from cruise ships to whalers...ugh.

The thing is this:  anchoring is free.  That equals zero dollars which is equal to more beer.  No brainer, right?

So we opted to anchor.  We felt that with our 275 feet of chain and our (way) oversized 55lb anchor we'd fair okay.

Anchoring is an art that we have admittedly not quite mastered.  There is so much to factor in - from length of scope (that's the amount of chain you let out, usually either 5 to 7 feet for every 1 foot of water), to swing room (your boat will pivot on anchor, it will not stay in one place); current, wind, and tide also play a big roles.  But most important is staying clear of other boats so you don't swing or drag into them.  That is a major boo-boo and a big no-no.

This particular anchorage was a little crowded and Scott and I dropped and retrieved our anchor twice before coming to what we thought was our final resting place.  Just as the sun set and we kicked back with some wine and ukelele tunes - a local man who was quite over-served dinghyed over to us and started cursing and swearing like a crazy man and kept saying something like, "@#@()#*&()@*&$ two anchors! #$)(&@$@)* two ya hear what I'm saying...@#*&^@ do ya understand?!"  Thinking this guy was - quite literally - crazy - we weren't sure what to do - but after some time we realized he wanted us to have to anchors down so we didn't swing into his boat (due to the current here).  He was right.  He, in his own little way, was trying to be helpful.  We decided to just move.

I'm guessing he felt bad because shortly after we started pulling up anchor he dinghyed back over to our boat to try to explain the Bahamian Moor style of anchoring (with a lot less cursing), all the while slurring his words as he bobbed about in his boat.  He was even nice enough to offer to come over at 8am the next morning to teach us more.  Neither of us were surprised when he didn't show.  That must have been some hangover.

After three attempts to set our anchor, we finally got it dug in.  It turned out to be a win/win.  We learned how to set a Bahamian moor anchor (though did not do it) and found a better place to anchor just a few hundred feet from where we were - with plenty of room to swing and pivot to our little hearts desire.  Believe it or not, there is a lot of peace of mind in that.


Brett said...

You get away from road rage only to encounter.... cruiser rage. Its too bad you had to put up with an asshat like that. He could have dealt with the situation better.

Anonymous said...

...or "anchoRAGE"

Laura and Hans said...

I keep telling Hans that we will have to use 2 anchors in the Bahamas. He thinks it's overkill because we usually do fine even in big blows. I'll have to read this to him because let's face it, if you only use one anchor in that kind of situation you probably are going to swing into somebody! Grrr, just one more thing to learn.

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