Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Rolly Anchorage

This is a photo I took in Guadalupe (I think) - it's an example of an "open" anchorage
I can not sleep.  I have been trying for the past few hours but it has continued to evade me.

I am, literally, tossing and turning.

Not because I am not tired, mind you, because I am.  Oh no, we are tossing and turning because we are at (...dun, dun, dun...) - a rolly anchorage.

I don't know if I can adequately do the "rolly anchorage" justice to you land lubbers - but suffice it to say it is the bane of the cruising sailor's existence.   Well, mine at least.

We are anchored at the base of Petit Piton in what would be considered an "open anchorage" meaning it is not protected from swell and waves.  Because this is a tight spot and a marine reserve, anchoring is prohibited here and one must take a mooring instead.  Because of the limited swing room (the circle which a boat will pivot around a point, like a mooring or an anchor), you must also bring a stern line to shore to inhibit movement.  What does that mean?  That our fancy swell bridle that worked so well for us back in the Bahamas will not work here.  Ugh.

What makes a rolly anchorage uncomfortable?  Allow me to break it down for you:

  • The boat is moving, inconsistently side to side; rolling about 20 degrees each time.  To stay flat in bed during this kind of undulation you actually have to engage your core and brace yourself lest you roll into your partner.  No bueno.
  • Because we are tied, stern to (that's the back end of the boat), to a tree on land and very close to shore - we can hear the breaking of waves.  These are the same waves and swell that are causing us to roll so vigorously.  While breaking waves are wonderful from a shore-side tiki hut, they are not a pleasant sound while on a boat.  Again, this is disconcerting and not conducive to slumber.
  • The lines attaching us to the mooring ball are pulling and stretching in such a violent way that they are screeching, stretching, tugging and causing such a ruckus that Scott actually woke up a bit ago and asked "Did you just hear someone scream?"  Nope.  Just the lines. Pulling and wrenching and squeaking and rubbing and overall making some very unpleasant sounds. (This is probably the worst part, actually).
  • While we are on the subject of noises - our water tank, which is in our keel, is sloshing back and forth, back and forth adding yet another splashy, gurgley noise to the cacophony.
  • The fact that we are trusting our boat (which, as I stated earlier is really close to shore) to a mooring ball.  For those that do not know; a mooring ball is a buoy you tie your boat up to.  Their strength relies on how and how well they are set.  There are many horror stories of people tying up to poorly set moorings only to find themselves broken free and drifting, usually in the wee hours of night and usually in inclement weather.  The pulling sounds mentioned previously only add further to the nightmare that our boat is trying to extricate itself from it.  This, again, is slightly unnerving and not sleep-inducing.
So there you have it.  Can you imagine how uncomfortable it is?  If so - multiply it by ten and you have the idea.

I'm off to try and get a couple hours' sleep before we drop this mooring ball like a bad habit first thing in the morning!


Paula said...

wow, that sounds really bad...but I guess nothing can be perfect, even cruing life ;) hope you get some rest soon!

Mid-Life Cruising! said...

Once again your writing gives us a great idea of what the cruising life is really like ... good and bad. We see sleepless nights in our future! Oh well... gotta take the bad with the good.

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Donna said...
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