Sailing can reward both end of the relaxation spectrum and the change from one polar to the other can be swift. This morning we are at the smiley end.
Anchored off a quiet sandy Eleuthera beach, we are the only boat in the anchorage. There’s zero wind so little point in moving as we’d be motoring. The sun beats, we had a morning ‘naughty but nice’ skinny dip, not done that for a while but it felt good. Dinner cooks in the pressure cooker for this evening, the fridge raw water intake strainer has been cleaned, l have a new book on the go and the larger part of day lies ahead. More swimming, perhaps a snorkel around the rocks, some paddle boarding, a bit of work and all of a sudden it will be 6pm. The second coat of paint required on the boat ceiling will be ignored till a later day. Forget any ‘top up’ varnishing.
It’s not always this seemingly idyllic painted picture, the other end of the spectrum can arrive swiftly. We were anchored in Governors Harbour, a place where the holding has a reputation for being poor, meaning anchors don’t set too well. It took us a couple of attempts to get ours to behave. We have an anchoring routine. Dull but methodical! It can take some time rather just lobbing the anchor out and retiring for tea and medals. Dave did a quick snorkel to check it had dug in okay and wasn’t just teasing us. As this can happen. To any boaters.
Later the same evening, we went across to another boat for chats and beverages. Beverages is a word I have picked up through spending time in the States and Canada. It’s not in my usual speech quiver but I quite like it. Beverages.
The sun had long gone, the wind picked up and a squall came through. Their boat was no longer in the same place, it was drifting rapidly downwind towards the shore, thankfully dancing smoothly around the bow of another boat. It was close(ish). In what seemed like the time it takes a for the british parliament to reject a Theresa May Brexit proposal, the boat was hard aground. No amount of engine power was shifting that baby. The best anchor of all, the hull, was stopping that boat going anywhere. And inevitably the tide was on its way down.
Soaked to the skin by now and quite cold, Dave and I hopped in our dinghy and went back to Grace, changed and gathered some resources……kedge anchor, 100m of line, large knife, head torches, the BIG torch, VHF radio, think that’s the complete list.
Over the next two hours, we play a few rounds of the anchoring winching game. The boat wasn’t shifting much but when the game ended, two anchors were laid out in deeper water. It was then a case of letting the moon and earth do their thing and wait for the tide to rise. We went to bed about midnight and grounded crew were able to winch in a bit on each anchor line until around 2.30am the boat broke free and was able to do what boats do best, float.
We were happy to help. That relaxation spectrum can change quickly. So stay away from too many beverages.
….and an unrelated picture. Well it was Valentine’s Day. 😀