Thursday, May 07, 2009

Anchoring Drill

We’ve been anchored in Bequia for almost 2 weeks. It’s been gusty and rainy off and on. Mostly it’s been sunny and beautiful. We’re anchored near Princess Margaret Beach and enjoy watching all the charter boats (mostly catamarans) come and go.

Yesterday we were very excited to get our new awning. Scott went in early to pick it up. The awning maker, Avell, offered to come to the boat to help install it but Scott said not necessary. He wanted to give it a try on his own.

So we managed to strap the new material down over the boom. This awning is much bigger than our original bimini that zips onto the dodger. But wait…...the new awning isn’t covering the cockpit! That won’t work. So back to the canvas shop goes Scott to bring Avell out to help us figure this out. He showed us how to tighten the batten and stretch the lines forward to give us the shape we wanted but agreed that it wouldn’t keep rain out. We decided to add side panels that would roll up when not needed. Back to the shop to make adjustments. It will be ready later on in the day.

Well that was a little disappointing but we think it will turn out much better. So we relax for a bit, have some lunch, get ready to go back into town to do some internetting when suddenly I notice that the boat behind us is almost upon us! What the……
‘Scott, I think we’re dragging!’ He jumps up, starts the engine, and we prepare to haul anchor. How did this happen? It was a bit gusty when we tried installing the awning but we don’t think that caused us to sail off the anchor. In any event there was no doubt that we had moved and were only 6 feet or so from the other boat.

By 'other boat' I mean the nasty, rusty French boat behind us with the guy who just cannot keep his pants on! I mean plenty of Europeans will swim in the nude descretely off their stern. This guy just prances about the deck stark naked and WAVING to passers by. These two idiots are just standing on deck not saying anything. Waiting for the collision? OK, you're french and you don't speak English. . . how about HEY! or something similar. Idiots.

Ok….assume your positions. Scott begins to haul chain with the manual windlass and I stick my head and hand into the anchor locker to guide the chain down so it doesn’t castle up and get stuck. After about 200 strokes of the lever on the windlass the anchor is finally up and I run to the helm to drive. Where should we put the anchor down now? We still can’t believe that we drug after sitting there so long with no problem.

We tried setting the anchor 5 times before it held. Now when I say ‘tried’ this means Scott drops the anchor on a sandy patch. I back up the boat. Scott lets out more chain. I back up the boat. Scott yells ‘back up straight’, I yell, ‘the winds not letting me’, Scott signals to put the boat in neutral, I do. Scott dons snorkel and mask and swims over the anchor. We’re dragging here too. Back in the boat. Scott hauls chain by using the double-action ratchet lever about 200 times and I go back below to organize chain. Whew! What a drag! Finally got set near where we started but farther from shore. (Click the play button to see Scott in 'action')

The next morning we got the new and improved awning and it is awesome. We used to have to move around in the cockpit in a crouch like living in a pup tent. Now we have lots of head room, better viewing and more shade. Now we’re hoping for rain to try the whole thing with the flaps down.

We think we’re finally leaving tomorrow for Wallilabou in St. Vincent. This is where they filmed Pirates of the Caribbean and Johnny Dep is still there. Any other appearances by him since making that movie are holograms.

Finally, the required Mismo photo. She is a little miffed that her hammock (old bimini) is gone. In the meantime she is hanging out on top of the dodger pondering how to torture us in the middle of the night.


Anonymous said...

WOW what a awning! We like it. Wait until Mismo learns how high she can get on that. Now stop dragging, enjoy the awning, and have a rum for us. K^2

Anonymous said...