Anticipation. The minute the anchor goes down, you back down hard and feel it set. If you’ve just dropped anchor in some new cruising locale, exciting adventures beckon… either ashore or in the water if you’re diving, snorkeling or spearing fish for dinner.
However … HOLD ON! Resist the urge to get the dinghy in the water and immediately jump in and zoom off.
We’ve seen too many boats go “walkabout”. One unfortunate incident the boat was just upwind of us during Tropical Storm (just downgraded from Hurricane) Mitch in the Abacos. The owners immediately jumped in their dinghy to go to dinner, despite the sound advice of the harbormaster. We tried to snag it with a boathook as it drifted directly past our boat, but no luck. The boat was rescued by BASRA just before hitting the rocks.
Another incident was during a norther in Isla Mujeres, notorious among cruisers as the anchorage for “drag races”. This particular “drag race” featured a giant gorgeous Swan anchored two boats in front of us. Luckily for the owners, the boat was rescued by friends in dinghies – David being one of them – and reanchored. I’m sure when they returned from dinner well after dark there was some consternation about why their Swan wasn’t where they left it.
Why? Because their owners couldn’t take the time to make SURE the boat was secure.
Please settle in … take your time … take in your new surroundings. After our anchor is down and secure, usually we dive on it as one last check. We put our canvas back together – David doesn’t like sailing with the enclosure in place, he can’t see the sail. Then we zip up the MackPack to cover the mainsail, put covers on all the instruments (turn them off so we don’t waste amps) and get set up for life at anchor. Then it’s time for leisurely relaxing lunch or cold drink and a snack.
Finally, an hour or more later, we decide whether we’re comfortable leaving the boat. If so, often we’ll dinghy to a nearby beach or somewhere we can keep an eye on the boat while ashore at least the first evening.
There’s no hurry, plenty of time to enjoy our new “neighborhood” after making sure our floating home is secure.
Other opinions? Other examples? Please leave a comment and share! Cheers! Jan