The Wicked Witch of Winterlude

Yes, I am the wicked witch of sv Winterlude.  I will never ever understand why, when there’s lots of room in an anchorage, boats feel compelled to anchor literally on top of other boats.

Winterlude at anchor.  The wicked witch is in the dinghy taking photos.  :)

Winterlude at anchor. The wicked witch is in the dinghy taking photos. 🙂

Yesterday a boat came into the anchorage, drove around scouting lots of great spots … with no other boats.  But then  dropped the anchor literally within a boat length directly upwind of Winterlude.  David & I were in our dinghy getting ready for our afternoon beach excursion.  We waited watching.  David swore they were going to pick it up and move because they knew they were too close.  No such luck.

After promising to be nice (David always worries … and with good reason … about me turning into a raving ranting witch), we dinghied over and politely with a smile I asked if they had a nice sail (pleasantries first), then even more politely told them I thought they were anchored too close to our boat.

The first response was “ok, how much chain do you have out?”   80 feet.  The next response … “Well, let’s just let it settle in and see, I’ve never ever drug anchor and I teach sailing, so there’s nothing to worry about”.

My response was a polite, the boats are anchored too close (not to mention directly upwind) and we would like you to move.  But if you decide not to move, we’ll reanchor.  We were a bit concerned that he’d have to move for us to get our anchor out from under his boat so we COULD re-anchor, but we agreed to dinghy off & check later.  If he hadn’t re-anchored, we would.  Keep in mind, there was plenty of room.

He grumbled and groused, but when we returned, he had moved an acceptable and certainly safer distance.  Whew…

Note that behind us in the fog there are several boats anchored... just not close enough that we can see them.  :)

Note that behind us in the fog there are several boats anchored… just not close enough that we can see them. 🙂

In retrospect when he said he teaches sailing and has never drug anchor,   I almost wish I had smiled and said “I certainly hope you aren’t teaching new sailors that it’s OK to anchor too close”.  I’m glad the witch in me was able to be polite.  I hate to alienate potential friends, but our boat’s safety is more important.

The boat in front of us moved to a much more acceptable distance, but it's still within sight in the dense fog.  Other boats were not in sight.

The boat in front of us moved to a  perfectly acceptable distance, but it’s still within sight in the dense fog. Other boats were not in sight.

So now you know about the wicked witch that lives aboard sv Winterlude.  Poor David.

Comments

  1. Tom Grover says:

    Jan.
    He may have been a “sailing instructor”, but he certainly couldn’t have been much of an “anchoring instructor” 😉 You could have also used reverse psychology and told him that if the wind changes, you might swing into him.

    We have a very handy item on Allez Yukon that helps to determine exactly how close another boat is anchored to us. I use a laser range finder, the type hunters use, to give a very accurate distance to another boat or object. There is no disputing how close the other boat is with that.

    Fair winds
    Tom & Janis Grover
    s/v Allez Yukon

    • Hi Tom! When we were cruising the Western Caribbean, our buddy boat had a good measurement system as well. He told the offending boat that if he could throw an egg and hit their boat, they were WAY too close. Just the comment usually worked. 🙂 I didn’t think to mention the egg throwing approach to this boat. I like the laser range finder idea. Sometimes boats look closer than they actually are … especially in crowded anchorages (which this is not, at least not right now). Cheers! Jan

  2. brian wise says:

    Hi
    I admire your restraint. I’ll endeavor to be so polite when my time comes…
    Brian

  3. mark lawrence says:

    We frequently see folks bringing melted shore cord plugs into West Marine for replacement. The reason is almost always because they did not securely screw the power cord ring to the receptacle threads and motion of the boat pulls the cord part way out. That gap will usually start an arcing that can melt the cord and start a fire. I used to be lazy about this but not anymore after seeing numerous melted cords. On pierside end, be sure to wrap the cord around the tower and check frequently to make sure it is not being pulled out.

  4. Keith Davie says:

    Well done, Jan! Thing is, it’s the law – you have to ask them to move if there’s a risk. You’re not a witch, you’re just playing by the rules!

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