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  • Writer's pictureDeanna Sansbury

Anchor Tug-O-War

We met some fellow cruisers on the boat anchored next to us who were nice enough to invite us over to their boat for some sunset cocktails.  Up to this point, Matt and I have been feeling a bit isolated, as most cruisers seem to have already formed their “groups” and have little in common with a bunch of younger, inexperienced sailors like us.  Or they’re from Montreal only speak French, which makes having a conversation somewhat difficult.  We were really surprised at how many Canadian cruisers there are here.  Bet this is the largest source of maple syrup and Canada Dry to be found outside the mainland this time of year.

So, we were enjoying some drinks with Brian and Maureen aboard their boat, Dealer’s Choice, having a great conversation with them and their friends who were visiting from (you guessed it) Canada, when then this happened:

The sailboat, Wind Affair, came into the anchorage (which was pretty crowded at this point), and dropped their anchor in front of several boats, pulling up everyone’s anchor behind them in the process.  It all happened so incredibly fast.  One minute we’re sitting there all relaxed, and the next we were in the midst of a mad scramble to secure not only Dealer’s Choice, the boat we were on, but the two other boats this guy had just set free as well.

It was painfully obvious that this guy had no clue what they hell he was doing - not only by the way he came in and dropped his anchor over everyone else’s - but by the way he continued to put his boat and the three others in jeopardy as he tried to free himself of the mess he just made.

Turns out he had gotten his anchor hooked onto Dealer’s Choice and was trying to do a hard reverse to dislodge it.  Now, Dealer’s Choice was a 55′ Sea Ray motor yacht with some powerful engines, and having this little sailboat try to reverse away from us with his 50hp engine was like bringing a knife to a gun fight.  Matt was yelling at him to put his boat in neutral so our boat could pull him, but the guy didn’t seem to understand and kept trying to reverse.  We were essentially in a tug of war game with this other boat.  In the process, the anchor chain on Dealer’s Choice got wrapped around the front hull of the catamaran next to us, which we were able to free just so it didn’t slip underwater and clothesline his props.  It was pandemonium.  And all I could do was stare over at our boat, about 50 yards away, who had thankfully managed to avoid getting it’s anchor pulled too, but wasn’t far enough away from the action to be in the clear just yet.  If our boat had been swept up in all this mess, there was no one onboard to do anything to stop it.  We were completely helpless.  What a sick feeling.

But here’s the best thing…. after we get the anchors untangled and every one sorted out, this guy proceeds to move on to a spot just down the channel to re anchor.  Talk about balls of steel.  I was really surprised he didn’t do a sail of shame out of the anchorage to find a spot elsewhere.  I certainly would have if it were us that just caused such a ruckus. Everyone was absolutely over this guy and wanted him far, far away from here, but he didn’t seem to mind at all.  Crazy.

After we were re anchored, we continued on with our cocktail hour, full of adrenaline still from what just happened. It seems like we’ve been having a few too many traumatic experiences on boats this trip, our last one being the night we came into Bimini! Here’s our PTSD group shot below. Brian and Maureen are the ones standing. Ah, life on a boat!  It’s always and adventure!

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