Wednesday, April 11, 2007

February 8

February 8. Well, we’ve decided to stay for about a month here in Marathon. The weather’s beautiful, there’s everything we need within walking distance and the area is very cruiser supportive.

This past weekend was pretty exciting as the winds built to 20 to 25 knots with higher gusts for more than 2 straight days. We’re the closest boat to the northern shore and the winds were from the northeast so we were pretty safe from having another boat drag down upon us. The winds built Friday night and we were sailing at anchor pretty good so we decided to put out a second anchor on Saturday morning just to be safe.

Our primary anchor was doing a fine job but I’d be kicking myself in the ass if we had dragged and still had 3 big anchors in reserve on the boat. I was debating putting out the second anchor when our neighbor deployed his second anchor, damn peer pressure. I brought the dinghy around to the bow of the boat and Christy lowered the second anchor into the dinghy along with 30 feet of chain and fed out the anchor rode as I motored away into the wind. When we had 120 feet of rode out I dropped the anchor over the side and returned to Veranda and hand set the anchor. It was well set when it was 100 feet from the boat. I pulled it in tight enough to take some of the pressure off the primary anchor and all was well for us.

During the blow when I was returning from walking the dogs I just happened to be looking at our other neighbor’s boat when it broke free from the bottom and took off in the wind. They were only a hundred feet away and dragging down on the unsuspecting boat behind them. As I was approaching I saw their anchor chain snap tight as the anchor luckily reset itself about 12 feet from the boat behind them. I pulled along side and called out to them and as they came topside I told them they were dragging. The captain looked right, forward, left and had a skeptical look on his face until he turned around and almost shit himself.

They had been below, hanging to 1 smallish anchor and had no idea that they were moving. They started their boat and spent a good 20 minutes motoring into the wind while collecting and resetting their anchor more than once. During the blow a few boats dragged but were either behind or off to the side of us.

We spent all day Saturday on the boat watching the situation. On Sunday the winds didn’t exceed 20 knots for several hours so we went ashore to watch the Super Bowl . The place we chose advertised having the biggest screen in Marathon and had a dock so we could dinghy directly there. The covered outdoor patio had a projection television aimed at the side of a tractor trailer parked next to the patio. Quite the big screen. We had a great time with several friends and the crowd was pretty evenly divided so it made for a great atmosphere.

Our friends from Non Linear were setting sail this morning for the Bahamas so we went with them and another couple and dinghied in to a local pub last night for a good bye meal. There was live music and a great time was had by all.

No comments: