Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Getting to know your neighbor!

We awoke this morning to find a sailboat anchored just off our stern. (No, we didn’t have the sign out...!) Turns out their mooring painter had parted from the mooring shackle during the night -- no fault of theirs -- and they found themselves bumping up against a neighboring sailboat in the wee hours. Thankfully, there was no damage to either vessel, but they had no recourse but to drop anchor in the midst of the mooring field, and the captain of the chartered vessel stayed up all night to make sure they didn’t go elsewhere in the dark. (Thankfully there was a licensed captain and sailing instructor aboard with the charterers!) The guy was very nice; he apologized profusely for the intrusion into the the mooring field, but we had no issue with the captain, as he dealt with a bad situation the best way he could! We were just glad there wasn’t any damage done, and no one was hurt. 

View of the sailboat off our stern at Cooper Island 
Moorings here in the BVI are everywhere; just about every good anchorage now has an extensive mooring field, which sometimes makes anchoring difficult since the depths drop steeply not too far from shore in some areas. We’ll take a mooring when we feel its the best option, but we always dive on the mooring to make sure it is in good shape! When we anchor, we use our laser range finder (we have a small Bushnell Yardage Pro Sport 450) to make sure we have adequate space between us and any other boats nearby. I am dismal at estimating distances over the water, so the range finder is an excellent way to be certain that we have adequate swing room, especially in a crowded or tight anchorage. It’s an key precaution, since Equinox likes to swing with the current rather than the wind, due to her deep keel. And we always dive on our anchor as well, to make sure that it is well-set!

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