Sometimes you are impacted not by what you do right but by what others do wrong.
This was the case this week when a sudden, fierce storm whipped up at midnight in the anchorage where we had settled for the night. There were twelve boats in our little anchorage that night and when the winds sprang suddenly up to over 30 knots, six of them started to slide across the water. Their anchors had not held to the seabed. Four of those boats, a group rafted together with dock lines and sharing one anchor, were headed right for Wild Horses.
We had a lot of luck on our side that night.
First, Mike was awake. The suddenness of the storm and the very heavy rains made him rush up to the cockpit and inspect things. He wanted to double check that our anchor was holding us securely (it was) and he wanted to scan our environment to see if the rest of the anchored boats were okay (they weren’t…yikes!). In the darkness he could see the four rafted boats being blown towards Wild Horses. Worse, the boats were dark, no lights shone from either inside or outside of the boats. This is a sure sign that all were fast asleep. No one on board was aware of their predicament and that their next stop was going to be the bow of Wild Horses. Mike immediately sounded the alarm by using the airhorn that we keep in the cockpit.
Second, the wind shifted. The change in direction moved the boats away from Wild Horses and towards an open space in the anchorage. We were still not out of the woods though. Another wind shift could have caused the boats to be redirected towards any of the other anchored boats or even back in the direction of Wild Horses. The airhorn blasts continued, with urgency.
By this time, other sailors had joined in the airhorn blasts and we finally saw interior lights illuminate on the drifting boats, and then deck lights were turned on. Whew. Those aboard were awake, on deck and attending to their anchors. This was also the case for the other two boats that had drifted across the anchorage that night. They turned on their engines, and began the process of re-setting their anchors. Hopefully this time so that they stayed put.
This was a big reminder to us that an anchorage is a community, albeit a very transitory one. Although we function independently from boat to boat (i.e. doing our own thing), we are actually interdependent. It matters who is being safe, and who isn’t. If we each make sure that we are behaving safely, like taking care in our anchoring practices, then we will all, in our community, be safer for it. Hmmm, with covid-19, this may be the emerging theme for 2020. We really are in this together 😊.
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.