You may have seen that this morning we called out a charter company on our Instagram and Facebook stories regarding their dangerous anchoring choice. As I write, we are sitting on our back deck drinking our coffee, watching their charter guests have breakfast about 15 feet away from the back of our boat. 15 feet may sound like a lot, but in sailing, that’s basically right on top of another boat. Their distance from our boat is fluctuating as the wind blows both our boats around, but they keep coming back. Why is this such a big deal? Well, when you anchor, you let out a certain amount of chain (scope) based on the water depth and weather conditions. When we arrived at this anchorage in The Bight, Norman Island two days ago, there were no other boats around us. It was great! Naturally by evening, we’d acquired a few neighbors, but all left yesterday morning. When we came home from happy hour last night, this charter boat had nestled itself in between us and the shoreline.
Bob politely paddle boarded over to have a chat with the skipper and ask him to move because he was too close, but the skipper refused. When we anchored, we specifically placed ourselves in a way that we are at an equally safe distance from shore, and the mooring balls nearby where other boats could decide to take up residence. The last two days, the wind has picked up significantly, to the point where all water sports activities are basically out of the question. The winds are sustaining around 15-20 knots and gusting to around 30-35 knots. On anchor, a boat will naturally swing based on the wind direction and gusts, and the direction of the swell. So in conditions like we have now, it’s important to let out a lot of chain, and give all boats a wide space for swinging. Additionally, with all this chain out by both boats, it’s possible to have chains crossed or tangled, which is a huge mess that needs to be sorted out underwater and is a big pain in the a$$.
Why don’t we just move? Good question. We’ve been here two days (last night when they arrived, it was about a day and a half), and we are securely anchored in a good spot that was carefully planned out. It’s not ideal or even advisable to try to move an anchor in the dark, let alone, under these wind conditions (which is part of the reason we’ve holed up in this spot the last few days!). And in sailing, there’s an unwritten rule that whoever is anchored or moored first has the rights. So the person who was there first shouldn’t have to move. Whoever encroached later should be the one to fix their shit.
Since we tried talking to them to no avail, we called across the water a few times when the boats were too close to try and clue in the charter guests, who were unconcerned as well. I suppose when it’s not your boat or your money (because neither the guests or the crew have any real investment into this), you just don’t care about safety as much. With no other recourse, we tried publicly shaming them on social media, hoping to get their parent company’s attentio
Other sailors + cruisers – how do you handle a situation where another boat anchors unsafely next to you?!?