If the boat's a rockin'!
12 February 2010 | a tutorial. Learn from it....
Cruisers are such a great bunch of folks. We met so many boaters on the way to the Exumas that I began to lose track of them all. We were anchoring in and around these new friends each afternoon. That's a lot of first impressions. Naturally, we didn't want them to think we didn't know what we were doing, even if that was true.
Most of the other boats traveled quicker than us. Heck, you could have WALKED to the Bahamas faster than our boat motored. So each day, it was a new bunch for us to see and wave to in the anchorages. It was an exciting, somewhat stressful time for us, and we worked hard at our anchoring techniques to leave a good impression.
One of our first anchoring attempts was in the Mile Hammock anchorage at Camp Lejune, NC. We were ok at anchoring, but not anything to brag on. Further, the anchorage was reported to have iffy holding. And it was crowded when we got there.
Neither Al nor I could agree where we should drop the hook, so as to not drag onto someone else. So we argued over it. We had headsets so we weren't yelling or anything like that, but I'm sure everyone at anchor could tell that we were having a disagreement.
We must have moved that hook around the lagoon five times, all the while in a quiet, heated discussion. "Here's the best spot. "No, there's not enough swing room.' 'Well, where do you want to go?' 'Make up your mind!" At long last we were set for the afternoon, hook down, no other boaters screaming at us to move because we were too close.
Now you have to understand that our efforts were complete overkill. There wasn't a breath of wind stirring in that lagoon from the time we arrived till the time we left the next morning. We could have shoved the boathook in the mud and tied off to that and been all right. We didn't realize that since we were still learning.
Naturally, after all that fussing, we each needed to cool off separately. I worked on some videos down below for a while. Al watched the Marines training on shore. Near sunset, Al came below and we, well, Made Up. The boats were packed into the lagoon by this time. Al said he had counted around 26. I was still worried that we had portrayed a bad impression of ourselves over the anchoring fiasco.
We knew a few of these boats, met a few more, and over the next two months, several reminded us that we had shared this particular anchorage. I always said "Wow! Sure! I can't believe you remembered us!" and wondered if they had been aware of the argument Al and I had been having over the anchoring. It would have been very embarrassing to me to know that we were remembered as "The couple that argued." Hopefully, they remembered us as "the couple with the yellow canvas." Thankfully, they never mentioned it, one way or the other.
Then we met Linda and Dwayne in Staniel Cay. They too had been there in that lagoon, on that millpond still evening. Dwayne mentioned that near sunset, nearly everyone had come up on the decks and into cockpits to watch the sunset. He said that, because of the lack of wind, all the boats were still and quiet, not even a ripple on the water, except for one. A little smile played at the corners of his mouth as he recalled that there was no one in the cockpit on this one boat, but the mast was gently rocking, forward and backward, forward and backward.
Realization hit me like a muddy boathook, and I didn't have to wonder long, as he related how all the cruisers had witnessed the little extra entertainment at sunset that evening. Not one of the cruisers remembered that we had argued, because they had all remembered us as "the couple with the rocking mast!"