Why anchoring is free...
04 December 2011 | St Maarten
We arrived in Simpson Bay in St Maarten (the Dutch side of St Martin) on Saturday morning. For those of you who are not familiar with the islands of the Caribbean, we have now arrived in the groups of islands referred to as the Leewards. Our blog posts and photo gallery will be organized by the groups of islands so look now for the Leeward category.
We have now anchored three times in the past 24 hours. Once in Anguilla Friday night, once outside of Simpson Bay this morning where we decided it wasn't calm enough, and then in the inner harbor or lagoon of Simpson Bay. We have done this without a single argument which is notable because for me anchoring is one of the most stressful events in boating. I once thought of writing an article titled, "Now I know why anchoring is free." In it I would recount the time I woke up at night to the sound of a thud as another boat's anchor dragged and ended up hitting us. I would also compare the quality of the night's sleep one gets on anchor - poor, on a mooring ball - good, and in a slip in a marina - excellent. I rate the slip a little higher than a mooring ball because we can turn on the air conditioning at a slip in a marina. Of course the cost of staying at a slip can be about $100 per night, a mooring ball is about $25, and anchoring is free. Given that we are on a budget, anchoring is the way to go and we are both committed to getting more comfortable with it. I understand that you can get a good night's sleep at anchor. As long as you realize that someone may drag and hit you but there is nothing you can do about it. Thus, why lose sleep over it. I am still working this one out in my head. (By the way, the Simpson Bay Authority actually charges you $10 a day to anchor here. Guess I'll have to change the title of the article. Go figure.)
We spent much of today putting up our new awning. We have three sections to the awning which will cover much of the boat. The purpose of the awning is to be able to keep the hatches (windows) open when it is raining and keep air flowing below deck, to be able to keep the direct sunlight off the boat, and give us more shade during hot days. When I say we spent much of today doing this I am not kidding. We had pictures of the awning that Mark took after it was put on by the woman who made it. They can be seen in the gallery "Our Preparations". We kept referring to the pictures in order to get it right. It was a never ending process but we should be able to get the time down from the four hours it took today to do it. The end result you can see in the picture is drinks, wine and crackers under the awning on the back of the boat. The next time we raise the awning it should be much quicker, right?