12 May 2019
Anchored off the east side of Isla San Francisco, I tried my best to ward off the "lemming effect".
This phenomenon happens when you are the only boat anchored in a fairly good size anchorage with lots of room, and then comes another boat and anchors right next to you.
It's a subject brought up many times between sailors. Each having their own definition on just how close is too close. One fellow sailor we met along the way, referred to the proper distance between boats being "Piss-Off" distance. Meaning that he is far enough away from another boat to be able piss off the side of his boat, without offending the other.
Other cruisers we met in the Pacific Northwest shared their strategy. When they sense another boat getting ready to anchor to close, they take off all of their clothes and go about their chores.
We've experienced the lemming affect and close proximity of boats, especially larger boats several times on our 7 month cruise,(compared to little Pinocchio, all boats are large!)
Recently, with our sailor friend Carlo on board, we anchored off Isla Partida in Partida Cove, pretty close in and near a rocky wall, thinking no one would consider anchoring any closer in. Later in the day, a Lagoon 42 catamaran, anchored between us and shore, just 100 feet from us. We tried to not let it's close proximity wreck our day and evening, but we really felt encroached upon. We thought of moving, but we were really happy with our spot and anchor's holding.
It happened again on May 5. David and I went up to Isla San Francisco. The west side is the more popular side and as we neared, we could see that there were already 3 boats anchored there. We decided to round the south end of the island and anchored on the east side where there was no one. It's only a 1/4 mile hike between the two coves. We found a good place to stay for a few nights and all was great. No sooner, we see the same Lagoon 42 that overcrowded us a week earlier coming our way!
To David's amusement, I took off all my clothes and stood on deck. David was in the dinghy checking out the bottom, Pinocchio's bottom, not mine! hahaha. As the Lagoon neared, David let out a big laugh! "He's naked too Susan!" Here is this morbidly obese man, 300+ pounds, butt-naked at the helm. He "out-naked-ed" me! No surprise, they anchored right next to us. Here's a screen shot of our GPS, showing their proximity to us. We are the boat Icon, the Lagoon 42 with the big naked guy onboard is the red triangle. The triangle goes from green to red when boats are too close to each other!
Lucky for us, we now know the boat's name and they have AIS transmitting. If they are nearby our GPS will pick them up. Wherever they are, we are going in the opposite direction.
Suggestions and strategies to avoid lemming effect are welcome!