|Tyrrel Bay is crowded with well over 100 boats. We were in about the middle, when a gale force gust challenged our anchor hold...at night,. Always at night.|
We have not moved a lot. As a matter of fact, instead of our usual wandering, we have been anchored in Tyrrel Bay, Carriacou for quite some time. That means that Milly's bottom is scrubbed free of algae and barnacles every few days and our rope bridle grows it's own little garden of stringy sea moss. It also means that we get to know many others in the anchorage. We are leading weekly hikes, I am teaching swimming to local kids, we play dominoes and mollkie, snorkel and provision. Nonetheless, we miss island/anchorage hopping and exploring. We are a bit stuck in a rut - while we could move to at least one new island nation, the covid world of testing, quarantine, uncertainty and expense has made us lazy.
So when Peter commented that Tyrrel Bay really was a nice place to hang out (for months) as we were going to bed one night amid the stars, constant trade wind and balmy temperatures, I thought to myself, 'True, but I'm a little bored'. I don't admit this easily - I am very, very rarely bored, there are just too many interesting things to do, to read, to listen to, to make, etc. etc.
I am aware that compared to our family and friends locked down in Canada, our life on this covid free island is as 'normal' as life can be at the moment. I should be, and am, grateful each time we have a meal in a restaurant and especially when we socialize, even giving hugs to our friends. But still....I'm a little antsy.
At 1:30 a.m. that same night, a loud howling wind brought sheets of pelting rain through the anchorage. We collect rainwater to flush our freshwater toilets instead of using our precious, homemade desalinated water. The rainwater is collected in an assortment of jerry cans which are fed via two hoses from the roof of our cockpit. It's a fantastic system but requires a bit of juggling of full cans for empty. Peter went out to do the transferring amid the tumult of the wind that was gusting at gale force. As he looked about, I heard him call with some urgency - a tone that I very rarely hear and pay immediate heed to.
Milly's anchor had released and she was dragging through the anchorage. As I emerged outside, Peter was turning on the motors. I was, to put it mildly, alarmed to see a boat only a few feet away. As I ran forward and Peter, in his nonexistent pj's, attempted to get control of Milly who was sailing by her tall topsides and dragging her chain and anchor, we hit (Peter says "tapped" - he's so positive) the neighbouring boat. Thankfully, the owner must have been sensitive to the sudden gale and had come out, fenders in hand, to keep us away. I struggled with the new heavy bridle - bum in the air, and arm through the hole where the chain was taut and moving in all directions - being as careful as possible to keep my hand from being squished by the chain. On my second pass through the cabin, to get a flashlight, I grabbed a raincoat to cover my already soaked body, at least hoping to lesson the cold and sting of the needle sharp rain drops. I yanked the hood off as it was obscuring my vision. When I finally got the bridle hook off the chain and could catch my breath, I pulled up the hood - I not sure why, I was sodden - only to have a hood full of water flow down my back. Breathless again!
With the anchor up, Peter was able to get better control of Milly. We edged out of the anchorage but in the pitch dark and pouring rain it was difficult to see fishing buoys and even boats especially when they had failed to put on anchor lights. As we drifted by, some owners were on deck checking lines etc but for the most part all was quiet. Once at the back of the anchorage we dropped our anchor. It was after 3:00. We were both soaking wet and freezing. We could see the great red blob that had passed us on the radar. It had yellow (worse than red) in the center and I think Milly had been it's target.
Our toe rail was dented. We checked with the boat we had "tapped" and, thankfully, no damage. Our friends were amazed at our misadventure. Most had slept right through. Our Rocna anchor which has held us in strong alternating tidal currents in rivers, through other gales and even in a tornado had given way from a spot where it had been holding for days in fresh trade winds. Puzzling!
The awakening was literally rude. Jumping out of our warm bed to a crisis in the dark, cold and wet is not fun. We were so darn lucky that Peter was up and noticed our wayward path. Without an anchor alert system on, we would have crashed instead of tapped before being aware we were dragging.
However, in every other way the awakening was positive.
Complacency is not allowed at sea. You never know what can happen when you live on a sailboat, even when you've been at anchor for weeks.
Keep the anchor alarm on each and every night, even when the forecast is clear. You never know what local menacing winds will blow by.
And I have given boredom some thought. For me, it happens when my subjective world becomes small and closed. Opening my mind to the wider world around me, taking moments to enjoy the sensations, thoughts, experiences, puts boredom at bay. Admittedly, sometimes it requires a deliberate search but it is always possible. Life is as full and interesting as I choose to make it.
|A view looking south, the larger island of Grenada in the background.|
I may be antsy and restless to experience more but not bored .... because the wind gods may hear me and teach me a another lesson....a rude awakening!