19 Jan 2011

[Captains Blog] St Vincent

Mooring has always been an interesting activity, and since our accident on Christmas Day we have been ultra-cautious with setting the anchor, putting loads and loads of chain out, and where there are regulated mooring buoys, have been tying up to them. Last night we arrived in Young Island Cut on St Vincent after a testing crossing from Bequia in 35 knot winds and massive seas so that we could drop off our guests this morning in time for their flight home. 

On arrival at the cut, we took a mooring (recommended by Chris Doyle in his sailing guide) and settled down for what we were hoping to be a restful night. However, the boat next to us was a 100 footer which was tied up fore and aft, although unbeknown to us, the aft line allowed the boat to swing through 90 degrees in the changing tide. We only tied up on the bow which meant that we would swing through 360 degrees as appropriate with wind and tide changes. At one point we noticed that the other boat had swung around and was much closer to us so I went across in the dinghy to see if they had changed their mooring at all. "No" came the reply, so I went back to our boat. As the tide turned and we swung, we were getting perilously close, so we spent a good chunk of the night on anchor watch to make sure that there was no repeat of our earlier collision. 

At the first opportunity this morning, having seen another very close shave during which the crew of the other boat finally grasped my point that we were too close and started to panic a bit, we flagged the mooring people down and got them to give us a stern line from another buoy so that now we are fixed properly. We should sleep soundly in our beds tonight....