On Wednesday, March 28th, we sailed from Anegada to Jost Van Dyke. It was a long slow sail but we more than made up for the lack of excitement later that night! A couple of other boats got their anchor chains fouled up and ran into us!
When we pulled into Great Harbor at about 2:00pm it was so full of sailboats that I briefly considered turning around and going back to Little Harbor but we all wanted dinner on shore and to see Foxys so we looked for an anchoring spot. First, we raced two other boats for the best looking spot. We lost. Then we headed for the second best spot and a guy yelled at us that his anchor chain was under there so stay away. That was a little strange as we were looking at the stern (back) of his boat and boats tend to pull away from their anchors so the anchor chain is always stretched out in front of them. So we looked around and it looked like every single boat was facing a different direction. A bit scary. But we persisted
and found another good spot. We anchored and the guy in the catamaran next to us tried to tell us we were too close but we showed him which way our anchor chain was and he must have decided all was good because he didn't say anything more. (Note that his boat was facing a different direction than ours – something that's not supposed to happen when everyone is at anchor!)
Several times that night I got up and went up top in the rain to check things out. I had just returned to bed at 3:30am when I heard voices! I jumped up, ran up top and discovered that there were two sailboats 10 feet from us drifting into us! I yelled for everyone else to wake up and started the engine. Then I realized the engine wasn't going to do us any good as we were attached to an anchor that probably ran underneath one of the boats. By this time Bill and Frank were throwing fenders over the side just in time to keep us from crashing into the boat next door. Turns out they had decided to pick up their anchor at 3:30 in the morning (don't ask me why) and in the process of picking up their anchor they dragged it across another guy's chain and they ended up dragging him towards us. But neither one of them could effectively maneuver away because they were attached to their anchors and to each other.
The first boat, the one that moved, ended up taking its dingy around and lifting its anchor and the other guy's chain into the dingy and untangling them and then they went off to anchor somewhere else. At which point the second boat (the one that had been dragged) was way too close to us – standing on the bow of our boat I could almost touch their stern. They didn't want to move but I stood there and stared at them long enough that they decided to pull up 20 feet of chain at which point I decided that I'd have to be happy with that and I went back inside, changed into some dry clothes and tried to go to sleep. (Note that we couldn't move without them moving because they were directly windward of us which theoretically means that our anchor chain was running right under their boat.)
All of this in the pouring rain!
2 Replies to “Wild anchorage at Jost Van Dyke!”
So, in hindsight do you think the guy in the catamaran was right and you did anchor too close?
No, the catamaran wasn’t involved in all this at all. He was off to our North. It was the boats to the south that came at us.
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