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Old 11-01-2012, 13:56   #1
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Anchoring in the Bahamas - My Story …

I was amazed how nerve racking it was to anchor while vacationing there recently. All of my experience has been on power boats in a fresh water environment with no tides and currents – obviously. We rented a boat from Elvis, the local Water Taxi guy in Georgetown. It was his secondary taxi and was branded as such with a huge “Water Taxi” on the side of the boat. It was fun and very un-eventful for the most part. But I did realize that anchoring is a big deal and that it made me very “not relaxed” when enjoying my cold beer at the Chat N Chill. I had a constant eye on the boat that was anchored just off the Beach. The winds were pretty constant that day and out of the south for the most part. So the boat stayed where it was supposed to. But I did notice that it was not in the same orientation to other boats at times. As I was contemplating why, the bartender yelled out “who’s driving the water taxi?”… I raised my beer from across the bar and identified myself. Then he says “raise the motor!”. I comply and wade out to the boat and take care of business. After that was done, the boat was always in perfect orientation to the other boats at anchor. So I have to assume that Elvis radioed the bartender when he saw his boat bobbing and either new it would straighten out with the motor raised or that he was concerned his motor would be beaten up in the shallow water if the winds shifted and put the stern to the beach? Probably both! Now I’m thinking, man I made a rookie mistake! But my experience in freshwater is there are no currents when anchoring so no need to raise the motor. I assume that’s what was going on, the wind and currents fighting to move the boat in different directions. Take the motor out of the equation and the currents play less roll in boat position. Is my logic correct? All in all, it was a great lesson. It makes me appreciate all the bigger boats that were squeezed together and anchored together just off the beach. And another thing I appreciate now – it’s nerve racking weaving through all you guys with a small boat, let alone a 40 footer! Sweet Jesus it got uncomfortable at times…
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Old 11-01-2012, 21:11   #2
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Re: Anchoring in the Bahamas, my story…

If you could wade out to the boat the bottom of the motor could have been touching the bottom, preventing the boat from swinging with the wind.
Currents around the Chat'nChill are pretty near nonexistent.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:38   #3
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Re: Anchoring in the Bahamas, my story…

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If you could wade out to the boat the bottom of the motor could have been touching the bottom, preventing the boat from swinging with the wind.
Currents around the Chat'nChill are pretty near nonexistent.
I was in plenty of water, it was above my waste. The boat only draws a foot and a half maybe. I agree the currents are weak, but the crossing (narrow section that we ford when walking) to get over to the sound side of Stocking island was high when we arrived and much lower when we returned. That part does see some moderate current.
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Old 14-01-2012, 08:08   #4
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Re: Anchoring in the Bahamas - My Story …

I spent five months in the Bahamas on my boat in 2009, and found that the bottom off of Chat N Chill had some of the best "holding" of any of the dozens of anchorages I used on that trip. We dropped the hook in 15' of water, not 20 yards off of the beach there. The anchor dug in and didn't budge until I pulled it back up a week later. There were indeed some sketchy anchorages on that trip, but the one at Chat N Chill wasn't one of them.
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Old 14-01-2012, 08:17   #5
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Re: Anchoring in the Bahamas - My Story …

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I[...]the bottom off of Chat N Chill had some of the best "holding" [...] The anchor dug in and didn't budge until I pulled it back up a week later.
That is how your anchor is supposed to work in almost any seabed. If that is not happening, something is wrong!

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Old 14-01-2012, 08:33   #6
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Re: Anchoring in the Bahamas - My Story …

As mentioned above the bottom of the motor was grounding on the sea bottom causing your boat not to flow with the wind and current like everyone elses boat. I suspect another boater mentioned it to the bartender that your boat might hit someone elses boat. When you raised the outboard all vessels flowed the same way.
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Old 14-01-2012, 12:37   #7
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Originally Posted by Nateman
Sweet Jesus it got uncomfortable at times…
Ah, you think that's uncomfortable? Just wait until the boat out there is yours! Now you not only know why anchor threads get so heated on this forum, but also why yachties tend to request window seats when they make reservations at restaurants. It's called "dining out while you stand anchor watch."

Part of learning how to read an anchorage is knowing which way the boat will swing once you've set a hook. In my home waters, it's fun watching the newbies come into an anchorage thinking they should set to leeward, only to find that the boat wants to lie to the current. It can be great entertainment.

Watch an old salt anchor, and you'll discover that there's no rush to drop the hook. He's not just trying to pick a good spot, but also trying to figure out what the boat's going to do once he gets there.
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Old 14-01-2012, 12:55   #8
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Re: Anchoring in the Bahamas - My Story …

Yep. And now that this experience has got you to thinking that all will be well if you just remember to raise that outboard... be prepared to forget it. When you bring your dink into a crowded dingy dock, you'd better NOT raise the motor, or be prepared to get some constructive criticism from the fellow dink owners. The prop and sharp bits at the end of your raised motor can puncture/damage other cruisers dinks, so leave the motor down in those instances.
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Old 14-01-2012, 12:55   #9
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Re: Anchoring in the Bahamas - My Story …

Hey, Nateman, we've all been there, at some time! I remember well when I was first learning, and the rookie mistakes...but, no need to dredge out those old embarrassments! Sounds like you learned a good lesson and that will make it both easier and better the next time. Good on you for sharing! With that attitude, you'll be a good mate.

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Old 14-01-2012, 13:14   #10
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Re: Anchoring in the Bahamas, my story…

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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
If you could wade out to the boat the bottom of the motor could have been touching the bottom, preventing the boat from swinging with the wind.
Currents around the Chat'nChill are pretty near nonexistent.
yeah not aware of any current in there... beeen there for weeks at times and snorkeled all around too... but we were always anchored in 12+ feet...
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