05 May 2017

The Curtain Twitchers In Marsh Harbour, Or Fun & Games WIth Anchoring

Marsh Harbour on a calm day.

I reckon you’ve known a curtain twitcher or two in your lifetime. You know, that nosy old lady down the street who peers out from behind her heavy, brocade curtains to see what the neighbors are getting up to. Or your co-worker who peeks over the cubicle wall to see whether you’re watching cat videos on our computer instead of working on an accounting spreadsheet.

If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve all probably got some curtain twitching tendencies. After all, who doesn’t want to know what everyone else is getting up to, especially if they’re trying to drop the hook in a crowded anchorage. Suddenly everyone comes out from down below because they just remembered that they have something really important to do on deck, like dusting off the water jerry cans or looking for tiny lizards hidden away in the anchor locker.

What they’re really doing is surreptitiously watching you to see if you can manage to anchor without making a fool out of yourself, scream at your partner or, worse yet, end up hitting their boat in the process.

Well, we sure put a show on for all of the curtain twitchers in Marsh Harbour the other day. I blame the weather. I should probably also blame my helming skills and my complete lack of upper body strength, but what’s the fun in that. I’d much rather pick on Mother Nature since she can’t fight back.

Oh, wait, maybe she can. That might explain the wretched weather we’ve been having. Retribution on her part of trying to pin the whole fiasco on her.

So here’s how it all went down:

1 – We sauntered into Marsh Harbour. {Can you saunter on a sailboat? I don’t know, but it sounds cools, so let’s stick with it.}

2 – The anchorage was crowded. We weren’t the first people to think about hiding out from the weather there.

3 – We picked out a spot to anchor. {It’s like picking a spot in a parking lot. Okay, not really. Cars generally stay put once you put them in park. Boats move around on their anchors. Moving objects can collide.}

4 – I pointed us into the wind us and tried to hold her steady. {This is where my hypothetical poor helming skills come in. It wasn’t easy.}

5 – The wind was gusting up to 30 knots. {See, I told you Mother Nature was to blame.}

6 – The wind kept pushing us back and we couldn’t get a bite on our anchor in that particular spot.

7 – Cue the dreaded dragging. {This isn’t like drag queens or anything. This is more like when you park your car but leave it in reverse and it starts to roll backwards causing pedestrians to scatter out of your way.}

8 – I still had problems trying to helm the boat in the wind.

9 – Someone came up with a really clever idea. It might have been me. Let’s send Ellen forward to pull up the anchor.

10 – Did I mention that we don’t have a windlass? It’s broken. That means I had to lift our 44 lb Rocna anchor plus all of the chain from the bottom. In very windy conditions. With a decided lack of upper body strength.

11 – I couldn’t do it.

12 – How depressing.

13 – By this point the curtain twitchers gave up all pretense of pretending to be busy on deck. They were all sitting down, eating popcorn and drinking beer while pointing and laughing at me.

14 – Scott had to come up to the bow while I went back to helm the boat. Good times.

15 – He has superior biceps. I’m in awe of his upper body strength.

16 – We found a new spot to anchor and some new curtain twitchers to watch the second act of our comedy show.

17 – Success! Anchor down! Anchor dug in! No dragging! Drinks all around!

Cruising Log – Thursday, 6 April 2017 – Saturday, 8 April 2017

Engine on at 8:45 AM at Cave Cay, underway at 9:00 AM and headed towards the Whale Cay passage at slack tide. Had 30 knot gusts, but going through the cut was fine. Put headsail up at 11:00 AM. Continued to be very gusty with a lot of current at Marsh Habour which made anchoring interesting. Anchor finally down at 2:15 PM. Tickety Boo handled the conditions well. Nautical Miles = 25. Engine = 3 hrs 15 mins. Spending = Nil.

Went into town to get rid of trash (how did we accumulate so much?), find the BTC office, do some grocery shopping at Maxwell’s and Price Right, search for butane cartridges (found some but at $8 a cartridge, no thanks) and scope out where to refill our propane tank. Along the way we stumbled across a bakery and scored some coconut bread for only $4. Got back to the boat, ignored each other while we reveled in having internet access again. Nautical Miles = Nil. Engine = Nil. Spending = $78.12 ($54 BTC SIM card/data plan and $14.12 groceries)

Made coconut French toast for breakfast. Anchor up at 9:30 AM in Marsh Harbour to head out for a day sail and snorkeling. Practiced my helming and anchoring skills. Snorkled off of Matt Lowe’s Cay. Saw a HUGE ray and lots of fish. Found a children’s life vest floating in the water. Anchor back down at Marsh Harbour around 3:30 PM. Topped up the diesel tank from our jerry cans. Nautical Miles = 14. Engine = 3 hrs 30 mins. Spending = Nil

Do you know any curtain twitchers? Do you have any curtain twitching tendencies yourselves? Any anchoring horror stories to share?

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  1. In other words, dinner and a show? Hey, if you're going to make a spectacle of yourself, do it right.

  2. Yeah,I'm definitely a curtain twitcher when there's another boat anchoring nearby but not so much when there's an argument going on (that's where David gets nosy!).

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    1. I think we all get interested when someone is anchoring next to us. Hard not to when they could be anchoring too close or anchoring poorly.

  3. Haha, never heard the term "curtain twitchers" before but I love it! We always call the curtain twitchers, "Gladys Kravitz" from Bewitched, even to this day that's what we would call them. She was the best curtain twitcher ever!

    We have been known to be a curtain twitchers but we try not to be too obvious about it. ;-)


  4. If you're going to dock or anchor you can be sure you'll have folks that are watching. It's amazing some of the things you can see. Some perfect landings and anchors and then there are the three ring circuses that everyone enjoys now and then. As long as your boat isn't too close.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

    1. Docking, now that's another thing that people love to watch :-)

  5. Your story was so funny, especially #13. LOL! For heaven's sake get a windlass. I hate to be the one to tell you but you'll just get weaker as you get older; we all do.

    1. Sorting out our windlass is high on the priority project list for this summer. It's a real pain to do it manually.

  6. It's always 26 knots when anchoring. We like to put on a big show, then think about our spot, decide we don't like it, put on another show, decide we don't like that spot, and end up back at spot #1. Gotta provide these poor cruisers their entertainment! I don't want to imagine life without a windlass. Yikes!

  7. Oh, I so feel your pain. Kudos to you for even attempting to pull up the anchor yourself. We don't have a windlass either, so Rich handles that part (at least until I get going on my GI Jane workout...) and my helm skills are in need of some improvement.

    We're in Hope Town but probably headed to Marsh Harbour on Monday. Get your beer and popcorn ready! We'll keep an eye out for you guys.

    1. Unfortunately, the blog lags reality by a few weeks so we aren't in Marsh Harbour anymore :-(

  8. We always said that watching a boat anchor around us was better entertainment than watching TV. Except when they would end up a tad too close to us, or, when we were that boat. The two of our cruising years, we would often spend an hour, on average, to anchor to our satisfaction! Better safe than sorry. And, trying to anchor in thirty knots of wind, is no joke. Trying to reanchor in that, is a nightmare! Glad you got settled eventually, and, by the sounds of it, within an hour.

    1. It's well worth taking your time anchoring to make sure it's done right and sleep peacefully at night :-)

  9. Absolutely NO way I can pull our 99lb spade, and 200-300ft of chain ever! Thank goodness for the windlass. I am the twitcher when others anchor nearby, or when someone comes and goes from our aisle in the marina.

    I would like some of your coconut french toast please, and I will volunteer Bill to help fix your windlass. Good trade eh?

    1. Wow, I'm not sure anyone could lift that! Sounds like a good deal, except perhaps for Bill :-)

  10. My goodness I hope you get a working windlass soon! Our anchor is 85#.. NO WAY! I don't bother with twitching the curtains if I think someone is anchoring too close by. At that point it's all about the standing with bitch wings and 'the look'. I embarrass Mike, but whatever. Stay. Away. From. My. Boat. You. Yahoo. That's the message. On the other hand, if someone needs help I'm the first one off the boat to do it. Well, maybe Mike is faster, but we're there!

    1. I imagine a few people had their bitch wings out that day when we were trying to anchor :-)


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