We eschewed the popular Spa Creek in favor of Back Creek, which we have a particular fondness for but we were surprised at how many boats were already anchored this way and that on the middle of the channel. We saw another Manta, What If, whom we had met at Port Washington, NY, last month. We did a little reconnaissance around the creek, picked a spot and dropped the hook. No good. A nearby tour boat dock said we were too close. Up came the anchor again. We moved over next to What If and dropped the hook, but as we paid out the chain we dropped back too close to a fuel dock and had to pick up the anchor once again.
We motored a little way up the creek to a wider part where we’d have more room, but once again when we dropped the hook we swung back too far into the channel. At about that time our friend Jim dinghied over, and what a sight for sore eyes he was! We hadn’t seen him in years and his boat is docked not a quarter mile from where we were attempting to anchor. After our hugs and greetings, Jim assessed the situation and suggested a second anchor to hold us off the channel and restrict our swinging radius. We set to work rigging another anchor and Jim dinghied it out at an angle from our primary anchor and dropped it. While this was all happening, Kris and Dean and Derek from What If came over to say hello. It was a little hectic for a while, but when things calmed down, we thought we looked pretty good and went ashore with Jim for a celebratory brunch.
Since Jim’s boat is docked he doesn’t need his dinghy at the moment and he graciously offered it to us so we’d have reliable transportation until we get a new outboard at the boat show. What a pleasure to not worry if we’d have to row back to the boat!
After brunch and a quick trip to the grocery store Jack and I headed back to Escape Velocity. Oops! We were back in the channel, too close to boats on either side. This is not where we anchored. We were so frustrated that I called What If on the radio and asked if they would help. They were here within minutes, looked at the situation and agreed we should raise the second anchor, move the boat upstream about 50 feet and drop the primary again. Kris and Dean dinghied out to the second anchor and pulled it out, then brought it back to the boat. Then we raised anchor and Kris was appalled at what we go through to get the anchor up, and then even more when she saw how hard it is to get the anchor down. And that’s when we learned that the chain markers we thought we understood were verkakte. In our attempt to put out just the right amount of rode in this tight space, we had put out too little and dragged too close to the docks on either side. Kris suggested we measure it ourselves and make our own marking system that we could remember. Doh! Of course we should.
Meanwhile, with Dean sighting from shore, Kris at the bow, me at the helm and Jack, as usual, on his knees doing penance to the windlass, we dropped the hook in the perfect spot. Now no matter which way we swing we’re not in danger of either hitting anything or restricting traffic in the creek. Whew!
Monday we slept in and got a very late start. It was the first day in a while that we hadn’t been on the move so we enjoyed a lazy morning watching the boats all around us and making lists. Just as we were heading to shore we got an email from Anything Goes inviting us to a pot luck birthday party for Craig. We passed the word to What If, and went downtown to pick up a few things, eat some ice cream and bemoan the changes in our adopted home like the two old farts we are. Then it was back to the boat for a flurry of cooking and packing up.
This was our first cruiser pot luck and we had a great time. There were three kid boats and the kids played happily together while the adults talked boats and storms and plans and just generally got to know each other. There was cake and ice cream, plus cupcakes and brownies and I don’t think we need to eat again for a week!