Sunday, February 21, 2016 Revised – Living on the Hook
Woke up: Las Hadas, Bahia de Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico
Went to sleep: Bahia Tenacatita, Colima, Mexico
We’ve have such excellent Wi-Fi in Las Hadas, when I’m not lying by the pool ordering a second lemonade, I’m emailing friends and perusing the internet. I was delighted to discover our Wi-Fi, thanks to the Bad Boy, is, in-fact, powerful enough to update our blog. After several weeks of zero posts, I pounced on the opportunity.
In my haste, I copied and pasted a piece I had written April 2015 – almost a year ago.
Reviewing my post today, I realize how different things are a year later; how much we have learned; how much we have grown. Before we weigh anchor today and sail north to Tenacatita, I want to revise and clarify yesterday’s blog.
As we approach each new anchorage, my husband struggles to make an anchoring decision amidst the other boats already at rest. I respect the fact Peter takes the time to carefully inspect the anchorage. He studies the depth, the nearby landscape (i.e. rock outcroppings) and the composition of the soil below, to ensure we’ll get good holding. This is important when you are trying to secure a 38,000-pound boat with a 45-pound anchor. I’m proud to say, ours is one of few boats having never dragged anchor. When I go to bed at night, I know I can sleep well. Penelope is not going anywhere. He motors up and down the haphazard rows of boats, slowly circles the bay, traveling in between and round and round until the track on our GPS looks like an Etch-a-Sketch® operated by a youngster. Unlike last year, this year, I use this time to marvel at our new surroundings and see who else is in the anchorage. I used to be embarrassed by this behavior, but now I simply wait, read a magazine, and listen for him to say, “This looks good!”
Once I hear the magic words, I ready the automatic identification system (AIS) to record our latitude and longitude, marking our exact location. As the anchor is deployed I “set” the anchor alarm on the AIS. In the event, Penelope’s anchor moves from within an 80-foot radius an alarm will sound.
I move to the helm to steer the boat while Peter moves to the bow to lower the anchor.
Some couples use walkie-talkies, portable radios or hand signals to communicate with each other while anchoring. Peter and I have anchored this boat together so many, many times we could do it in our sleep. I hear the familiar sound of the windlass emitting chain from the locker in the bow and know we will soon be at rest. I put the rudder in neutral and lock down the helm. Initially, I put her in reverse and back off the anchor to increase the length of chain deployed. We like to use a lot of chain. As Peter says, “The chain doesn’t do any good sitting in the chain locker.” Peter and I prefer to holler at each other. In fact, we seldom need to speak at all. I know what he is going to do and what he wants me to do without a word. Over the roar of the wind through the rigging, the waves splashing against the hull, and the rumbling of the engine. Apparently, we enjoy the added frustration. When Peter, at the bow of the boat, far, far, from the helm, turns his back to me and whispers, “Turn to the right” I feel at liberty to scream obscenities at the top of my lungs. Until, of course, I realize everyone else in the bay has poured a cocktail and made themselves comfortable in their cockpits to watch the Susan and Peter Anchoring Show. It’s better than late night TV. Most people in the bay admire Penelope, how beautiful she is.
Few others have visited over 30 anchorages along the Baja Peninsula and Mainland Mexico, lived on the hook all but a few days and always been safe and secure, never having moved an inch.
We watch the position of the land and trees around us and if nothing changes in relation to our boat we are “home” once again.
Peter and I recently discussed the positive attributes of Las Hadas in relation to other anchorages. As an engineer, I have a need to perform an analysis, a type of weighting and rating endeavor. I hope to complete this exercise in the next few days. Stand by for NEW material.