[Kyle]From Sopers Hole on Tortola, I alternated back and forth about starting the motor to be sure we were safely anchored by sunset. As we got closer, it was clear we’d make it in under sail. The anchorage had four other boats in it. We picked our spot and sailed towards it. We intended to drop our anchor just astern of one of the other boats in deep water, and then back down another 150’ or so.
We got within shouting distance of the boat and the man told us (somewhat grumpily) that he had 130’ of chain out. Maryanne asked him to point out where his anchor was so we could be sure to be clear of him. We dropped the anchor in what we believed was safe water and as we were backing down (under sail still), he shouted out that we’d just dropped our anchor on top of his and we’d definitely bang into each other. Confused, (he was now indicating a completely different place for his anchor) we had no choice but to haul up all that chain. Maryanne voiced her confusion, but grumpy said his line hadn’t stretched out yet… Since the etiquette in an anchorage is the first boat has right of way, and we had no way to tell for sure where his anchor was, we were forced to luff the sails and pull up the anchor by hand, sail to another spot (this time really well clear of grumpy) drop anchor and back down under sail again. Both times, beautifully executed (if I say so myself).
As we were sailing past another boat towards our 2nd anchor spot, the skipper called out and joked that they too had been “run off” too by grumpy, but using a much more traditional method – he had just hung out on deck “adjusting his sail cover” butt naked and full frontal to the “offending” boat. It was pretty clear that grumpy wasn’t so much concerned about his anchor but just didn’t want anyone nearby – what can you do? Hmmm.