Thursday, 17 April 2014

Henrik and I often describe ourselves as marina animals. We always love being in a marina, and I’m the first to suggest going into a marina instead of anchoring up outside.

It’s a lot easier getting to shore, when you can just step off the boat and onto the bridge, instead of sitting in the dinghy for 15 minutes getting sprayed with saltwater. It’s easier doing your grocery shopping, getting rid of you trash, and it’s nice having the possibility of a warm shower.

However, we have now been at anchor every day since we left Barbados a month ago, and we love it!

Warm weather, nice cool breezes
The good thing about being at anchor is that there often is a little more wind at the anchorage than in the marina. The temperature in the Caribbean has increased since we first arrived (or so it seems), so we feel the heat and the sun a lot more than before.

A cold dip in the sea and the cold breezes are therefore often essential! Furthermore, it’s easier just to drop the anchor instead of blowing up fenders, finding mooring lines, calling the marina, finding your spot, and
visiting the marina office etc.

We also find that we're far better at moving on, when we're at anchor than when we are in a marina, where we always tend to stay too long.

Parking the boat
Even though we're getting better, we still have a few challenges about “parking” the boat in an anchorage, especially if it’s crowded. I usually think we should park the boat at the first free spot we see, where we're not too close to other boats, where as Henrik always insists that we get as close to the beach or town as possible - which means that I have to navigate between all the boats at anchor, since I'm at the helm.

Sometimes we’ve thought about getting a pair of marriage savers, a headset through which you can communicate calmly about the next
manoeuvre instead of shouting at each other. I think that it would have the opposite effect at us, though, since I often quietly swear at Henrik and the places he points me too from the cockpit.

It’s a lot better if he can’t hear that, because when we have anchored, there are rarely any more problems!

No more marinas!
With our newly discovered happiness for anchoring, we have decided to continue doing that until we reach New York. We feel more like “real” cruisers, when we're at anchor – whatever that is – and beside that it is a good way of saving some money.

We have started researching the prices for staying in a marina in New York, and so far it looks like it will cost us at least 1700 Pounds a month for our little 30 ft. boat. So it’s a good thing we like being at anchor now!

Signe Storr freelance journalist & friend of Boatshed