The day started early for me. Sometime shortly after 05:00 the wind, which had been strong and blustery all night, picked up in a gust that was far in excess of 30 knots and I was awake even before Zanshin snatched up on the snubber and chain. I went topsides to ensure that all was in order after that blast and I hadn't shifted position and the skies were clear; it was just a one-off gust. I settled down to sleep again and thought I was already dreaming when I heard those voices in my head shouting faintly at me - but my personal demons only speak to me in English or German and this was most certainly an angry and distant French voice. I got up, knowing that there was drama somewhere in the anchorage and saw two boats somewhat ahead of me but off to my starboard that were in closer contact than they should have been. I watched for a couple of minutes to see if they'd sorted things out but it didn't look like it, so I got my formal visiting gear on (in other words, I put on a T-shirt and shorts) and fired up the dinghy to see if they needed assistance. They did.
A 39 foot American boat had dragged past a similarly sized French boat and their anchors/chains had snagged. I mention the nationalities only because neither spoke each other's language - anyone's anchor can (and will) drag at some point in time. I went back and forth between the two boats and was joined by another dinghy from the beautiful old Swan who was also somewhat downwind but to the other side of the two. Although I'm certain others in the anchorage must have seen or heard what was happening they decided to let this incident remain a spectator sport and not join in...
The French boat had a Danforth spare anchor, which was set forward and to the side and we agreed amongst the parties involved that the situation was stable and that I would don my dive gear and see how to disengage the two anchors once the sun came up in about an hour's time. After a couple of cups of morning espresso I put the dive gear together and got some spare line with which to mark and pull up the anchor and explained the plan to both boats and then went for a dive in less than 20 feet of water. It turned out that the American Rocna anchor was snagged in the French chain just 10 feet down/away from the French boat and that the was no pressure on the chain as the American boat had let out a lot of chain and rode. I thought that it would be easy to trip the Rocna up and around the chain but in the end it was much more difficult than I thought; the attachment point on the Rocna wasn't quite far enough forward to trip it and we pulled the anchor close to the bow assembly but couldn't release enough pressure to get it around the chain. We'd pulled it in enough so that the snubber line could take the pressure from the chain, but the snubber was attached to a cleat with an eye-splice and had too much pressure to release. I put in a rolling hitch and we used to windlass to get the chain in the 20cm or so that was necessary and finally the anchor dropped (and held) and the two umbilically attached vessels parted company.
I'm going to stay put, since I know that my anchor will hold and that there's nobody upwind of me with whom I'd rather not become intimate with. I'll dinghy over to Leverick for some supplies later on today and take my little tablet with me to check up on the weather. I continued waxing the gel coat in the cockpit and am taking a breather after finishing. I might do the aft transom while the sun isn't shining on it, but considering the weather I think I'll have all day tomorrow to do that.
I needed to get ashore today, just so I wouldn't forget what it was like to walk! I dinghied upwind to the dock at the Sand Box on Prickly Pear and was surprised to see a path leading off towards the Saba Rock end of the island. It was cleared and well marked and soon I found myself on a lookout point above the North Sound and Saba Rock - the pictures below show what the view was like with the sun-dappled reefs and waters clearly visible.
I returned to the boat and used a passing shower to clean the decks, then dried the gel coat areas and used the time until sunset applying the cleaner and wax to the deck. I only have a little bit at the back to the boat to complete, then I'll have done a good maintenance job. The winds are still strong and I don't think that I'll make my weather window to St. Martin before I have to leave the BVI when my entry stamp expires in 2 days, so I might change plans and sail to the USVI for a couple of days instead.
Both of the boats involved in the dragging this morning came by and gave me a bottle of fine wine each! That's certainly more than I expected and I'm so very pleased at their consideration. I just hope that when the time comes for my anchor to drag or for me to require outside assistance that someone might be there for me.

Dragging Boat This boat dragged past another in a pre-dawn gust of wind.
(2016-03-27 06:33:10 NIKON D7100 [f/5.6, 1/100s] ISO 100)
Dragging Boat
Dragged Boat This boat got dragged onto, but it seems that the damage was limited to a broken solar panel after the owner had snorkeled to check his rudders and keel.
(2016-03-27 06:33:05 NIKON D7100 [f/5.6, 1/80s] ISO 100)
Dragged Boat
Bromeliad I'm surprised to see this one on Prickly Pear, since the island is so dry
(2016-03-27 13:19:52 NIKON D7100 [f/11.0, 1/25s] ISO 100)
Eustatia and Neckar Islands These two islands are privately owned, the far one by Sir Richard Branson
(2016-03-27 13:13:33 NIKON D7100 [f/11.0, 1/100s] ISO 100)
Eustatia and Neckar Islands
Well-marked path on Prickly Pear I'd never seen any paths on Prickly Pear before, so was pleasantly surprised to see this cleared and well-marked path leading around
(2016-03-27 13:29:02 NIKON D7100 [f/8.0, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Well-marked path on Prickly Pear
Sand Box Pelican Pelican guarding the Sand Box dinghy dock
(2016-03-27 12:57:41 NIKON D7100 [f/5.6, 1/320s] ISO 100)
Sand Box Pelican
Inside the reef Outside the wind is howling and the waves are pretty big with whitecaps, but inside the reef all is calm
(2016-03-27 13:15:28 NIKON D7100 [f/13.0, 1/80s] ISO 100)
Inside the reef
Saba Rock I don't know how that ship got into there with those reefs and shallows around Saba Rock, I'd certainly never attempt that.
(2016-03-27 13:15:15 NIKON D7100 [f/13.0, 1/60s] ISO 100)
Saba Rock
Saba Rock and the Bitter End From atop Prickly Pear island I could get both Saba Rock and the Bitter End into one shot with the dried-up pond below
(2016-03-27 13:16:26 NIKON D7100 [f/11.0, 1/80s] ISO 100)
Saba Rock and the Bitter End
Sand Box dock view Bright colors of the shallow waters behind the Sand Box dock are impressive in the bright noon sun.
(2016-03-27 12:57:09 NIKON D7100 [f/5.6, 1/250s] ISO 100)
Sand Box dock view
Prickly Pear Panorama 1 Panorama taken from the top of Prickly Pear Island
(2016-03-27 13:06:21 NIKON D7100 [f/5.6, 1/800s] ISO 100)
Prickly Pear Panorama 1
North Sound Vista 2 Panorama of the North Sound from the top of Prickly Pear Island
(2016-03-27 13:13:45 NIKON D7100 [f/11.0, 1/100s] ISO 100)
North Sound Vista 2
995 views since 2017-02-06, page last modified on 2017-02-04.