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Anchorxiety and playing with Nelson’s toys in English Harbour – Why Not!

Anchor -x·i·e·ty


noun: anchorxiety; plural noun: annchorxieties

a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome in relation to ones anchor.”they felt a surge of anchorxiety”

I will tell you about our Anchorxiety but first a little about Les Saints. Apart from swimming around after our dingy with no pants on – all was quiet and wonderful. Les Saintes is a small archipelago of the French Antilles located just a stone’s throw South of Guadeloupe. (I love saying Guadeloupe)

The food is French and mostly delicious and the sea is mostly turquoise and always warm – Turtles swim gently by and Pelicans look like carved statues sitting on the top of wooden posts. On one of the days we took our dingy to a deserted beach – Mark went for a hike (I may have mentioned I hate hiking) and I played on the beach with May. May never goes in the water but suddenly she ran straight in. I couldn’t believe it – then I noticed that she was chasing the crabs that she had disturbed. It was fantastic to see her running into the sea for the first time in her life. May loves sand but has never loved the water. On sand she becomes her alter ego – a skippy, jumping running fool – it is lovely to see her joy. It was hot so soon she needed a rest in the shade of the dingy. I sat beside her and watched a Pelican. They look far too heavy to fly and they have an awkwardness that makes you smile. They are not elegant birds.   The one I was watching soared in circles and then suddenly folded its wings and smacked into the water to catch a fish. This dive would not have received many points in a diving competition – lots of slash and noise – but the Pelican had its fish. I watched the Pelican for an hour. What a pleasure.. When we were at home the pace of life seemed to ever increase and we seemed to have an urge to stuff every spare moment with more stuff. So watching a Pelican for an hour is bliss.   But we do have chores so, one morning we had an idea to go and get some fuel for our dingy. We had read that there was only one fuel station on the Islands and that there was no road to it (odd) It was too rough to take the dingy around the headland to the fuel station – and we didn’t want to run out of fuel and be washed out into the Atlantic – even if it would make a fantastic tale. So we walked and walked and walked and then the walk turned into a hike (didn’t I say how I hate to hike) we were scrabbling up a hill on dusty rubble and spiky rocks – there were goats and the ‘path’ was confusing. We asked a local if we were heading to the petrol station and he said we were!   I thought May was getting too hot (good excuse eh?) so I took a seat and Mark continued. He turned up 45 minutes later – hot and dusty but with fuel. He had to walk down some broken steps and scramble through prickly bushes and more goats – amazing! Fuel in the tank we walked back to the harbor to get the dingy back to Magic. It had only taken three hours. Nothing is ever straightforward when you are living aboard.   Sometimes a little Magic happens – We were on a Buoy and it was banging on the hull in the night. Mark went on deck and used our special Buoy grabbing stick (technical term) to shift the buoy. The special Buoy grabbing stick has a yellow plastic thingy on the end that is an amazing invention for threading a line through a hoop. In the morning I noticed that the plastic yellow thingy was missing – Mark looked sheepish and said it had gone overboard. I was disappointed as it was a very useful thingy and although we could order a new part I wasn’t sure when.   Resigned to the loss of the precious yellow thingy we went for a dingy Safari to a distant beach. The beach was down wind of Magic and the ride was fun surfing on the waves. We beached the dingy and began a walk. Here comes the Magic. As we pulled the dingy up the beach we ran over something yellow – yup it was our precious yellow thingy – washed up on this beach just where we had landed. Magic

When Les Saintes we sailed to Guadeloupe (you have to just savour that beautiful word) we were going to go to Pigeon Island which is supposed to be fantastic and Jacques Cousteau Underwater Reserve. However we wanted to ensure our trip to Antiqua was shorter so we decided to push on North to Deshaies. As we arrived the wind picked up and it was funneling through the bay – we had sailed in beside Ho! A yacht we know – I have always wanted to hail them on the VHF as “Ho, Ho Ho – its Magic – 60” – you have to sing that…   we were both looking for a secure Buoy but there were none available. Rats – we would have to use the anchor. The Bay was really too deep where there was space but we had no choice. We dropped the pin and waited for it to drag – it did. We lifted it and dropped it again – this time it held. After a sleepless night we found a Buoy and quickly we lifted our anchor and rushed over to it – then we could rest for that day and night. The following morning we had to leave for Antiqua – but the weather looked good.   And it was – we had one of our rare perfect sails – we set off at 6am and arrived at 2pm. We had to clear in and we went to the customs dock. Mark went in and over an hour later came out looking very battered by the system – the bureaucracy and the attitude that goes with it is really wearing us down. Then we had to wait for the Government vet who was only 2 hours late.   With all our paper work complete we went to the harbor – Jolly Harbour was a welcome sight. Great bars and restaurants, an amazing supermarket and a safe and secure marina add that to the fact that friends we all around us – perfect. I thought – lets stay here until the end of April. I have been admitting to Mark that I have had enough of sailing for a while. I think that living aboard for 16 months and sailing in some rough stuff has been like overeating a favourite food as a child.   So now, ta dah! We have put Magic on the market to sell. We have still got our flights booked to come back to Antiqua on the 27th December and we are planning on another season doing the BVI and other islands we haven’t done – but if she sells she sells and we are putting that in the fickle hands of fate.   The next day Claire Archibald arrived – it is fantastic when you can share your adventure with loved ones. We confessed that we didn’t want to sail as much … but we then decided we would sail a little and it was a good idea. We love Jolly Harbour – not least because of its great name – but we wanted to see English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour – famous sailing places.   We had heard that English Harbour was tricky because you had to drop your anchor and the bay was tiny and the bottom is full of stuff – hurricane chains and anchors from Nelsons time – fascinating but also tricky for sailors. So we were anxious. We wanted to be on the dock – actually on the dock where Nelson was – that is why they call it Nelsons Dockyard. You have to go out turn around, drop your anchor and fall back to the dock. It is stern too mooring like we were used to in Greece. But of course there was an enormous gust of wind on our Starboard side just as we were dropping back that moved us out of alignment. We dropped the anchor and dropped back – Claire was ready with the stern Port line – she threw it to the guy on the dock but it fell short so Mark took Magic out again and tried once more. Why is it always gusty when are doing a tricky manouver? Finally we were tied up and the dock master said. “Your anchor is not in the right place. You will have to go out and lift it again and reset it” – My heart sank! So the stern lines were slipped and I was on the bow clicking the anchor back up – after about 2 minutes it was clear that the anchor was firmly stuck on something. Magic was left swinging in the middle of the harbour. Then our friends from ‘s/y Why Not’ came to our rescue. Richard and Tracey are sailors, sailors – they are so experienced and know what it is like to be in a jam. They are kind and there is nothing they wouldn’t do to help another sailor (or, I imagine, anyone) They are also great fun and love a drink – proper sailors.   I would like to tell you about the pulling and pushing and lifting and dropping and bits of string that were employed but it is too dull. Suffice to say that after about 30 minutes of faff we were free to set our anchor into the mess again! This time with the harbourmaster on Magic to direct proceedings. It is a good thing that Nelsons Dockyard is amazing!   –

We are now in Falmouth Harbour – when we left Nelsons Dockyard – we had treble trouble – a huge super yacht had dropped their massive anchor chains over the top of ours and the anchor was trapped on the bottom and the windlass was struggling. Again Richard and Tracey came to the rescue but this time there was nothing they could do we had to get a diver. The harbourmaster said – you will have to pay a diver! Mark was incensed –“ you put us here, and you put the super yacht beside us” – it was resolved by the first mate on the Super yacht suggesting they would pay the divers – $150 for them is small change. So the divers came and untangled the mess. I hate anchoring Then they helped us raise the anchor – and after an hour of mucking around in the mud with Nelsons toys his Dockyard finally let us go.

Now we are beautiful Falmouth Harbour watching all the classic super yachts arriving for the racing – Mark and I have been invited to crew on Tim Aitken’s beautiful yacht – Braveheart of Sark – I am thrilled and a bit scared.

Check it all out via www.antiquaclassics.com

About Love adventure and creativity

mum, wife, sailor, animal nut, author, teacher, adventurer, stand up comedian, friend, entrepreneur.... I love creativity and fun - experiencing new things - walking my dogs - laughing with friends - building and making things like...friendships, businesses and dreams come true


One thought on “Anchorxiety and playing with Nelson’s toys in English Harbour – Why Not!

  1. Hi Tina

    I have realllly enjoyed following your blogs, they are so honest and fun and they’ll be super helpful to us on our journey south this next few months, especially south of St Lucia where we haven’t been yet. This week we’ll arrive in Antigua after sailing as far north as idilic Anguilla and now beginning our journey south to Grenada for the hurricane season. We’ll be leaving Delphinus in Jolly then heading down to Falmouth to join our friends on the Oyster Regatta. It really would be great to pop by and say hello and for my daughter to meet May too, are you around later this week?

    We then head on to Dominica late April where my partner and I have decided to get married, we have a wedding planner and Providence there organising our early morning wedding on the Indian River.

    Enjoy, I hope you get some time to relax now.




    Posted by jayneeames | March 27, 2016, 10:51 am

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