Good things come to those who wait, and boy we’ve been waiting… 3 weeks here before boats we’d been expecting, found their way to Elizabeth Harbour. Since most boats prefer to travel in fair winds and relatively calm seas, you can usually predict the days when lots of boats will enter the harbor. Polar Pacer, Celise/Spirit and Seabiscuit all arrived from various parts. We bid farewell to One White Tree who chose a near perfect day to continue their travels south- one year from now they plan to be in Panama.
The predicted cold front arrived over Sat and Sunday bringing the requisite 20kt winds and barely 70 degrees on Sunday. Great days to hang out the wash though. Classic cold front behavior; wind movement east to south to southwest then a quick swing north to northeast. Suddenly, the Sand Dollar anchorage was filling up, but by late Monday many boats had moved close to the action off Volley Ball Beach.
Crowded anchorages and windy conditions are perfect ingredients for “accident pie.” The gusty Sunday wind pulled a trawler off its mooring and with no one on board the mad scramble to get it under control was thrilling to listen to. Fortunately, the keys were in the ignition and the guys who climbed aboard were able to get the boat anchored without any mishap.
While closer to home we had a front row seat as a tender got loose and began a rapid drift through the anchorage. Russ called a warning and a Good Samaritan dashed out in his dinghy, snagged it and tied it back up to its master which it just happened to be floating past. Based on 3 weeks’ worth of neighbor knowledge and the direction from which the terrible tender came, I made the following prediction: the couple on Boat 1 went to visit Boat 2 for the evening and Boat 1s’ tender got loose, the wind blowing it (by pure luck) back past Boat 1 where it was corralled and tied up to Boat 1 (a good reason to have “T/T Your Boat Name” on your tender). The owner did not respond to the warning call and subsequent call between Russ and rescuer because Boat 2 had the radio off so the couple could enjoy the evening. With nearly 300 boats in the harbor VHF 68, the hailing channel in GT, can be busy, busy. So, when Boat 1 gets ready to depart and sees their tender missing, they’d put out a call on VHF 68. Those of us who knew the scoop would re-assure them and their hosts would simply take them back home- a distance of 4 boat lengths.
Turns out I called that one except it got even more interesting when the older couple in Boat 3, anchored behind Boat 1 got worried that Boat 1 people weren’t home yet and where were they? Oh gosh but isn’t it comforting to know that people watch out for each other? Just before Boat 3 had a coronary, the folk from Boat 1 got on the radio, said they were on their way back in Boat 2’s tender. We were enjoying Mexican Train Dominoes with Polar Pacer, further enhanced by the daring dinghy adventures. In the middle of this, another boat calls out that their dinghy went missing and gee, it’s pitch black and the wind blowing 20kts- and oh BTW they are on near the outer edge and with tender gone at least an hour it’s got to be all the way across the harbor and into who knows where. Yes, we are easily amused. Tender was retrieved the next day.