Cane Garden Bay, Tortola

Ocean Gem
Geoff & Eileen Mander
Sun 2 Mar 2014 21:48

Position: 18:25.472N 64:39.566W

Date: Sunday 2nd March 2014


We moved on to Cane Garden Bay on the north coast of Tortola.  There was very little wind, so we motored most of the way.   We arrived early afternoon and found the bay to be almost full of mooring buoys making it difficult to use our anchor.  However we did eventually find a spot in the western part of the bay and dropped the anchor about 60 meters away from a catamaran, also anchored.  When I swam over the anchor to look at it I found that it was well dug in in sandy mud but there were rocky patches around which the chain was twisted.  The water was also rather green and murky, not at all like that which we had seen during the previous few days. 


In the evening we went ashore to explore and have a couple of beers.  It wasn’t the most exciting of places, in fact it was all a bit tacky. There was no wind at all as we returned to the boat and found that we were now very close to the catamaran anchored next to us.  I’m not sure how this had happened as we had started out a good distance apart and there had been hardly any wind. As it was now quite dark with no moon I thought that I would wait and see how the boats moved relative to each other as the evening progressed. 


By about 10:00pm it was clear that we were just too close and as we arrived after them it was our responsibility to move.  It was of course pitch black with only the shore lights to dazzle us rather than provide illumination. As we tried to lift the anchor the cord to the remote that controlled the anchor winch got caught in the gypsy and jammed.  There was then some urgent activity trying to free the winch in torch light without losing any fingers.  Fortunately this was achieved but at the cost of a severed power cord, so we had lost the use of the remote.


Rather than try to anchor again we motored slowly back to the field of mooring buoys and found a vacant buoy to which we managed to tie up after a couple of failed attempts. We had not distinguished ourselves well in this exercise. I guess we were just having a bad day.


To really round off the evening the calm waters of the anchorage then became somewhat less so as a northerly swell penetrated the area.  Very little sleep was had that night as we were shaken around in our bed, sometimes quite aggressively. The wind kept changing from calm to gusty and the boat kept riding over the anchor buoy making horrible scraping noises against the hull.


Oh the pleasures of boating. All in all our experience of Cane Bay was not one that we will be keen to repeat.