An anchorage from Hell

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Wed 17 Feb 2010 00:34
What we though would be a nice simple 1 night hop to Luis Correia, was a lumpy sail, but downwind and our new pole was superb - Suzanne is really happy with it cos she thinks we may never have to launch Big Blue again !
We arrived off the coast with the first group of boats, Tanagra, Havanita, African Seawing and started heading to the waypoints - only to discover they were all wrong - so we are on a lee shore in a F6 with huge breaking waves surrounded by reefs and nowhere to go. So frantic VHF calls to Nicholas all in French to work out where we all were and what to do "Ignore Wapoint 1 and go to WP2 - No that's wrong go to WP4 - No it's on the other side of the quay - Merde" ! - in the end they sent out a boat down the channel to lead us in - we only touched the sandbanks twice which was pretty good into an unmarked river. Then we had to find a hole deep enough to anchor in with still an F6 blowing and the current ripping trough at 3 knots - nice.
Then the fun started - every night boats dragging their anchor - all the catamarans and a third of the yachts on night 1, then African Seawing ended up missing us by a metre and hitting the jetty, the next night she broke free again bounced off Ti Ouane and hit Pilhoue V and still the cats were dragging, a really viscous place. The following night Agapanthe 2, the Amel Super Maramu, dragged and T boned African Seawing who had given up anchoring and was rafted on some fishing boats - more damage.
Finally on the last night, poor Suzie Too, who never moved any where, was hit by Pilhoue V and we now have deep gouges in the gel coat on the starboard side - crap!
Such a shame cos the people were lovely and the reception was the best we have had - we were the first group of tourists into their town and they really looked after us, we even went to their Carnaval - but our memories are the battle scars all the boats have
As we went to leave that morning I put the engine into gear and it stalled - an engine problem - No a large plastic gravel bag around the propeller - so call over a fisherman - lend him a mask and a carving knife - R$ 50 and 10 mins later we are on our bloody way - hip hip hooray !