Its a Small, Small World, and sometimes shit happens.....

Steve Powell
Fri 5 Mar 2010 19:50

In our travels we have met some lovely people, many of them from the Oyster fleet.  One of the nicest couples we have met is ‘The Browns’, David and Tamsin on Twice Eleven an Oyster 46. They are cruising the World just the two of them. We first met them at the Palma Regatta in 2008 and then they did the Atlantic crossing in the ARC with us later that year. Our last meeting was in Antigua last Easter. Between us since then we have both sailed many, many miles and visited lots of different spots.

All very nice I hear you say, but get on with the story! When does “Shit happen”?.

Well, yesterday we left Antigua a little late as we had to have some work finished off and pay a few bills. So we headed for Isle Saintes a pretty little island just south of Guadalupe. Due to the late start I knew we’d be getting in late, but there’s a quiet little anchorage that I know well so I felt quite happy coming in at night. We had a great sail over and until we got into the lee of Guadalupe were steaming along at 10-11 kts, upwind.  Once we arrived at Isle Saintes, at about midnight, we made a slow and careful approach to the anchorage only to find it jam packed full of sleeping yachts. After more careful deliberations I decided there was a slot we could get in, we couldn’t anchor deeper as the shored shelves too quickly here, but we dropped our anchor and let UHURU settle back to see how we fitted in. Well we didn’t... We were swinging too close to other boats for comfort so I decided to lift the anchor and try again at another spot, as you do.

At that point it started to go wrong, we managed to catch and lift another boats anchor. And with a fairly stiff breeze blowing their anchor chain managed to twist around our anchor resulting in two boats locked together, drifting in a busy anchorage. Frantic efforts were made by Buzz and Oli with some helpful advise coming from the sleepy couple who had been rudely awakened to find themselves drifting helplessly locked onto our anchor. Everything we tried failed, their chain was firmly twisted around our anchor.

Then at the height of the ‘situation’ I, who had been manfully manning the helm trying to manoeuvre our two boats away from all the other boats at anchor and not touch their boat, suddenly heard a familiar voice. “Is that UHURU?”  I looked down and there was David and Tamsin smiling up as if this happens all the time, don’t worry.

I suddenly thought of all the German and French boats I could of pissed off tonight, without too much guilt, and I chose Twice Eleven. Needless to say I felt like a complete ‘prick’.

Talk about fate and coincidence!!! They were heading north and stopped for a rest and we were heading south.

We did manage to sort it all out  when Buzz jumped into the tender and physically lifted their anchor off ours. No mean feat. And after all that we didn’t touch any boats, including each other. So alls well... As they say.  

I popped round this morning with a dinner invite and lots of humble pie.  They, of course, were charming and very understanding. Claiming they’d done themselves many times, which I doubt.

The day improved significantly when Buzz and I went diving on a local reef this morning. But now I have to go and start preparing dinner for David and Tamsin. My signature dish, chicken and shrimp risotto with parmesan cheese.

So after all it is a very small world, but sometimes you wish it wouldn’t prove it.

Luv to all

Steve, Buzz & Oli.

5th March 2010