The first post I wrote about anchoring waxed lyrical about the sheer joy of the freedom to drop the hook whenever and wherever you can. Beautiful turquoise waters, stunning wildlife and a sky fit to burst with stars can be the rewards of a well-chosen anchorage. Plus, it’s free!


However, it should be noted that we don’t necessarily just invent the best places to anchor; we go in accordance with anchorages marked on charts and recommended in guides. This means you know that the holding will be good, that you’re not going to be in the way of other vessels, that the depths are workable and, most importantly, that the swell conditions are usually good.


Well, no, not always as it happens. I wrote once about Puerto de Conil, a roly poly anchorage near Cape Trafalgar in Spain that we had one night in before making passage to Gibraltar. Now, I feel compelled to write following a number of dreadful nights’ sleep in Bassterre and Frigate Bay St Kitts. There can be nothing worse (in the context of sailing your yacht round somewhere as beautiful as the Caribbean – poor me…) than a rolling anchorage as, by the time you realise just how bad it is, it’s usually already dark and you’re disinclined to move the boat.


A gentle, water-bed-like, side to side gentle sway is all well and good but when we’re talking about full rolls, big enough to knock all the washing up onto the floor or throw you out of bed or make doors slam then it’s awful. Side to side, plus back and forth with the additional corkscrew motion thrown in too. Particularly because you end up in a situation where you know you will never get to sleep and no amount of reading your book or drinking a herbal tea (tricks that work quite well in your house in London) will help you.


Best to put out an extra stern anchor so that you can take the swells on the stern and nowhere else… but wait, that’s a job still waiting for me to get round to it and splice a length of warp onto the 6 metres of chain we have for the second anchor. Damn! Maybe I should attempt it during my insomnia? Can one splice at 2:30am?



Right, rant over with, back to enjoying everything 🙂