Anchor Watch

Anacortes picture

This is a view of the Skyline neighborhood in Anacortes as viewed from Alice Bight while under anchor watch.

So… I have now been up for about 5 hours at anchor watch. Well, not really ‘anchor’ watch as we’re not at anchor (thankfully). I should start at the beginning…

Annie and I had a crazy busy week. Friday evening came around and the weather forecast was marginal – 10 mph winds steady throughout the weekend. 12 mph is the magic forecast number where things start to get really uncomfortable. Also, based on experience, I can tell that when the weather forecast calls for steady winds, it means the forecaster doesn’t have any clue WTF is going to happen. We never get steady winds.

So there we are, totally stressed and tired from our rigorous work weeks and just looking for an excuse. It’s October, and while the dog days of summer have been generous, we are due for a rip-every-leaf-off-of-every-tree type wind storm. So ya, the worst than forecasted weather we got wasn’t a total surprise.

boat stove

My Tiny Tot boat fireplace is a little undersized for my boat, but it manages to keep it pretty toasty!

By the time we were ready to go, darkness was closing in fast. We decided to just poke our heads out of the marina for the night at head to Alice Bight on Burrows Island. It’s only about 10 minutes outside the marina. You can almost hit it with a slingshot from the beach in Skyline.

The evening was very pleasant, but the winds started to build about midnight. By 3 AM the boat was rocking violently. The winds were much higher than forecasted. Luckily, we were double tied (see the Maritime Safety Checklist) to a mooring buoy, so I wasn’t worried about dragging anchor. But despite the lack of safety concerns, it was just too damn uncomfortable to sleep.

Sailors reading this will be all too familiar with the exhausting type of sleep where you just begin to drift off until the next big wake that send you bolt upright in bed. By 3 AM, I had enough and decided my time would be better spent reading random blogs than continuing this futile attempt at sleep.

egg in toast

Eggs in toast are one of Annie’s specialties and one of my favorite breakfasts!

Sitting at the table early in the morning, awaiting dawn, and hanging on through the most violet swells is fertile soil for melancholy thoughts. For a brief moment I wondered if life on a boat was really a wise choice. At that that moment I realized that the cabin was sweltering hot from the fire I had just finished stoking, I had a hot cup of coffee in my hand, and I was surfing the internet. Life wasn’t too bad, I laughed. Just because I mis-guessed the weather on a single night is no reason to consider throwing in the towel.

After the sun dawned, Annie got up, we fired up the engines, and headed back in to the dock for a lovely breakfast of eggs-in-toast – one of Annie’s specialties. Life is good.

Related posts:

Pros and Cons of Living On A Boat
Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 2
Swallowing The Anchor
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