When the wind began to make itself noticeable in the early hours this morning we soon realised the odd yacht getting closer than we normally like. Our first priority is to check our immediate security - more like 'defences'. With the N'ly blowing 30 odd kn and gusting here and there we soon determined our own hook was going the good job we've come to expect and we were'nt going anywhere. We didn't come to same conclusion when a nearby Bavaria charter yacht drifted abeam and finally settled just about far enough away, sometimes abeam sometimes astern of us. With Sue doing a watch as the worlycoaster ride continued I settled down for a saloon snooze........ only to wake shortly after 3 a.m. to Sue exclaiming "What the hell's this guy doing?" Rotviler brain engaged, then change of gear into Mrs Nice mode, Sue's out making one or two helpful suggestions, her words partially filtered by the winds and rain and attenuated by thunder. On realising the skipper didn't really want to move further away Sue carefully suggested "Well, if you're going to stay there you'll be doing an anchor watch from your cockpit won't you?" To which came a friendly favourable reply. With nothing else to keep me up and the saloon being less inviting than our bed, I returned and settled into a sleep. Sue joined me as the new morning light started filtering through. I decided to get up and put my 09:00 call out for the Med Net. Whilst initially unsettled to see our nearest neighbour swinging closely off our bow, I was pleased to see the skipper actively engaged on watch, in his cockpit, wearing oilies.
Couple hours later, whilst ready to scoff our 11 a.m. brunch, our neighbour opened a friendly dialogue. He explained being on the move shortly and apologising to have anchored so close, then followed up by telling us "When we first arrived we only saw you at the last moment because I could not see your anchor light (being on and working properly and in it's rightful place at the top of our mast in accordance with the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea) because our bimini gets in the way. ...... so you need a flashing light on your bow, like ours."
For the record, whilst we will remain critical of yachts who use non-regulation anchor lights of different types we do acknowledge the advantage being able to see additional lights placed closer to waterlevel when displayed as additional lights to the regulation requirement for a single all-round anchor light at top of the mast - although definately not 'in place of'.
Wanting to remain friendly we continued our brunch chat by thanking him for doing his anchor watch and we refrained from suggesting he should either stow his bimini canvas or use a hand-lamp to determine position of other vessels when preparing to join an anchorage when it's dark, gusty, raining threatening thunder and lightning as well. We also thought it wasn't worth asking the obvious and said nothing about him not wanting to reposition his yacht more safely and further away. He did mention having already nearly come to grief when his hook dragged at his earlier location.
All credit to Sue for keeping good watch in menacing conditions and keeping pleasantly cool and friendly when making suggestions to new friends when they like to get bit close for comfort.