Many of us who like living like Robinson Crusoe avoiding the overcrowding of the marinas and ports, defying in parallel, the amenities they offer. So, if we belong to the category of those people who prefer to moor in natural bays of their liking, to enjoy the loneliness of the night and to start their day diving in crystal clear waters, then we must be very well organized, completely autonomous and to be aware of some basic things.
First of all, we ought to be aware of the prevailing winds around the places we are going to spend the night at.
So, after we choose the bays in order to stay overnight, there is nothing else we can do but tie up firmly in order to be safe. Starting with the anchor we have nothing to lose if we throw it far away from the shore. Of course, there is the rule that the length of the anchor rope or its chain must be at least triple in comparison with the depth of the place where we moor but do not hesitate to allow even more length. Then, try to see whether the anchor is stable by firming up the rope or the chain and, if you want to be even more certain, verify it by diving with your mask.
After we have ensured our anchor, we come to the stern to tie the bow lines. It is a fact that many do not pay the required attention as far as bow lines are concerned. But, it is usually these ropes which hold the boat. They receive the most strain especially when there are obsessed katabatic winds from the land. So, we tie up with two stern ropes – and never with one – which also form an angle between them of 40 to 90 degrees in the stern of the boat. This way, we minimize the side shifts of our boat. The bigger the angle the bow lines form, the less will be the side shifts. We have to choose very stable places on the land to tie up the stern ropes, such as tree trunks or big rocks.
Of course, both the stern ropes and the anchor rope must be slack. That means that they should never be stretched but slacken in order to allow the boat to "work" at the sea; to be able to follow harmoniously and with no resistance the pulse of the waves. Otherwise, misfires will be intense and the strain of the ropes and bollards will be huge.
We should always be cautious with the sea. No way we should be carried away by its sweet face and our good mood. The off-shore winds that will probably break out after midnight come with such strength that can put us into dangerous adventures.
So, when we anchor for the night, we must get used to tying up very well as if we are waiting a storm to break out. The check up of the anchor, an extra knot or rope do not need more than a few minutes.
In order to sleep peacefully during summer nights in natural bays of our liking and in order not to run panick-stricken in the dark, we should:
- Always choose bays whose entrance look towards the south and be aware of the weather forecast.
- Not defy swell and off-shore winds and to always tie up as if there is going to be a storm.
- Always observe the places where the local fishermen tie up their boats when they stay overnight. They know better than anyone else the local weather and its signals.
- Always remember that both the anchor and the bow lines are important.
- If we are sailing for the first time or we do not have relevant experience, it is wise to start staying overnight in natural bays with other, more experienced boaters.