Life at anchor

One windy few hours overnight have certainly tested our anchoring skills but thankfully we appear to have held well and there has been no getting up in the middle of the night to stop the boat from slowly heading towards one of the uprights of the bridge we sitting just beyond.

We did have the anchor alarm going off last night, but with all these things they are sensitive, and you do have to set the alarm at the spot you drop the anchor, which is fine if you’re only doing a one night stop as it is on the phone. Setting it on the phone at the stern of the boat and then moving the phone to the bow of the boat to sleep certainly gives the system something to think about. As the boat moves the slightest little bit it assumes the anchor is dragging and activates with a very concerning klaxon. Fortunately despite it being 4.30 a.m. when it went off, the operator despite being half asleep realised it was user error and it was the phone that had moved rather than the anchor. Thank goodness.

We’ve pretty much had this section of the river to ourselves, with the exception of the daily fisherman, a few jet skis and some motorboats out for the day. The bay is big enough for all of us, it’s vast, and there are plenty of shallows all across it. So why, oh why did a French boat arrive this morning and decide that it needed to be right up our chuff.

It had all this space

And it chose to go here

It’s like going to an empty car park and coming back to find the only other car in it has parked next to you.

Still they’re French, so what can you say!

This wouldn’t be my choice of anchoring spot, it’s not pretty, I don’t really feel I can swim here, but evidently we’re getting to that spot. And anchoring, well you obviously don’t have the security of being in a marina, but then you don’t have the expense either. A jaunt ashore is a hop in the dinghy which you then leave in a marina and hope it doesn’t get pinched, and there is a sense of apprehension when you leave the boat for a few hours – will it still be there on your return, by fair means or foul.

But you become aware of things you take for granted in a marina, or a house for that matter such as power and water usage. Whether that stays with me in the future and I’ll go around and turn all the lights off at the house, or just let the taps run freely it remains to be seen. There is no watching tv to while away the evening hours, although we have watched some pretty good films, albeit with Japanese subtitles, on the laptop – Bohemian Rhapsody is highly recommended by the way – but you read, you contemplate and cogitate, you cut your husbands hair and you paint your toenails, you enjoy the gentle sound of the water lapping against the sides of the boat, and despite being under the longest bridge I have ever seen you enjoy the relative peace of it all. Oh, and most importantly you hope that the winds don’t get up and the anchor continues to hold.

Tomorrow we leave Cadiz and have another long 12 hour day ahead of us making our way to Ayamonte for a few days, some at anchor and some in a marina – fridges will need restocking and laundry not suitable for my little machine has to be done. And then on again, to what I am hoping is what I have in my head as the perfect little anchoring spot but between now and then we are at the hands of Mother Nature once more – let’s hope she is kind and if only for a few hours we can have the engine off and the sails up – for a change!


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