Interesting word: shenanigans. If you are thinking…well, BOORING!… this is just the same title as last year’s blog from there; well you are partially correct. Webster’s definitions: tricky or questionable practices or conduct, and high-spirited or mischievous activity, are kind of like “Fun and Games”, the title of last year’s Georgetown blog. But shenanigans seems to encompass much, much more, and is more suited to the things that happened at this year’s Cruisers Regatta.
Yes, we did play “fun” volleyball this year, but we added beach golf. Yes, we did participate in the Poker Run. But so much more happened during our stay in Elizabeth Harbor, some questionable, some mischievous, that a better blog title was in order. Volleyball was more fun than last year (for Shep). Yes, “we” only won one game, same record as last year. But, unlike last year, Deb and Shep were on separate teams; and Shep’s team beat Deb’s team, for a combined record of 1 and 9. Beach golf was a hoot! All pitch and no putt (80 yd. longest hole), it consisted of 9 holes, each a par 3, all shots are teed up, and the “hole” is a 10ft diameter, seaweed circle. For the first time in Shep’s golfing career, he finished a “round” of golf in under par!!! But he was just out of the sudden death playoff, as four others had 3-under 24’s.
Yes the Poker Run ended, much like last year, wet behind….err…I mean wet and behind. It was a bit wet, not just from the requisite drink at each draw, as the wind made crisscrossing the harbor to the different bars wet in our soft dinghy. And we were always behind; the last to arrive at most of the venues, due to our slow dinghy/small outboard. Our poker hand was about the same as last year: 3,4,6,7,8,J,Q, all different suits. They did not award a last place trophy, which should appropriately be a nearly empty roll of toilet paper (as in wiping up the rear); at least we could have used that to dry our wet behinds! Unfortunately, we did not have visitors in Georgetown this year, so were unable to field a team for the coconut challenge. What’s up with that peeps? Come visit us while we are cruising…lodging is free!
But those shenanigans pale in comparison to the ones experienced at night, in the anchorages around the harbor, when the wind pipes up (30+ knots) and the wind direction changes rapidly (90 degree shifts in 5 minutes). I am always, truly astounded, at the lack of anchoring skills amongst, otherwise, seemingly intelligent boaters. Our friends Mark and Julie warned us not to anchor at Volleyball Beach, as someone always drags in the night. But I am here to tell you that, no matter what the anchorage, Volleyball, Honeymoon, Hamburger, Sand Dollar, Monument…someone will drag in every anchorage because of questionable anchoring skills (shenanigans).
Think 70 feet of rode in 20 feet of water is enough, a 3.5-1 ratio or what mariners call ”scope” in 30+ knots of wind? Will it hold? I have heard that scope quoted as what amount of anchor rode was put out. Seven to 1 or 10 to one scope is recommended by every safe boating guide in the world. Not so bad if the offending boats only put themselves in peril; but as they drag across the harbor, they bang into other boats and make a twisted mess out of anchor rodes. Luckily, we dodged all the offending boats, but the cursing and shouting on the radio; can’t dodge that. Anchoring 100 yards from a leeward shore with 40 kt gusts predicted…Admiral Deb would fire her captain. Find a good tall bluff to windward and anchor behind that; you will get some sleep at night! And what about all the boating course admonitions to back down, HARD, on your anchor with the engine to make sure you will stay put? Most seem to let wind/current do what it will with the engine in neutral, pour a cocktail, and then just shut the engine down. Are they mischievously trying to wake others up in the middle of the night by ramming them with their boats? Knock on wood…we have only dragged once, and that was in 72kt gusts with nowhere to hide. But really folks…try a bit harder to stay put. And finally then, there is the simple matter of securing your dinghy/kayak/paddleboard to the mother ship. Every morning in Georgetown we are greeted to questions on the radio about the whereabouts of someone’s lost watercraft. Is it really that hard to provide your dinghy with two points of contact with your boat? I guess when you get 300 cruising boats together in one place for a week or three, there are bound to be some shenanigans!