Updated:
Original:

Windshifts: The Scope of Justice

It was a perfect afternoon on the Maine coast. After a pleasant sail to a spacious, uncrowded anchorage, my wife and I spotted the familiar shape of the handsome sloop belonging to our friends Trevor and Maria. We had prearranged the rendezvous.



It was a perfect afternoon on the Maine coast. After a pleasant sail to a spacious, uncrowded anchorage, my wife and I spotted the familiar shape of the handsome sloop belonging to our friends Trevor and Maria. We had prearranged the rendezvous.

I’ve been ridiculed for how far away from other boats I anchor, but this is a type of abuse I can handle, and we cheerfully embarked on the long row over to our friends. This is usually the routine, because we have eaten their cooking, and they have eaten ours, and there’s a remarkably harmonious unspoken agreement regarding lack of reciprocity. Plus, their dog is socially needy, whereas our cat was asleep. Trev and Maria also know how to mix mean tropical drinks. The sun dropped, glasses were drained, and tranquility hung in the air.

Suddenly, a deep-throated roar caused us all to turn and look at the cove’s entrance. Binocular-assisted observation revealed two identical boats approaching: one with a black hull, the other dark green. I don’t know power craft, but I know brand-new, large and expensive when I see it. I can also recognize male bonding, and sure enough, they were running side-by-side at about 12 knots. As they neared, they throttled down, ran a wide circle to ensure they’d been adequately observed, and began thinking about where to anchor. Admiral Black chose a spot that bordered on too close but was within reason. Then Capt. Green decided the logical place for him to anchor was precisely midway between Black and our cocktail hour.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit it: my wife and I don’t like close-anchorers, and I was annoyed. Our hosts, however, were downright livid. And just when we should have been settling in for the peaceful, aromatic run-up to a fine dinner of grilled marinated steak kabobs, we were instead debating the relative merits of simple screaming versus subtle sabotage. I hate to see my hosts upset (not to mention distracted from cooking) so being more uncouth than they, I decided it fell upon me to row over and enlighten this misguided skipper on the “Etiquette of Swingage.”

Soon afterward, as my inflatable gently touched the stern platform of Green, I cheerfully called out, “Ahoy, Skipper.”

A guy appeared. “What do you want?” he said. Not, like, friendly.

I explained that it was the consensus on the good ship “MyFriendsBoat” that he’d anchored too close. He disagreed. I tried to reason, briefly. Then out came a woman who, if she hadn’t looked like she was about to bite the head off an electric eel, would have been quite pretty.

I like teamwork in a crew, and she did not disappoint. “We’re not moving,” said she, and they went below, leaving me to mentally rehearse my diplomacy. I rowed back, we ate with defeated spirits and then had after-dinner spirits.

But God created tidal currents and fickle winds for a reason.

Related

Hurrican-PHOTO

A Storm by Any Other Name

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricanes (the term most U.S. sailors are familiar with) and typhoons are just two different names for the same weather phenomenon: tropical cyclones, i.e., “a rotating, organized system of clouds and ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_1002

Cyclone Season in Polynesia

Thinking of spending cyclone season in the South Pacific? Plenty of sailors take the chance every year, with the recent travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic making this an especially popular option in 2020. Cyclone season in this part of the world runs from November to ...read more

01b-LEAD-INSET-Kirby-IMG_0077

Eight Bells: Bruce Kirby, Creator of the Laser

With 2021 drawing to a close, Laser sailors find themselves reflecting on both their class’s 50th anniversary and the passing of the man who made it all possible: Canadian designer, sailor and sailing journalist, Bruce Kirby. Kirby, who died this past July at the age of 92, ...read more

2021ROLEXIC_DF_0061

Southern Yacht Club Wins Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup

Newport, R.I. -- The 7th Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup wrapped up on Saturday after five days of highly competitive racing in an international fleet that saw the Southern Yacht Club (SYC) of New Orleans best a fleet of 19 teams from Europe, Canada, Bermuda and ...read more

DUFOUR-530_NAVIGATION_009

Boat Review: Dufour 530

Dufour Yachts seems to have shifted its strategy with the introduction of the new 530. Previously, the French builder maintained two lines: Performance and Grand Large, with the latter targeted at the cruising crowd. With the Dufour 530, however, Dufour decided to combine the ...read more

210913-11HRT-SKIPPER-PORTRAITS-VC-122

11th Hour Christens Two IMOCAs, Hits a Snag

This week has been a big one for the American-founded, sustainability-centric ocean racing team 11th Hour Racing. In addition to christening their two new boats, the team also took them out for a quick test ride—against some of the most intense IMOCA 60 skippers in the world. ...read more

01-LEAD-DSCF3091

Clewless in the Pacific

Squalls are well known to sailors who cruise the middle Latitudes. Eventually, you become complacent to their bluster. But squalls vary in magnitude, and while crossing from Tahiti to Oahu, our 47ft Custom Stevens sloop paid the price for carrying too much canvass as we were ...read more

Nigel

SAIL’s Nigel Calder Talks Electrical Systems at Trawlerfest Baltimore

At the upcoming Trawlerfest Baltimore, set for Sept. 29-Oct. 3, SAIL magazine regular contributor Nigel Calder will give the low down on electrical systems as part of the show’s seminar series.  The talk will be Saturday, October 2 at 9am. Electrical systems are now the number ...read more