STERN TYING- 3 TIMES A CHARM-NOT!
Now I know you avid cruisers are asking yourself, “What’s the big deal about stern tying?” And for most, it doesn’t appear to be so. However, every time Prairie Girl and husband have attempted the manoeuvre- it’s been somewhat of a gong show.
This time they set off for Smugglers Cove on the Sunshine Coast. Husband had the TwoCan XL outfitted smartly with a new Sunbrella covered reel of floating rope chained to the upper rail. Motoring into the cove on an unusually windless June heatwave day sounds simple enough. This should have been perfect conditions for stern tying in a tight cove, right? Their buddy boat friends positioned themselves first and then husband dropped his anchor, rather close to them. Close enough, in fact, that the neighbours’ fenders appeared immediately…
Prairie Girl nervously kept her eye on the stern approaching the rocks, as husband frantically rowed, while simultaneously unravelling his floating rope to reach the chain dangling on the side of the cliff. Now, most boaters, would probably choose the bottom link of the chain to thread the rope through… NOT HUSBAND! Oh no, he picked a middle link that caused him to stand up in the dinghy and stretch to reach and thread it. Next thing Prairie Girl saw was that he had pulled so much rope that it had piled up at his feet getting tangled up and crossed with the chain. The more he struggled, the harder Prairie Girl tried to hold in her belly laugh. (Or was that actually a nervous laugh escaping, as the TwoCan XL approached the craggy rocks during this unfolding spectacle of stern tying?)
Thankfully, husband eventually managed to untangle the mess of rope at his feet without crossing the ropes again. He worked his way back to the TwoCan XL, in time to heave himself aboard and adjust his anchor. And then finally sat back, soaking wet on the deck; completely spent from the exertion. A ‘cold one’ was requested immediately!’
And when all was said and done, they became very close neighbours with their buddy boat friends. (Not sure, they had expected such an intimate anchoring experience.)
After two nights of heat wave and roving mosquito attacks (Just kidding, it was blissful swimming, paddle boarding, dinghy riding… Such a relief from the heat!), it was time to pull up anchor and reel in the stern tie line. Of course, after two days of not a wisp of wind, the cove started to rock. And their buddy boat became friendlier and friendlier… A shotgun departure ensued. Buddy boat quickly maneuvered out, in order for Prairie Girl to hastily pull in the floating rope. You know she didn’t reel it in all tidy and organized. OH NO! Prairie Girl pulled a heaping pile of floating, slimy rope loaded with seaweed and sea debris into the pristine cockpit. Husband didn’t even comment about the mess at his feet because he was feeling like a HERO! He had had the foresight to install a windlass switch on the helm station, which he decided had saved the day!
I know you have many humorous stories to share of your experiences at anchor. Please do tell us one in the Comment Section below. We can all enjoy some fun stories. Enjoy your summer cruising everyone!