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Anchoring Without a Divorce Following

Carole and I began our anchoring life together heading straight for a divorce. I shouted; she shouted; it was ugly. We tried voice-activated two-way radios, but these were useless in any sort of a breeze. Finally we hit on the technique that has made us the envy of the cruising world, and restored tranquility to our lives. Carole drives; I stand in the bow and with not a word spoken, just use of six simple hand directions, we have anchored flawlessly many hundreds of times, in almost every weather condition.

Perhaps the most stringent test of our technique occurred in the Red Sea. The weather got really bad about midnight one night, so we decided to try for the Ras Gharib anchorage, which is behind a projecting reef. There were no navigation aids, just the way points provided by the Red Sea Pilot, which on my charts plotted as right in the middle of the reef, and the darkness was almost total. Deciding to trust the Pilot, we gingerly felt our way in—if the movement of a blind, bouncing cork can be so described. I was in the bow with a spotlight to see if I could see the reef, perhaps by waves breaking on it. Carole was driving, shining a flashlight on me to see my signals, watching GPS and radar, holding on to stop being thrown about the cockpit, and totally distracted by two huge black cockroaches which chose that moment, and our cockpit, to mate. No other system but ours could have coped. The morning light revealed that we had dropped anchor on the reef, but were swinging over sand.

Spend five minutes learning the hand movements. It is much more effective than a marriage counselor, and much cheaper than a divorce.

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