Martha’s Vineyard

In Martha’s Vineyard, BEOWULF is sharing the Edgartown anchorage with hundreds of other boats. Find out why the Dashews chose not to moor, and what anchoring tricks they used to ensure a good night’s sleep.

We’re in Edgartown, with hundreds (or thousands) of other cruisers, all of whom need a place to moor for the weekend. We’re a little big for the moorings – we prefer our own ground tackle in any case – and as there is lots of current, which changes direction periodically, finding a spot where we can swing without getting tangled with other boats is a challenge.

If there was no wind, life would be a lot simpler. But the breeze comes and goes, sometimes aligned with the current, at others opposed. Add to this the fact that boats react differently to wind and current, and some are anchored on chain while others are on line (and take a lot more swinging room) and the mix gets interesting.

After carefully circling around for 15 minutes we found a spot which looked prety good, with the beach on one side, and a 100-footer with lovely dark blue topsides on the other.

We dropped the hook, carefully stretched out the chain, backed down hard in reverse to set it, and then started getting the boat cleaned up. Five minutes later I looked up from covering the main to see the crew of the 100-footer anxiously looking at our bowsprit, which was now just 20 feet away, in ramming attitude (pointed right at them).

So much for our careful choice of anchorage. There was so much difference in our underbodies that the light winds and moderate current had us at right angles to each other.

We’re now anchored well away from the other boats, off by ourselves in a pretty part of the lagoon. OK, we’re two minutes further from town, but that’s a small price to pay for a good night’s sleep.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (July 30, 2001)

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