I almost set a catamaran adrift today!!

Sunset off Shell Beach, St. Barths

Morpheus moved from Gustavia a short distance to Shell Beach, St. Barths early this morning.  We have a great spot right in the middle of a very small harbor, the popular beach just a couple blocks from the town is covered by millions of small shells (the source of the name),  there is a small cafe “Do Brasil” here, and the water is warm and spectacularly clear.

We spent the day onboard for the most part.  Lots of swimming to cool off, and Deb swam in to the beach for a glass of wine with the cool people that make up St. Barths.

My adventure of the day had nothing to do with “cool people”.  Instead, it involved a 45 foot charter catamaran.  The captain came in with his non boating guests and anchored about a boatlength behind us and somewhat less in front of a worn out looking bulletproof cruising boat.  The “guests” gave each other high fives as the anchor hit the water and immediately dove overboard heading for the beach.

This was all entertaining to us, until we saw the captain jump in his dinghy and head for the beach and presumably the beach bar as well!!  Really???  When he left there was no more than 10 feet between him and the cruiser behind us.  We couldn’t beleive it.  But hey, when in France its best to figure out how things work before you get to critical.

Well, it didn’t take long and about 45 minutes later the wind shifted and the charter boat swung right into the bow of the old cruiser.  Nobody on either boat, and at least the charter boat was getting the worst of it.  That old cruiser had a huge metal anchor roller that seemed to be taking big bites out of the catamarans stern.

Anyway, I jumped in my dinghy and headed over to the other two boats.  I used the dinghy to pull them apart and confirmed that there was nobody aboard either boat.  Once done, I headed in towards the beach to find the charter captain.  At that point, another “local” cruiser buzzed over to the catamaran and showed me what I should have done.

Apparently, the local custom is, if you are an idiot and leave your boat unattended in a place where it can hurt others, it’s fair game to jump onboard, pull up your anchor and motor your boat to where ever the good samaritan thinks it should be!

It was great, to see the charter captain running down the beach full speed towards his dinghy as this other guy pulled up his anchor and was motoring the boat out of the harbor!!

Next time, I’ll know what to do….

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