Recreational yacht as pandemic isolation chamber

I didn’t use the restroom at the marina. I didn’t see anyone or encounter anyone.

I practiced anchoring, though. That’s probably comedy for some readers. I had never set the anchor from my boat and had only done the whole process one time during a sailing class last fall. I set up off Paradise Point, in view of San Quentin. Just to belabor the metaphor, with a salami sandwich and a Bud Light, I was much closer to Paradise than the Q.

My boat came with a 15kg Brazilian Bruce anchor, about 15′ of 3/4″ (?) chain, and then 120 feet of nylon rode. I wanted to try out the manual windlass I also received. The powdercoat is flaking off in huge shards, but the windlass works beautifully, despite cosmetic challenges.

It’s really a two hand job: The right arm cranks the big ratchet back and forth, while the left manages the tension on the winch for grip and feeds the slack end into the anchor locker.


The chain side works similarly well. The links fit nicely into the teeth of the windlass. Use the other hand to guide the pulled chain into the locker.


If there is a clever way to get the 15kg anchor around the ‘corner’ moment at which point the chain has been retrieved and the anchor itself is swinging, threatening to disfigure the leading edge of the hull, I did not figure it out. Instead I leaned on the pulpit and yanked the muddy metal on up.

In general though, all good. I was so pleased with the test run that the wind gods rewarded me by blowing the canvas winch cover off into the San Francisco Bay. There ensued a good round of scrambling and muttered cursing about the damned boathook, some reverse propulsion, and finally a successful retrieval.

An older fisherman with a couple of tattoos said, “Nice work, hope Larry and Moe are doing alright.” A younger fisherman with a couple dozen tattoos said, “Haven’t seen Iggy Pop in a while, he alright?” That’s a multi-generational Stooges joke.

Done and dusted. Whipped around the back side of Angel Island, up to Alcatraz, and met the Ever Lovely. She blew her horn when I was in front of her. I think that means she likes me.