top of page
  • Capt. Eric

Eclipse and Excitement

Checking the eclipse path, I realized we would be in a very good spot, with the moon forecast to cover up to 91% of the sun.

I made a quick and dirty camera obscura using a spare part box, we walked Princess a little earlier than usual, and got back to Enfin in time to observe the whole phenomenon.

It is just after 11 in the morning, but feels and looks like 30 minutes before sunset

We followed the eclipse using the box and checking it against a computer simulation. It was a lot of fun to follow the moon passing in front of the sun and taking more and more sunlight away.

The beginning of the eclipse as viewed in our box

Eventually the outside temperature even got noticeably chillier, down from 76f to 69f. Sunlight dimmed, and we had to turn a few lights on inside Enfin. The wind died, just like it often does before sunset.

Checking our results against the simulation
Switching the lights on inside

Then, slowly, the sun started to grow again and everything returned back to normal. What a fun way to spend a morning!

Starting to see the eclipse

We had more excitement the previous days. Bill Gates, or more accurately his Yacht Support Vessel, moored in our bay and we watched the ballet of various size tenders catching up to the ship and being lifted back on board after a helicopter landed, its passengers clearly welcomed and greeted by the crew.

As huge as this catamaran is, this is only the "support vessel", i.e. it's the one that carries the various toys, from tenders, jet skis, often even a submarine and so on, leaving the main and often much larger super yacht with uncluttered decks.

We joke that our tender is our Yacht Support Vessel, especially when we store a few items in it whilst on the upper deck.

Yacht Support Vessel with helicopter on deck

In another chapter of excitement, we had a 70 foot Azimut motor yacht come in and anchor fairly close to us. They came in under tow from a much larger yacht, maybe 100 foot long, and set anchor about 250 feet behind us. Far enough, but considering I knew that boat had failed engines, I kept a good eye on it.

The next days the wind came up to about 20 knots, and blew the boat all across the bay, safely away from us.

Azimut motor yacht being towed away after an adventurous night

Of course, as luck would have it, the next night the wind switched 180 degrees and blew even stronger. Soon enough I noticed the boat started dragging its anchor again, this time coming back towards us, albeit very slowly and at a safe rate.

I kept a good eye on it, as I would any boat upwind from us in 20+ knots of wind, and around 23:00 when I went for my last round it was clear his anchor had pretty much let go.

I grabbed our Aldis flashing light, and lit up the whole inside of the boat, flashing it with its full beam. That raised the attention of the Captain, who went forward and started tinkering with his chain and windlass, but I could still see from my radar that the boat was still headed towards us, and would soon be above our anchor.

I can't let a boat end up upwind from us on our anchor: As soon as that happens, we're trapped and cannot raise our anchor anymore. I decided to move Enfin immediately. Within a couple minutes we were raising anchor and moving away.

A number of boats had taken refuge in our bay, so I had to navigate between them and the shallow parts of the bay. In pitch darkness I decided to anchor in deeper waters in the middle of the bay. We had a lot more chop than our earlier spot, but felt so much safer. We swapped comfort for safety.

The next morning, I kayaked over to the Azimut 70 and had a friendly chat with the Captain. He was genuinely thankful I had warned him of the impending collision. He confirmed both his engines were offline, and added that he'd almost ran aground when he first dragged anchor, and ended up with only 1 foot under-keel clearance on the other side of the bay.

Those 2 adventures prompted him to hurry his salvage, and the next day he got a friend to come and tow him away. Needless to say all on Enfin were relieved to see this episode end well.

We then moved back to our original spot, deeper in the protection of the bay.

And some people say life at anchor is boring!

53 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page