Anchor or marina?

At anchor off a sandy white beach floating on aquamarine blue water as the sun sets in a fire of red. That is the way to end a beautiful day sailing.

Or you can ruin the day by berthing in a marina!

at anchor in Panama

If you plan on spending the night in a marina then it would be sensible to contact them to ensure there is space available. Many ignore emails. Others answer with standard text that ignores your request. Once you are within radio range, you can call them on the VHF radio. Mostly they ignore this as well but some answer and a few understand English.

As you get within sight there may be some one standing on the dock waving at you making signals you don’t understand. Mostly he is asking you to reverse in to a free berth across the wind and doesn’t understand that, in a rustler, this is about as likely as reversing a horse and cart through a pride of lions.

In the worst case there will be some one waiting to take the lines from you. Worst case as you have no idea if he knows what to do with them or has even held lines before.

Once you are made fast with the variety of lines and fenders that are needed to protect the boat from wind changes or swell driving you on to the pontoon, you can go to the office and fill out forms, pass over your credit card and try and understand what is where and open when.

Or you anchor. Just sail in to a bay of your choosing, find a nice sandy spot and with no external interference, drop your anchor. One line to “snub” the anchor chain, set the anchor watch and get the coffee on.

At anchor the boat always turns the bow in to the wind, so the wind catcher always creates a breeze through the cabin. At anchor the swimming pool is huge, clear and blue unlike the showers in some marinas. And sunbathing at anchor is much more private.

Maybe we are biased but we prefer anchoring.

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