After a few nights in Utilla, Kylan enjoying his Rescue Diver class a storm is predicted to blow through. We double checked the anchor. We battened down the hatches (whatever that means) and we got ready for the blow. Blow it did, a powerful squall came in a little earlier than predicted. No problem for us, thank goodness, however, four other boats in the harbor had problems when their anchors dragged and they had to spend some time re-anchoring, avoiding other boats and missing the reef.
The real excitement came when I heard yelling coming from the boat anchored near us. I thought they were having trouble with their anchor, but after a while there was chatter on the VHF radio about them being boarded by an unknown person (pirate) and needing police assistance. Mind you, the wind is still blowing pretty strong. During these tense moments, another boater and I made the decision to launch our dinghies and come to their assistance. We both showed up about the same time where we found a young (mid 20s) white guy who appeared to be highly intoxicated. Three of us were all demanding this guy remove himself from the boat, but it became apparent that he had no ride back to shore. The other cruiser agreed to give the guy a ride to shore and I followed him to make sure there was no more incidents.
With this unneeded excitement behind us, it was back to worrying about the storm blowing through. I slept in the salon so I could easily jump to action if necessary (luckily). At about 3:30 am I awoke to a sound that took me a while to recognize. It was the windlass running. The windlass is the electric motor used to lower and raise the anchor. This night it was raising the anchor. Not exactly what I wanted to have happen in the middle of this storm. I ran outside to stop the mayhem. Grabbing a wrench and a flashlight, I ran to the forward cabin (only accessible from the outside) to where the windlass cables are run through a control box. I got the power cable disconnected, but not before wires had melted and who knows what else. Surveying the damage the next morning, I determined a switch had shorted out and started bringing in the anchor. Fortunately there was a knot in the anchor rode that kept the windlass from raising the anchor all the way and setting us adrift on the dark and stormy night. Praise God things all worked out and by noon the following day the storm had finally blown through and I was able to start fixing the windlass. Which luckily did not burn out the motor.
The next day the cruiser that had been boarded filed a police report and found out the “pirate” had a reputation on the island for causing mayhem. Because he is a non resident, the police are reluctant to do anything about it. Also it costs a lot of money to prosecute, so the person pressing charges is required to pay for most of it. We were told, it is much cheaper to pay to have the troublemaker beat up or worse. And the low cost of the latter is spine chilling cheap.
Two days latter (4/11) we left Utilla on a rainy cloud covered day to head out into the ocean again, only to arrive in West End, Roatan 4 hours later on a beautiful sunny day.