I posted this "warning" here on TTOL but it was a very long time ago. I'm re-posting my warning because of a post I read
here the other day about a charter crew seeking a mooring ball at the Baths on Virgin Gorda and seeing a yacht floating away from
a mooring ball and a fellow napping/asleep on deck. They shouted and woke him up to the problem and he started the engine a motored
about until the rest of the crew showed up in the dinghy. So, you pick up the mooring line from the mooring ball and place the line's loop
over a bow cleat and go about your business. Well, it seems that if wind or current pushes the boat toward the mooring ball the loop can
lift off the cleat on it's own and leave you floating unsecured. It happened to me once off of Cooper Island but fortunately I was on deck and
dealt with the problem post haste. Now when I pick up a mooring line and place the loop on the cleat I then use additional line from the boat to
secure the loop on the cleat so it cannot come loose and I, of course, advise all to do the same. I'm sure many of you also secure the mooring line, but
first time charterer's might be used to anchoring their personal boat from their home port back home but are first time mooring ball users and could make a
tragic mistake, so here is the heads up yet again!
To add to the story here is this: once while moored at Leverick Bay in North Sound we took the dinghy back to the boat from the restaurant/shops at Leverick
and passed a yacht that had secured the mooring line loop by running a triple strand boat line through the loop and then tying off/attaching the boat line to port and
starboard cleats on the bow, with the line looped over the front of the bow and basically with the mooring loop out of sight. The mooring line put pressure on the boat line
and also wore down through the boat line strands and chaffed through two of the three line strands and coming close to basically breaking the line and thus freeing the
boat to float away while the crew was below deck dining. They did not like us interrupting their dinner and the captain, in a huff, went to the foredeck to prove me wrong
and totally lost it. All crew on deck, start the engine, etc. So, as an additional warning, don't secure the mooring line loop in the fashion!
We will be back in early May for three weeks and hope to meet up with some TTOLer's. Can't wait.