While we are out bobbing around the islands we typically anchor the boat when possible, or “take a mooring”, which means to attach Selah to a permanent anchor called a mooring ball. While our preference is to anchor it is not always possible. For example, most of St. John is owned by the National Park service and anchoring is not permitted. In other parts of the Virgin Islands it is simply too deep and anchoring is not possible. In even more places, mooring balls are already placed and there is not enough room to anchor.
But either way, we are usually attached to a mooring ball or anchored. It is not unusual for us to go a few months without seeing a dock or marina, which is just fine with us. Selah is fairly self-sufficient and set up to be sustainable without needing outside power/water for the most part.
With our freedom from the dock comes a need for transportation. Selah is too big to take into most beaches or islands so our dinghy provides us land access and is truly our lifeline. Think of the dinghy like our car and we use it to zip around to other boats, hit the beach for a workout, gather groceries, haul laundry, etc…It is a wet, sandy, open-air car and we love it.
When we are moving island to island in short hops we typically just tow the dinghy behind us. When we are making large passages (from Bahamas to Puerto Rico, for example) we haul her up on deck to keep everything safe. And sometimes, if Bo gets a wild hair we put the dinghy up on dinghy davits.
Bo doesn’t totally trust our davits, as the metal flexes a bit when under a load, so we rarely pull it up on the davits, but every now and then when the conditions are right we will use them. I shot a quick video this week of an inside look at just one aspect of this crazy boat life.