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Rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle, rattle… the sound of anchor chain paying out over the bow roller of a boat. All cruisers are trained to detect that sound, especially when it is loud, indicating close proximity to their own vessel. If one were to watch a crowded bay from a distance when a new boat enters, preparing to anchor, he/she would see heads popping up out of hatches throughout the anchorage looking much like gophers sticking their heads out of their holes. Even we do it and I recognize how funny it must look!

What is equally amusing, depending on where you fit into the anchoring dynamic, is when a boater moves from the gopher stage into the full on bitch wings pose. Not familiar with the bitch wings pose? It looks like this:

This is the exact position that cruisers adopt when someone is either considering anchoring near their boat or, even worse, are in the process of doing so. Perhaps this position has some ape-like origins, you know, one gorilla attempting to frighten off another ape from stealing his bananas. Regardless of where it comes from, when you come to recognize it for what it is, it is quite humorous.

For the record, if you want to make friends, standing on the bow of your boat staring down new arrivals is not the way to do it. Even though we don’t like people anchoring right on top of us, we do try to give people the benefit of the doubt and allow them to figure out their position on their own before we revert to simian mode.