After an initial passage across the San Pedro Channel, it was time to settle in. We would spend two lovely nights on a mooring at Two Harbors. I don’t even think I left the boat the whole time.
This was also my first experience with fore-aft moorings. It was tricky and intimidating at first, but we “had it mastered” by the end of the trip. That’s in quotes because any good sailor knows, “Never are you a master!” nevertheless, we were pretty darn good at it after 4 moorings and several goes at it each of those four times. While there can be many “tricks” to enumerate, there is one that comes to mind first. When in doubt, abort your approach and just come in again. No one is going to take points off your “lifetime sailing card” for a re-approach. They will, however, enjoy many snickers and maybe even dock those points if you nab those mooring lines in your prop.
While not necessary, it’s also great to work in pairs. It takes some of the pressure off one person, and offers a second pair of hands if the line is particularly difficult to haul in. Oh! There is one thing more important than the above advice on re-approaching! That is, know your hand signals! Strong, clear hand signals are particularly helpful to the person on the helm–especially when fairly close to the mooring ball. Once the vessel gets alongside the mooring ball, your helms-person will no longer be able to see it.