The small anchorage in the bay is close to the reef where many a ship may have run aground. In recent years there were at least two, of whom bits and pieces could be found on the sea bottom.

We do not know how many lives the strange conditions in the bay might have cost. The only thing we can vouch for is that there are a few strange occurrences:

Our companionway shutters are made out of heavy plastic glass. They stood under the splash cover next to the winch for at least two weeks, undisturbed during the week of heavy winds we experienced. One Friday night, the sea was calm, flat as a mirror, and very little wind. The Exodus crew was having a loopdoppie, when the sudden noise outside on the deck startled them. It sounded like the bicycle toppling over, which had happened before, and did not warrant an arrest of the conversation. Only later at night we realized that it was not the bicycle that had dropped but our plexiglass door plates that had vanished. The strange thing was that both plates disappeared but Gitane’s bodyboard (which was in between) had stayed put, as well as several pieces of clothing lying in the same spot. We could only conclude the plates had slid out of their position, through the railing wires, and fallen in the water. This seemed highly unlikely, but one thing was sure, the door plates were gone. The following morning a thorough search was conducted. Our freediver went up and down, up and down diving the whole length of swing range. Nothing… Going further and further… The door plates were finally retrieved way out of our swing range.

When we are on anchorage we normally run the engine for an hour every night, to make sure the batteries are topped up. One night the engine refused to start. All contacts were checked for voltage drops. This was such a boring job that Gitane read herself to sleep. The relay to the glowplugs was mall functioning but that was not a problem as it had not been working since the alternator upgrade in Cabo Verde. We had to get Mel the mechanic out for a second time. The problem seemed that air got into the fuel system. Tightening a screw on top seemed to solve that. It must have just trembled loose.

More than once we heard big noises that as soon as you go outside turn out to be nothing. No boats bumping into you, no dinghy smacked against the stern, no big waves or splashes, nothing fallen, no pelican dumping its load of fish on the deck…

One morning we woke up quite close to Walter’s boat, whereas Exodus used to be much closer to the beach and further away. It appeared that our faithful Rocna started dragging for reasons only known to itself. An early morning breathhold dive left us more puzzled. Not only did the rock solid Rocna slide along the sea bottom like one of those big rays, the anchor chain boasted a double figure of 8 knot. An inspection on scuba did not solve the problem. It confirmed the figure of 8 knot stuck solidly on our anchor chain.

We can rule out Exodus jumping through some underwater loops to get herself entangled. It also sounds highly improbable that the anchor worked itself loose, lifted its 25kg and chain, and jumped up in a figure of 8 to fall through the loops to go and settle mysteriously on the sea bottom with a big smirk on its face. Bar from witchcraft, voodoo, alien visitation or ghosts, we cannot find any explanation…

Our neighbours Walter, Peter and Rob had similar strange stories: about stern anchors moving themselves to the other side of the boat, ropes and anchor chains getting twisted on themselves. It is rumored the sea bottom moves every so often…

As we are preparing this post in Marina Zar Par, Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, we found the following interesting information in an article on Antigua in the ‘Caribbean Compass’: ‘One of the little known features of the area is that Galleon Beach is the burial spot of hundreds of colonial-era sailors and soldiers that succumbed to disease. During epidemics dozens would die each week, and would be dumped into large graves. To this day, bones will sometimes be unearthed by the elements or by people…’. Maybe not just one ghost dwelling the area, but many!!!

The Ghost of Galleon Beach

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