Monday, January 25, 2010

The End is Near

We were awakened this morning by the all too familiar rolling and pitching of the boat that means the wind has kicked up another nor'easter. This one felt like it may be a bit stronger than most we have experienced, but we're experienced live aboards now, nothing could scare us, right? At about 6am I was having my second cup of coffee, and finishing a chapter in the book I am currently reading when a sound that could only have been caused by something terrible happening to our home on the water crashed and crunched across the top of our boat. I threw down my book and ran onto the deck to see a 4' x 6' wooden hatch on our hard top had lifted off with one of the many gusts well above 50mph. It took with it in its path our anchor light, and our radar dome. This was definitely stronger winds than we have experienced, and I had no more need for caffeine. I was wide awake, and so was Maggie. I decided after retrieving and securing our giant, very heavy, hatch that I better check on MeVoy.
There was already one poor guy's jib flapping wildly in the heavy wind, easily tearing it to ribbons. The scene was frightening to say the least. Unsecured items of all sorts were flying around and crashing into the water and the boats while thundering white caps crashed and sprayed the pier with thunderous force. I found MeVoy to be weathering the storm pretty well, however her spring line, holding her forward off the dock was either stretching or the pile was moving. Probably the latter.
I ran into Dock master Bill who obviously needed a hand, and the two of us braved the wind and spray in the dark together. There were several snapped dock lines and uncountable lose items. The dock was badly damaged in several places and a few hard core live aboards were busily working, in vain, to secure items and adjust their lines. They were glad to have our help.
We went from pier to pier, doing what we could, saving what could be saved. More sails came unfurled and cracked out their versions of "The Sailmaker's Symphony" in perfect harmony as the wind ripped them to shreds.
One fly bridge was blown off and was hanging precariously over the dock held only by its engine control cables. More lines snapped and the water was rising fast. I was getting tired and was soaking wet.
We managed to get everything tied up and relatively safe around 7:30 when I started taking pictures. I was surprised to find Maggie so calm and relaxed, reading a book and having coffee. Didn't she know what was going on out there.
We had a nice breakfast and I put on dry pants and socks. The wind let up considerably by about 10am much to our relief. The water was still rising. It was lapping the boards on the dock at low tide.
The tide still came in and with it more storm debris.
I began to think to myself, "I thought boating was supposed to be fun".
This is the owner of the boat that lost its fly bridge. She looks depressed, but she was only concerned for the ducks, who had all disappeared. I found that odd.
The last thing dock master Bill and I talked about in the morning was whether or not the water level would continue to rise and submerge the dock. He said no. This is him looking disdainfully at the water already over the dock at his slip.
There were others out taking pictures of the scene. Matt, the electrician, takes my picture while wading on the dock.
Maggie is unmoved. Still working away, seemingly unaware of the incredible weather.
There is actually a pier over there.
Where is FEMA?
One of our neighbors who lost a genoa. I waded through the freezing water to get this picture.
The scene down the pier from MeVoy. The climb aboard was quite a bit more difficult than usual, but once safely aboard I took this final picture from the bow of Lucy Maru. Then I once again changed my pants and socks. I am sure many seasoned cruisers have seen more intense situations than this one, but it is one I will not soon forget. Can't wait to go cruising!!!


Travis and Maggie said...

Working was lovely coz all that wind was blowing the dust away from me, keeping the mahogany boogers to a minimum... and anyway it was almost 60... that's boat working weather even if the dock is under water!

Anonymous said...

No pains, no gains..........................