Monday, March 14, 2016

We survived!

     Yes, I feel like that is an appropriate title! The Northwest received two big windstorms this past week--one that hit Thursday morning and one yesterday (Sunday). You can read a bit about the one Thursday here. That one was crazy for us mainly because we somehow were not prepared for it. We heard about high winds coming to the Seattle area, but somehow we missed the memo that it was coming to our area as well. As it was, Joe and I were awake periodically from about 1 am to 4 am, when one of our docklines broke because of the storm surge!

     Semiahmoo has a floating breakwater and while it does slow the waves down, it cannot stop a storm surge from entering the harbor like a rock breakwater can. So, the waves were rolling under the boats, as well as the docks, but naturally, not at the same rate. We kept having to take turns going out and shoving the buoys back down between the boat and the dock so they could do their job protecting the side of the boat.
     All things considered, we escaped relatively unscathed. The kids slept all night, although they were up earlier than normal, and Rachael spent most of the morning in the cockpit since her stomach felt queasy. Like I said, one of our docklines broke from the arresting force on it and some of the paint was scuffed from rubbing against the dock.
      That was nothing compared to what some of the other boats have experienced! One boat on the finger farther out looked as though it broke loose completely and was heading straight for us, although thankfully, it was still attached by one line. The boat in the slip on the other side of us broke two lines and was at an angle, its bow nearly scraping the dock on the other side. Its stern took out the dock box, as well as the hose spigot. Another boat near us was scraped up pretty badly when the metal clips on its lifelines unfortunately fell down between the boat and the dock and became fenders.
       That was just what I personally saw. I heard two other boats broke loose during the first storm and about 70% of the boats in the harbor received some measure of damage. Needless to say, when we heard this next storm was coming on Sunday, we made sure we were better prepared. People were everywhere in the harbor, checking lines and fenders, taking pictures of boats belonging to neighbors who weren't around, and generally battening down the hatches.
        And you know what? We did just fine. It did help that there wasn't a storm surge like before and no major high tide during the worst of it. Our lines were all doubled up, our fenders stayed in place and I was even able to make dinner! I do wonder how everyone else fared. When Joe came back from taking a shower, he said one of the sailboats lost their jib--it had somehow come unfurled and. well, you can imagine what would happen to a sail flapping loose in sustained 25-30 knots of wind. I'm sure I'll see it myself when the kids and I leave this morning, but Joe said the sail is in tatters. It makes me think of pictures of some of those old sailing ships, sails torn to shreds after being caught in a storm at sea.
       I'm glad to know this boat can take a pounding like that, even if it is while we're safe at the dock, but I really hope we don't experience storms like that too often!

1 comment:

  1. You've certainly had your fair share of stormy weather! I'm glad you're all faring well and do understand how the roly conditions make cooking a challenge.