Yesterday was a blustery type day, winds 20+ knots…for our non nautical friends, a knot is e,qual to 1.2 miles per hour, pretty much out of the south. We have backed into our dock, so our aft end is facing the breakwall, which usually pretty much blocks all wind and water views as well. Sitting this way in our slip, this pretty much creates a parachute effect with the bimini and dodger.
Just before darkness fell, I went out to check our lines to ensure that all was good. Mission accomplished, no issues. We could snuggle in for the night, or so we thought. As soon as darkness fell, the winds really picked up, not sure of the wind speed, but no doubt that they were running an easy 30+knots, and things were a tad uncomfortable. About 9 p.m. or so, I went out and put on more lines, adding another single stern line, and doubling up on the bow and one other stern line. Beth helped me get these set up. The docks, which are floating docks here at Palafox, were bucking and bouncing about big time, walking the docks was a task as I went to shower in the complex. Beth and I settled in, Beth reading her e-reader, and I was trying to get internet on the laptop. Things really picked up about midnite, and the bimini was pounding away. Beth suggested we take the bimini down and roll it up on the aft most piping, which we went out and did. Good thing, because one of the fittings had let go, the set screw loosened up, and the whole structure was compromised. We got the bimini down and secured, and when we went to re-enter the boat, a wave sprayed right over the breakwall and down into our companionway. Damn, salt water in the boat! Not what anyone wants! And one of my tool totes was open, and was splashed with salt water, which meant all the tools had to be pulled out and washed, rinsed and dried. Great fun!
Suddenly, there was pounding on the boat, someone frantically knocking. I opened the companionway hatch, and a lady pleaded that we help them with their boat, it had broken it’s mooring lines and they needed help and any spare lines we had to re-secure their huge Cheoy Lee trawler. We quickly exited Moorahme, once again getting deluged with water cascading over the breakwall and into the hatch opening.
We staggered down the docks to the trawler, and another sailor was already there securing lines, Joe, from New York state, who had purchased a pdq 36 catamaran and he and his wife Deb, and their golden lab were now living aboard after sailing the cat over to Florida from Texas. We finally secured the Cheoy Lee, it is one huge trawler, must be a 54 footer, extremely heavy with our extra lines, and some lines that I appropriated from the fuel dock. Jack and Terry had just received their new to them trawler two days before, and the previous owner had stripped all of the good docking lines when he left the boat, leaving them with what I would call “poo lines”, not lines of poo, just poo lines.
So, trawler secured, off we staggered down the docks back to Moorahme. Once again, the spray from the breakwall deluged our companionway, time for some clean up. Around midnight, or around 12:30 a.m., suddenly, all was quiet. Absolutely no wind, no monsoon rains, the docks settled down…..the calm before the storm? Nope, we already had been through part of the storm…they eye of the storm perhaps…yup, exactly! No more than fifteen minutes passed, we scrubbed Moorahme down, I washed and rinsed the tools….and then the storm started all over again. Only this time, even more intense. Suddenly, we were heeled over at the dock at least 10 degrees, maybe more. Even tied down as heavily as we were, and with a rather large Sea Ray power boat between us and winds, we heeled over rather uncomfortably too far. I reassured Beth that we were on a good, solid boat that would fare well no matter the conditions, and it did. Leaks? Oh yeah, we had leaks! We have had rains since we started living on Moorahme, but not like this! The wind was driving the rain in over the top of the companionway hatch cover, and into the top of the hull. Then, this water travelled across the ceiling and dripped out under the ceiling cover near one of the portlights. Enough so that we had to set up a container underneath it to catch all the water.
The winds finally eased somewhat, and Beth decided to retire to the aft cabin around 2 a.m. I stayed up until about 4 a.m. to ensure that we would be good. At 7 a.m. I went topsides, and all was good. Not a mark on the hull, the rain had washed the boat nice and clean. The dinghy was over half full with cold rain water, which I bailed and pumped out. All the other boats seem to have faired well, and in talking with dockmaster Ron, he pulled out quite a few boat parts from the water which owners will claim later. What a night! Thunder, lightning, huge, huge winds and rain…….aaaah, the joys of living on a boat!<grin>
The Cheoy Lee did not suffer any further indignations, and Jack was off to West Marine today to spend the big bucks and get some good dock lines. They were sailors in a previous life, and enjoyed sailing the south pacific and seas beyond, so Beth and I are really looking forward to spending some time with them and listening to their travel stories! And they have a really nice dog….Moo….lol….a mutt they rescued from a shelter and has some fantastic colors and markings. Mooooooo!
We haven’t tried our on board washing machine out yet…there is a Laundromat here that washes, dries and folds your clothes for $1.25 per lb. So…we have yet to do laundry since we left home. Nice!
We had a great sail on Saturday with our friends from Alabama, but I will save that story for the next update, this one has already developed into an epic!
Keep your stick on the ice!