Monday, January 23, 2017

Marathon - A wild night with 36 kt winds

If you look carefully, you can see the sailboat up against the bridge on the otherside
It’s Finn. Today was CRAZY!!! I was woken by the rain last night. So I go back sleep at 3:00 in the morning I was woken by the motor in MY EAR!!! The guys in front of us lost their anchor. So well my mom and dad and little brother sleep all warm and cozy I am out there in the freezing rain with my PJ’S on. But I thought I earned a nice Oreo so it was worth it. This morning I woke up with a bad cramp in my neck. Now It sometimes hurts to turn. There was so much rain today. When I was doing math I felt drops of rain on my head. Speaking of math today I learned decimals. I think I have them in the bag right now. For lunch I had a sandwich. That’s really all the exciting things that happened today BYE!!!              
How would you like to have this boat pass repeatedly behind you? That mast laid on the deck looked mighty intimidating 

As Finn said, it was crazy early this morning. We knew the winds were going to pipe up but then the cool front came through with lots of lightening and high winds. So it's pitch black out, lightening is all around us and we're pitching in the wave action in the anchorage with 36 kt winds. To add to the excitement, there was a wind shift and as we turned with the wind we barely cleared another sailboat with its mast mounted horizontally on the deck and stuck out over hanging the bow. It looked like a natural ramming device for boat wars. Naturally the new wind direction was put us directly towards the bow of that boat with the mast stuck out, we barely cleared but then was subject to repeat performances of that passage every minute or so as we swerved around with the wind. We never did hit but the last thing we wanted to do at 3:00 am in the pitch black in a driving rain was re-anchor

So we dodged that bullet but there was another one in the chamber. The  boat in front of us dragged into our bow. There were two boats tied together and they lost one of their anchors in the storm. So I'm up on the bow in the driving rain trying to minimize damage and having a conversation with the owner of the boat who, luckily, was aboard (sometimes the boats are left for periods of time) on how to improve the situation. He wanted (as I did) to put out another anchor so he could fend off but he had no motorized dinghy. I jumped in mine and motored over to his boat and he dropped an anchor into the dinghy and came aboard. He played out the anchor line about 100 ft and then dropped the anchor. I came back aboard Fleetwing and he pulled on the anchor line an moved his boats off my bow and off to the side. By now it was around 5:00 am and I just stayed in the cabin and watched the sun rise. 

Others were not so lucky. Two sailboats and one large powerboat were blown into the bridge with major damage to the powerboat. One other boat drug during the night nearby but we were not affected by that. Well, boating is never dull, at least in our experience. We've moved our entrance to Key West to Thursday now, the 26th of January, can't wait to get there!

PS, Finn's cramp in his neck went away, he's fine. 


Irish Rover said...

I should check your blog more often. We spent most of the day in Marathon shopping, a windy late lunch at Keys Fisheries. Definitely catch you in KW

Bob423 said...

Hi Bill, we now plan on arriving in Key West on Thursday. We're taking advantage of a weather window. How long will you be around?

Quandaey said...

Hi, Ann, Bob, and Finn! What a wild storm night! We shared your concern about the sailboat with the horizontal mast! In fact, even though it is not windy, I still periodically keep my eye on it.
You surely had an "interestimg" start to your day on Tuesday. We were relieved to see you get Off! The guys on the sailboats rafted up have been trolling hours for their fat, no success! Finn, We enjoyed (really!) hearing you practice your horn. One of our favorite musicians is Chris Botti. Keep it up!
Safe travels to Key West! Enjoyed meeting you in person! Bonnie and Pete on Quandary

Bob423 said...

Bonnie and Pete, yes, it sure was "interesting". Watching that boat behind us swing back and forth with the "battering ram" kept the interest up in the cockpit. The boat we were up against in the morning had run aground when swinging towards shore and we were touching too. We should have made it off after hauling the anchor but some miscommunication between the hauler and the helmsman led to us drifting back into shallow water and wrapping the anchor line of the boat behind us around the prop. Luckily, the guy in the boat we were up against volunteered to dive on our boat and free the prop by cutting his own anchor line. Everybody was just great in the anchorage. Later that morning I returned to give the same guy 100 ft of brand new 5/8 inch nylon line, it's the least I could do.

I'm glad the trump practice didn't bother you, we were concerned about that due to the close quarters. We are now in Key West after a restful night at Newfound Harbor. We're here for the next two months, we are really looking forward to that!