the adventures of a girl, her dog, and two cats.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

the worst has passed

Managed to get a few hours of sleep. Woke about 3:45am, tried to wake up a bit, listened for sounds indicating lines breaking or boat hitting dock or pilings, checked on bilge, interior leaks, and condensation. Crew kept snoozing through it all: winds whipping, boat rocking, gusts that heeled us at a good angle. They seem to have their sea legs.

Ventured above about 5:00am to check lines, pulled in some slack in bow lines to help keep me forward in the slip and off the dock. With high tide due to arrive at 6:00am, the water was just 3 or 4 inches below the dock.

Kept fingers crossed water would stay low enough that I would not have to disconnect shore power. Battery does not seem to be charging; possibly didn't get the charger back online right when installing terminal covers or perhaps I am drawing too much power between space heater, laptop, and stereo for the charger to send charge down to the house battery. (I really don't know enough about marine electrical systems yet, so just a guess.) My house bank was two big 4D batteries, but one is dead; replacing the dead one with a bank of a few smaller ones (that I can lift) is going to be a priority ahead of winter storms.

Grabbed another nap around high tide and headed out about 8:30am to see how the boat and docks looked in daylight. If I leave the boat I'll have a hard time climbing back aboard now that the water is level with the dock. Same for pup dog, so after trying to get her to "go" on the foredeck, I put a piddle pad in the head in case she really can't hold it until the tide subsides. (And I've been told winds will pick up again this afternoon, so she may have a narrow window to get ashore and back today.) Although I haven't left the boat, I did not see any damage to my boat or those around me as I walked my decks. Below are some photos of the water level.

My usual boarding spot, almost under water.
Relieved to see the stern did not hit the dock.

View of marina shore from the bow.
The storm really isn't over here, though the worst has passed. But some good lessons learned. Need to invest in a good set of foul weather gear. Headlamp was priceless for hands-free visibility adjusting lines in the middle of the night. (Thanks to Mike for picking one up at the last minute for me.) Need to have confidence in myself, take my time to get hitches right, let adrenaline kick in when needed. (Thank you Russell for believing I could do this, for sharing so much advice, and for helping me when I melted down.)

Looks like water is receding. I think we've made it through all right. Four weeks aboard; three faithful crew; cried twice; survived one tropical storm. Yeah, I can do this.

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