At low tide, exposed mud banks protect the docks and boats. At high tide, boats are pushed by the wind and bounced by the waves, causing them to pull against their lines. The finger piers struggle against their pilings and against their attachment to the main dock. Metal can weaken or the wood may crack under the strain. Lines fray and part. In can be treacherous to enter or leave the boat, and the motion can make simple tasks onerous. For example, I never get seasick on the dock -- unless I am working on the computer in a northeast wind of 30 knots near or at high tide.
Our live-aboard neighborhood knows how to work together in a northeast wind. We all monitor the same VHF radio channel, checking in frequently and when necessary calling out, "South Port Live-Aboards. This is La Luna and we need assistance." It always amazes me how soon each crew arrives, outfitted in fowl weather gear and life jackets and carrying lines and flashlights. Each new arrival to the scene takes in what is happening, what is being handled and what needs to be done and generally assigns him or her self a role. We keep track of each other, check all boats and lines, and share ginger cookies, stew and coffee. While I don't look forward to the storms, I do enjoy the feeling that we are all together here, watching out for each other. It is a good neighborhood.