Living Aboard at the Marina - While Our Neighbors Move On
Boat Maintenance (Or Only Handy Man -- and Woman Need Apply)

Stormy Days On A Live Aboard Sailboat

As I write this the boat is rocking a bit moved by southwest winds that are expected to reach 30 knots today. Southwest is just fine, thank you. At this marina, we watch out for Northeast winds of 25 knots and above -- particularly at high tide.  In a northeast wind at high tide, the fetch ---  where the ocean waves are being generated by the wind --- is much greater giving those waves plenty of time to build up. The northeast wind blows the waves from the mouth of the harbor, up the Fore River and into our marina. 

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.


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What a great post. I grew up on the Great Lakes in Michigan -- we had a cottage overlooking the beach along Lake Huron -- north of Port Huron. I've witnessed Nor'easters firsthand --- and dug myself out of snowbanks up to the roof --- and have been aboard vessels in winter there -- I know the feeling of all that movement.In the RV when IKE came through Southern Missouri last fall I thought I might be rolling down the street like a bullet --- fortunately it didn't happen. But I DO enjoy the friendship and assistance of others so freely offered amongst RVers --- similar to what you experienced on the docks. It's a good feeling to have that community. When I lived in Colorado I used to look at the Rocky Mountains -- amazed that folks actually crossed those mountains in covered wagons. One has only to think about that for a moment to understand what we are often missing in our lives today --- supporting and helping each other through the tough times gives life new meaning and makes every day worthwhile.


Oh,my goodness! I just changed to TypePad and found your comments. So sorry I haven't responded before. Would love to talk more with you about our "yachting" lifestyles!

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