EW banging the plastic cover to rewmove the snow..jpg
Cleat pulled from the dock during the storm.jpg

What Is It Really Like In a Storm on the Dock?

I am going to try to write eloquently and tell you what it feels like to live aboard today. We are having a winter storm -- certainly not a horrible storm as they go. The winds aren't from the Northeast, but more East. It is nearing high tide and we are getting some wave action but we have had much worse. 

This storm is uncomfortable and it is hard to concentrate on detail tasks -- the boat is rocking, there are lots of noises: 

  • Our sharp knives move a bit in their wall container and clatter not quite in unison as the boat moves. 
  • We have no mast in this winter as it is being repaired. The wooden support EW installed in its place dances a bit on the mast collar, creating a wood-scraping-and-bouncing-on-metal sound. 
  • The shrink wrap cover is holding well, I can hear the sleet hit the plastic and hear the cover and PVC supports flex. 
  • EW is taking a nap on the other end of the dinette and I can hear his sleeping/breathing sounds when the wind abates for seconds. 
  • When we are rocked by a group of large swells there are a myriad of items wiggling and jiggling.
  • And underneath it all, the cause of all of theses sounds, the wind which has blown over 20 all day and now appears to be closer to 30 with stronger gusts. 

At this close to high tide the boat rocks constantly from side to side with little hops (if a 47 foot, 19 ton boat can be said to hop) fore and aft depending on the direction of a particular gust. The six lines that hold us to the dock are doing a great job. Three have snubbers on them and I suspect that those lines have stretched some. When the snubbers are working properly the action as we are blown away from the dock is slowed a bit with a slightly more gentle end point before the boat rolls back towards the dock. When the snubbed lines are stretched, the other lines catch us with a hard jerk to port and an immediate roll to starboard.

This is the kind of day when I think i am getting exercise just by remaining upright in my seat, making minute shifts with my upper body to keep myself where I want to be. (Who am I kidding? Minute - as in tiny - and my upper body have nothing in common!) But I do have to make constant physical adjustments to remain upright at the table -- especially since I had to use my back cushion to keep a cupboard door from banging. The door is open for my computer cables and while I can fix it so that the cables can be used with the door shut -- I don't want to go off line to do that.

We have heard voices on the dock today, mostly folks checking their lines. When we hear that, we go out and offer to help -- we don't want anyone out there alone today. The docks are slippery with snow and icy rain and it is wise to wear cleats when we leave the boat.

For the most part, we have stayed inside this bouncing cocoon. It is nasty out there. We have worked, planned a shopping trip, and eaten chocolate. Much like those of you who are home today. The difference -- our home is definitely on the move -- out and back, up and down, as the wind and tide try to free her from the dock and she gets pulled back by our desire and lines to keep her attached to shore. For now. 


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Would love to see a brief video - with sound. I love the water, but what you describe doesn't sound fun. Thanks!

The comments to this entry are closed.