Boy, am I glad we didn’t leave on Friday. We knew the big storm was coming on Saturday and boats have been streaming into port for the past 12 hours. The wind kicked up just before sundown and really cranked up a few hours later. It’s now close to 1am and between the howling in the rigging and the deep shudder EV does in the gusts I knew I wouldn’t be getting any sleep. So here I sit listening to every creak and flutter, watching the masthead lights on the boats behind us drift left, then right as we swing back and forth at anchor. I have the rain catcher hose going directly into the water tank instead of into jerry jugs because in the squalls I can’t be sure I can change jugs as fact as the rain comes down and fills them. Earlier in the evening we could see the rain blowing horizontally, highlighted by the deck lights of the tug moored next to us. Now the tug’s lights are out and the clouds have cleared enough to let the waxing moon throw enough light to make out the boats near us. Every so often I go out in the cockpit and check our position but really there’s no need. As the pitch of the wind rises I can feel EV pulling backward on the chain, then stretch the anchor bridle sometimes so far that I hold my breath, waiting for the unmistakable feeling of dragging anchor, but then she springs back with such force that if I’m standing I’m thrown off balance. As unnerving as that is, it’s reassuring that our anchor and chain are doing their job and we’re safely hooked.
Jack went below to our cabin where it’s quieter and I think he even fell asleep. I’ll be keeping watch, checking the wind instrument, filing away the various sounds and correlating them with the windspeed. All of the weather sources I’ve consulted show the wind continuing all night but with fewer and fewer rain bands, and for days to come. That means the seas will be huge beyond the protection of the harbor and that means we’re here to stay for now.
I’m happy that so far our aging cockpit enclosure is holding together. It’s what make it possible for us to go outside and see the conditions while staying almost fully protected from the storm. When I step out on the side deck to check the positions of the boats around us the force of the wind nearly knocks me down and I quickly step back to the shelter of the cockpit.
It’s now 1:30 and after a brief lull when the wind dropped down to the 20s the rigging started screaming again and we’re back into the 40s. My nerves are wearing thin. Maybe it’s time to join Jack below.