All of Yahtzee’s fenders were deployed on the port side to protect her white hull from the dock as wind, waves and rain violently streamed in from the southeast. Every hour or so Jill or I would climb into foul weather gear and head up on deck to check the fender placement and inspect lines to make sure they weren’t chaffing through.
Though I knew the storm was approaching, I’d wanted to leave the harbor; wanted to get out before it came to find a better place to hide. I generally don’t mind being at anchor in heavy weather if we’re protected, but the kind of protection required for this intense fall storm, which saw gusts in the 50s and sustained winds in the 30s, wasn’t close enough for comfort. So there was no point to rush and get us into a bad spot.
When the wind came in earnest, Yahtzee rode the dock like a cowboy riding a bull at the rodeo. During the height of the blow, being down below was anything but comfortable. It wasn’t unbearable, though, and we’d been here before, so we took in stride.
Boat bound by the force of the storm for the latter half of the day and evening, we made the best of it by reading, playing games, making up our own games, laughing, horse-playing and preparing dinner.
When the wind finally faded this morning, an eerie calm descended on the boat and all that remained was the pitter-patter of rain on deck. With the brunt of the storm gone, we can now head back out. And we’ll deal with the next storm whenever it comes and wherever we happen to be.
Riding out storms is an inevitable part of the liveaboard or cruising life. It’s not all sunny days, beautiful beaches and broad reaches.
It’s only the middle of November. There will be more storms. For some we’ll be at anchor and for others we’ll be moored. In either case, we’ll take them diligently and without fuss. Because that’s really all we know how to do.