Monday, December 11, 2006

Day 10 found us weathered in at the Ocean Marine Yacht Center. The winds were cranking by 0100 and by 0500 we probably would not have been able to get out of the slip let alone manouver as we waited for bridges to open and the wait an hour and a half for the first lock opening at the Dismal Swamp.

At about 0830 I’m out walking the dogs along the river when this small sail boat comes motoring past. As I’m bringing the dogs back to the boat I see the boat is turning into the marina so I drop the dogs off at the boat and watch to see where he’s going so I can lend a hand with lines. He’s at the far end of our row but all I can see is his mast and its going back and forth, left and right so I’m not sure which way to head to assist. The dock boy comes running by so I go after him to lend a hand because conditions are so nasty. It turns out the guy was making passes at the fuel dock with his 50 something year old wife on the bow trying to get the boat close enough for her to jump off with a dock line in hand. Holy crap (I’m sure it wasn’t her plan). The wind is coming straight from the dock and keeps blowing him off as soon as he slows at all. He comes close enough for her to throw the bow line to the kid and has to walk the stern line forward to me so we can pull him alongside and tie him up. He was just there for diesel, he was going to keep going, he had stripped all his sails off because of the wind and had even removed the dodger! He and his wife were both soaked and I can’t believe he expected her to jump off that boat in those conditions.

So we sat here and did some maintenance chores, tidied up the boat and did some laundry. I’ve been fist fighting with the generator and with the help of on phone guidance from the Fischer Panda service staff I’ve exhausted all possible choices but to send the control panel in for service. So we borrowed the marina’s courtesy car and hit the grocery store and then the Post Office to mail the control panel back to the manufacturer.

Our boat is only 6 slips away from the marinas 2 story office and next door to that is a 6 or 7 story building. Both buildings are between us and the wind but we’re still seeing gusts up over 45 knots and steady winds of 35 knots. Conditions are absolutely ferocious, I’m so glad we stayed put. I’m genuinely worried about that older couple and where they ended up today.

Day 11 finds us still stuck here with torrential downpours and steady 30 knot winds. Its so bad that I don’t even take the dogs out until noon. They didn’t complain because they don’t want to be out there any more than I did. We watched Captain Ron on the laptop during the afternoon. As evening arrives the wind is letting up, its below 20 knots and starting to shift direction. Its looking good for us to be on our way in the morning. I’m not sure if watching Captain Ron had anything to do with it but I’m breaking out our copy as soon as the weather starts to fade again.

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