Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I thought it was South Carolina's turn this time ...

What day is today? I think we're supposed to be getting some sort of weather on the coast today ...

We went down to our boat Saturday morning, expecting at the most to have to strap up loose lines and bits of canvas in case Hurricane/Tropical Storm (pick one)Ophelia tossed a few gusts our way as she safely passed well to the south of us. Instead, our lovely, leisurely Sunday morning was ruined by the dockmaster telling us that Ophelia was heading straight for us. As is the case at most marinas, he wanted every boat out--his dock is a lot safer during a hurricane without those pesky boats threatening to smash it to bits.

As for the boats, the safest place during a hurricane on the NC coast is probably somewhere around Asheville or Boone. That's not an option for most sailboat owners, so we had to go with option B: anchor her out in the creek somewhere.

One important lesson learned: When anchors are prepared for deployment aboard a vessel, it certainly can't hurt to have the free end of the rode attached to the boat in some way, even if the boat is just sitting innocently in its slip minding its own business. This prevents what seasoned sailors refer to as a "Captain Ron moment." (OK, I have no idea what seasoned sailors really call such moments, but they all understand references to the movie Captain Ron, of that I am certain.) Fortunately for the reputation of our captain, the catalyst of our particular Captain Ron moment was the first mate, Mr. Bob Gomez, a dog who rarely thinks through the consequences of his actions. In his alacrity to leap sideways in fright from a big, scary rolled-up sail, he did not forsee that sideswiping the anchor could send it skittering across the deck and into a lifeline, where it would hang precariously for a moment before slipping over the edge, followed by link after link of heavy chain.

Fortunately Mr. Pants has long arms and a long grappling hook and was able to somehow locate the anchor in the murky drink and pull it back aboard. Yup, things just don't get any more exciting than my life ...

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