So, the plan was for me to set off early this morning–fairly straightforward really: boat to dinghy, dinghy to bus, easy right? We were expecting 20 knots of wind last night with gusts up to 35, faded to 10-15 by morning. What we actually got was a gale (from now on, I think we should just add 10-15 knots to the NOAA forecasts as an SOP). That made things a little more complicated.
In the first 10 minutes, we were up to 40 knots steady, gusting to 45. After that, it blew 35-40 knots, gusting above 45 from dusk to midnight. Heather and Philip had to scramble to make sure we wouldn’t start dragging. We did start dragging a bit, but they put down more chain. No problem. Other than the fact that bouncing around in 45 knots of wind is not comfortable, to say the least. Remember Hurricane Irene? Well, the winds we had last night were as much as we would have experienced in Hamburg Cove had we decided to ride out the storm on the boat.
I was worried that the winds would still be too high in the morning to get to shore in the dinghy. Fortunately, by dawn, we were down to about 20 knots. Not ideal dinghy weather, but doable. And here’s where Philip gets major props. After a mostly sleepless night spent rocking and bouncing while keeping one eye on the anchor, he cheerfully suited up at 6:30 to take me to the dock and walk me to the bus stop. He didn’t even grumble. And there was no coffee. Superhuman!
I say suited up, because getting in a dinghy when it’s blowing that hard, you’re going to end up soaked. Course, it took us a false start to realize this. We started out with just the tops of our fowlies to keep the spray off. After two waves drenched Philip from head to toe (they go straight for the driver apparently), we went back and got fully kitted out.
“My” (aka, the spare) fowlies are bright yellow. Heather lent me her bottoms, which are bright red. Slightly ridiculous looking. But–wait for it–I was also wearing my super duper cool running shoes, which are also bright yellow and red.
So I looked like a giant red and yellow clown. Wish I had a picture to show you, but really, who thinks of grabbing the camera at that time of morning after the night we’d had?Although, to give us credit, we did try to shoot a funny weather video for you up on the bow last night. We were foiled by low batteries… though, given the record, you can probably expect to see one sometime in the next month or so (I mean, seriously, gale, gale, hurricane, gale, repeat seems to sum up July through September).
In any case, I’m on the bus to DC (give it a minute, people! It’s going to outer space!). I hope Heather and Philip get some rest before they set off on the passage to Cape May. Wish I could go with them, but I’m off a-cycling, so I’ll just wish them fair winds and non-following, gentle seas. See you on the flip side!