Wednesday, February 26, 2014

'Doing it right in the midwest

Well, the plan was to move further east today with the intent of making Green Turtle Cay in a few days. But part of our prep for departing (assuming we have access) is to pull down fresh weather information. A new GRIB file appeared on the iPad and with it came some second thoughts. Winds gusting in the 20 to 25 knot range were forecast to crank up this afternoon, build through the night, usher in some thunderstorms tomorrow, and finally fade to gentle northerlies come Friday. All we know about the anchorages around here comes from charts and Active Captain, and all seem to have at least one direction from which they are completely exposed. With the wind cranking up and clocking around, and with us being completely new to these parts, we decided to stay put. (Mind you, a $2 / ft / night + water + electric fees, that is not as easy a decision as it sounds. This is a very nice but expensive place to wait out some weather.)

Pretty much everyone else here decided the same with a local waterman saying the wind would be worse than the forecast. Right now the winds are a pretty constant 25 with gusts to 30 and still building. Always trust the local talent when it comes to weather.

This afternoon several boats came in looking for shelter. The first one stormed into a windward slip next to Kintala without a single line set on deck and no fenders out. I guess that's how the captain of a custom aluminum boat with massive rub rails does it. He told me later he expected the wind to pin him to the dock. It didn't work out that way since the wind was mostly trying to push him back onto the rocks. Getting him corralled and into place was a circus. John and I had gone out to help and it was a good thing we did.

A little while later another boat headed for a leeward slip near us. Once again John and I wandered over to help, joined by the Captain of the custom boat. This crew had fenders hung and lines ready to go, and it was still a bit of a circus. Warping them into place wasn't easy against the wind, but we managed. It turns out they are from England. The custom boat was from Germany. Both were surprised that John and I had walked over to help them get in.

All I could think to say was, where we come from, a little lake in central IL, marinas Boulder and Tradewinds, lending a hand when the winds start howling is done without a second thought. It seems the rest of the sailing world could borrow a little etiquette from some lake sailors doing it right in the American Midwest.


corsair28r said...

good on you spread the Boulder/Tradewinds love :-)

Bill K said...

Yep, works the same in Toledo, Ohio on Lake Erie. :))

Bill Kelleher

SailFarLiveFree said...

Cheers to a helping hand on the dock. We rarely come back to the dock at our home marina, wind blowing or not, without at least 2 folks ready to assist. Almost makes me feel guilty.

S/V Veranda said...

We do the same but I always bring the camera just in case it all goes to hell. You never know when you might get something fresh for the