Thursday, June 28, 2012

Good riddance Debby.

Tropical Storm Debby became one of those events in our life where reality far outweighed expectation.
However, I have to say I only appreciate this type of experience when it comes to things like vacations.

Here at our marina we've all agreed that we were pretty complacent about this storm and we consider ourselves very lucky that we didn't sustain any more damage than we did. It doesn't help that our weather forecasters are huge fear mongers and they practically salivate every time a cloud squeezes out a drop of rain.
Which happens nearly every day.

One of our dog park friends cracked us up when he shared a news story he and his wife saw on TV awhile back. It depicted a weather man in full foul weather gear standing next to a (very poorly anchored) stop sign that was flapping madly in the breeze as he announced that residents were fearful and gearing up for a siege of terror.
I've no doubt the poor guy was mortified when right in the middle of his spiel a woman wearing flip flops and carrying a cocktail strolled into the picture and very calmly meandered right past him.
I like the way she was gearing up.

So you can see why people get so complacent when it comes to storms here. After a while we all get sick of Chicken Little screaming that the sky is falling.
However, I do have to admit that Debby did get the better of our SEVERE WEATHER TEAM and even they underestimated her power.

This is the sidewalk that goes around the whole marina.  This is what it looked like when poor Hans tripped getting onto the boat and ended up on his back. (I promise I'm not still laughing ;-)  )

One liveaboard said that in the 6 years he's lived here this is the first time this has happened.

This picture was taken of the bay on Sunday during the storm.
Poor little awning.  It looks like road kill

We thought Debby was on her way out of town and pretty much out of the picture but on Monday night she picked up the marina work shop awning (that was bolted to the cement floor) and tossed it over the fence and into the pool.

We are really hoping that Debby hasn't set a trend for the summer. But all the same we're going to try to be a bit more prepared the next time.

Which will probably be pretty much every week.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tropical Storm Debby Continues

Poor Debby. She's one of those annoying guests who is totally oblivious to the all too broad hints aimed in her direction that she just isn't welcome here anymore yet continues to hang around.

After taking Hans to work today I arrived home totally primed to take care of soggy boat business and found myself treading water both physically and metaphorically.
Thanks to all the wet towels and clothing left over from the weekend I had four loads of laundry as opposed to my usual two. But I do consider us lucky in that while during the incredible amount of rainfall we endured, we only had to live with a frustrated and slightly constipated pit bull, and didn't have to put out numerous drip pans to catch those pesky (yet all too well known) leaks coming from only God knows where like so many of our friends did.
I was well aware that high tide was due to arrive at 6 PM tonight so I didn't worry too much about getting off and on the boat during the day in order to take care of all our chores. I'd already unloaded our groceries, made a couple of treks to the laundry area, filled our water tanks, pulled up the carpet in our berth and settled it to dry at the bow (where it tried to blow away all day),  hosed and scrubbed down our heads, emptied Hans' underwear drawer so that it could dry out (and we still have no idea what the hell happened there),  when I realized I should probably check our dock box which is normally way above water level but unfortunately about a third of it had been submerged in salt water thanks to Debby.
I almost wish I hadn't because what I found in there was Hans' hockey gear.  Hans' gross, disgusting, stinky, and very wet hockey gear. Heaving a huge sigh I spread his skates, pads, and gloves out on the sidewalk to dry and added his jerseys and socks to my laundry mess.
I then went down below to finish scrubbing the galley and salon areas.  At one point I realized that a couple of vehicles driving past our boat had slowed down considerably but it didn't make a huge impression on me as we're used to feeling like animals in a zoo when people drive by and gawk at us (I've threatened to scratch myself and act like I'm eating fleas but so far Hans has vetoed this bit of fun).
I was just a bit frazzled when I realized that I was very shortly due to pick Hans up from work, I'd yet to have a shower, and poor old Wilbur never did get to go to the doggy park.  Then I poked my head outside and nearly cried for all of Hans' hockey gear that I'd lovingly (?) placed on the sidewalk was now happily floating and sloshing about in a very merry fashion.
Thus the gawkers.
I nearly choked and I'm pretty sure I screamed.
I gathered everything up, deposited it in a picnic area, didn't give a damn whether anyone stole it or not, and went to pick up Hans.
On the way home we made a pit stop at West Marine for more dock lines.

Check out Wilbur's manly pose in the cockpit!

You can see we no longer have a dock but we do have steps.
Our grill cover (that inverted white mass on the post) is drying out way down below the grill itself.  Normally the grill is lower than where the cover is.

During these extreme high tides we get on and off the boat at the stern where the swim ladder is.
When the tide is normal the swim ladder is about 4 feet below the sidewalk and we step onto the beam from our dock.

I dragged Hans hockey equipment over to the picnic area to dry out after I found it floating by our dock box.
Actually, one of his gloves took off and waved itself all the way down the marina where our dock master rescued it and brought it back to its friends.
What an adventure.

I really want you to get a good look at this picture.
Our boat is in the lower left corner with our swim ladder sitting upright.
Our dock box is to the right.
During high tide we get on and off the stern at this point.
On our way home tonight, I drove and Hans critiqued (since his January car accident we've both become horrible back seat drivers).
I was tired and cranky and got on board first and Hans handed me our supplies very carefully and one item at a time.
Then it was Hans' turn to get on board.
I only wish I'd had my camera in hand when Hans (after telling me how to get on board) stepped forward (with his big size 13 sandals) onto the swim ladder area and tripped over a stern line. Down he went and I actually thought he was going to disappear from sight. But only one leg actually went all the way down between the boat and the wall before his butt landed on the sidewalk and he then rolled around like a Weeble (or a turtle on its back) before finally righting himself.

Just before dinner Hans thanked me for not laughing at him and I thanked him for the floor show.

That big pest Debby will probably find a way to take credit for the entertainment.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tropical Storm Debby

When Debby arrived last night she was on pretty good behavior.  She rained on us and blew a little wind around and Hans and I relaxed below and watched a video.  The forecast kinda led us to believe that Debby wasn't going to hang around very long as she other places to go.
I guess this gave Debby the impression that we found her to be a weak and slightly boring guest.  This didn't please her at all and today she let us know that before she leaves she wants us to know just how powerful and exciting she can be.

Our dock box a couple of hours ago and we still haven't reached high tide!

This was this morning around 11 AM and we were shocked at how high the water was.  Normally it's about three feet lower.

This was at about 2:00 PM and high tide is supposed to be around 4:00 PM.  However the overflow is running into the parking lot so it really shouldn't get much higher than this.

If you'd have seen Hans get off the boat in this you'd know why once he got back on I told him he was staying put. His middle name is not Grace. So I left and walked to the marina office to get ice because tropical storm or not I refuse to drink warm Wilbur Wow Wows.

This video shows a little of what it was like here today and it went on and on and on and on!  Poor Wilbur, who's been through many storms with us, wasn't having any of it and has only gone pee on his potty patch once. I'm sure he's gotta be pretty full of it by now and we wish Debby would get sick of hanging here with us and move on. 

I've no doubt Debby has had a wonderful time here.  I just hope she's not too insulted that we don't intend to invite her back.


Let me just state right now that I don't care one bit whether Debby likes us or not.  She's a nasty b*tch and doesn't deserve any one's consideration.  My poor parents who live in PA called us as they were concerned about our welfare since the media was having quite a field day with this particular storm.  After I assured them we were okay and that the worst was over, Debby kicked it back into high gear and I ended up atop our boat, naked under my foul weather gear (I didn't want to traumatize the marina folk but I'm the one who does the laundry around here you know and our shower area is already full of soaked clothing!), trying once again to secure the completely ineffectual tarp- like covering that came with our very over priced West Marine air conditioner (Hans spent the better part of his day standing underneath the hatch attempting to deflect a constant influx of water). Soon thereafter Hans and I together, and with a lot of 'what the hell are you doing' comments (mostly on my part), took the damned air conditioner down.
And right after a fellow live aboard called to warn us about a tornado warning we watched a runaway jib on a boat behind us rip to shreds. After it was finally released and cut down we sat below and listened to halyards cling and clang  like xylophones all the way up and down the marina.
And poor Wilbur is literally cross eyed as he still hasn't gone pee on his patch since this morning.
We hate you Debby!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oh, Crap!

I don't think I've ever been as frustrated by technology as I have been these past few months. My camera died days before our wedding and after replacing a costly battery I discovered it was really the battery charger. Of course the new charger arrived after the wedding. Then my computer, which for quite some time had been whining for attention like a snotty toddler, refused to have anything to do with the new blogger updates and had a melt down. Ignoring it did no good and I finally had to take it to the doctor. It came home last night and I was finally able to download Google Chrome (but only after about 3 time sucking attempts).  

Anyway, we've been very busy here on the Knotty Cat. This includes: An on-board wedding at sea (past post but still plenty of pictures and a video to come). A neighbor got the boot, thank God (future post). Another (yet very unsuccessful) trip (unsuccessful because of aforesaid neighbor) up the mast for me (future post). New house bank batteries have been installed (costly, too boring, no future post), but at least when we escape for a weekend and get to anchor in the bay, we don't have to pray that our anchor light lasts the night.

And then there's our issue with the head. And for all of you who know anything about boats, depending on what kind of a person you are, you're either cringing or laughing (and if you're laughing, you're no longer my friend). It all started when I was attempting to flush our 'toilet' and the handle stopped moving. Wham. Dead in my hands. "Hmmmm," I thought, "this is strange." After a few frantic emails to Raritan (toilet people. And I laughed when we were asked if we had an exploded view of our head. Let me tell you, I now know exactly what an exploded head looks like. And I stopped laughing) and a few feeble attempts on our part to unfreeze the handle, it all came down to 'you probably have a blockage in your exhaust hose', and we saw the writing on the wall. Although after my efforts all I really saw was a lot of 'crap' on the wall (and the shower stall, engine room, screw driver, wrench, power drill, socket set, the towels I forgot to move, the shower curtain, and me). By nature I'm a very stubborn person, but why I decided to become stubborn about unclogging our head is just beyond me. But I did. Go to work I told Hans. I'll take care of it I told Hans. This was on a Monday. And by Thursday I was thinking about writing a book entitled, "Muriatic Acid is my new best friend and why you too can lose 10 pounds in 4 days by using it". This is because after reading far too many forums on the pros and cons about this cheap yet deadly fluid, this much I know; when you fear that you'll be blown to kingdom com any minute, your heart races, your metabolism kicks in, you run like a maniac when your hoses foam like a rabid dog, and that apple strudel you ate for breakfast will be burned up in no time.  Just keep in mind that you'll also be wading in soupy poo that oozes from the hose that was connected to your head. And you'll be happy because that means the acid must be doing its job. You'll also be pleased to know you can scare the heck out of the marina maintenance man when after knocking on your boat you emerge into the cockpit wearing safety goggles, face mask, and rubber gloves.  Zach just shook his head and said he didn't want to know what the heck that stuff was was all over my shirt but I'm pretty sure by the way he wrinkled his nose he realizes we aren't cooking meth on board.

But I still wasn't done. Two days into the job I was beyond excited when I finally broke through the crunchy blockage and saw my snake emerge at the other end of the hose. That excitement was short lived however when it immediately closed up with what was no doubt a mass of more shifting sh*t. I then spent the rest of the day fending off the snake (I finally attached it to our power drill) which whipped about in a very menacing fashion, covering everything within its range with crap every time it came upon a stoppage.
By Friday I admitted defeat and on Saturday we replaced the hose. It had to be fished through the wall behind the shower but I attached an old plastic sewing tape measure to the old hose (which I also plugged up  so that the continuing ooze wouldn't spill out) and it helped us guide the new hose into place.

I took these pictures before the sh*t hit the fan. I have better ones (if you want to call them that) but they're pretty gross so I'll just post these.

A parting picture of our little man.  Here is Wilbur modeling the collar that Miss M and Mr. B from Two Pitties in the City sent him. It sports a nautical theme and came complete with a bow tie. It's from Silly Buddy (an etsy shop) and it's a very well made collar. Wilbur wore it for our wedding and he hasn't taken it off yet.
Wilbur has a crush on the Divine Miss M but he realizes she's already taken so he just dreams about her instead.