Saturday, June 8, 2013

Who was that Tropical Storm...?

... It was Andrea, that's who.  But unlike last year's Tropical Storm Debby, who unfortunately became one of those party guests who doesn't understand that by midnight her hosts really wish she'd get lost, Andrea caught on quickly and left as soon as things started to get soggy.

When Hurricane Season began on June first, Hans had taken to calling me from work in order to warn me that 'weather' appeared to be moving our way. "A huge system is approaching," his frantic voice mail would announce (I rarely have my phone with me). This would cause me to become a bit paranoid and instead of hitting the tennis court or gym and getting some exercise I would hole up below with Wilbur (and too many Keebler Cookies) while awaiting the 'big blow'. After a couple of warnings that resulted in a bloated stomach and sunny blue skies I told him to knock it off.  He apologized. And then came Andrea.

On Wednesday night I'd read on my computer via MSN that a tropical storm was approaching, but since Chicken Little Hans didn't say anything to me, I opted to sleep in the next day. On Thursday, Hans left for work, I flipped my pillow to the cool side, shifted Wilbur's stretched out paws complete with sharp pitty nails from my midsection, and had just dozed off when all of a sudden the shit hit the fan. 

What sounded like the wailing of banshees jerked me wide awake. I well remembered that sound from the time we anchored in the Sassafras River in Maryland back when I was a complete novice to this whole sailing thing and I've never quite forgotten it.  I leaped out of bed and in the middle of trying to wash my face the power went out and I started to panic. I frantically wiped the soap out of my eyes and was very thankful that I was able to reset our inverter when the electric kicked back on. I finished washing up and finally opened the companionway door to a gray world of gusting rain and wind.

After the whole Debby experience I'd vowed that we'd be prepared for the next storm but we weren't. I put on my swimming suit bottoms, foul weather coat and nothing else (if you don't want to wash it, don't wear it is my motto) and got to work. I slogged through ankle deep water to get ice (if I don't have ice for drinks then don't mess with me), took Hans' hockey gear out of our dock box (before it could get soaked), took down anything that might blow away, retied our dock lines, and moved our dinghy.

I didn't get down below to check things for quite awhile but I wasn't too worried as our boat is pretty much water tight unless we stupidly leave a hatch open. Needless to say, I was horrified and totally pissed off to find our berth completely soaked. We recently bought two new air conditioners and while the one in the salon area appears to be on perfect behavior with full intentions of earning an Eagle Scout Award, the one in our berth is the spawn of the devil. I watched in complete horror as it spit rivulets of water from its cold air vent in rhythm with the drumming rain, all over our big fat feather pillows and Memory Foam mattress pad. 

The rest of the day revolved around my adjusting the dock lines in tune with the tide, sitting in the driving rain at the bow of our boat with our hose in order to fill the water tanks because I forgot to do that the day before, trying to tempt Wilbur into the cockpit so that he'd empty himself on his potty patch and not down in our already sodden berth (the only thing that got out the door was his nose, whereupon he fled to his favorite spot on our settee where he sulked for the rest of the day with a full bladder), listening to all the tornado warnings, and rotating our sodden pillows in front of the two fans I set up in our berth in hope that things might dry out before 2014. 

And, then, as late afternoon approached, Andrea grew bored with us and headed north. I felt slightly insulted, kinda like when you've put up with a totally ignorant guest and all of a sudden they blow you off for something better. Wilbur finally came out and relieved himself, I tossed all our wet towels into the cockpit, and took a shower.

Hans arrived home to a clean wife and boat, a dry berth, homemade chili on the stove, and an empty dog.

Just before the water crested our docks. It rose about six more inches after I took this picture.

Wilbur's ears blowing in the breeze.

After Hans arrived home we decided to bail out our dinghy.  I bailed while Hans supervised!

What a difference. This is how our docks normally look.

And this is what a vicious pit bull looks like after a nerve wracking day . Scary, huh!

Late his afternoon while relaxing in our cockpit we experienced a typical Florida cloud burst and normally I enjoy this since our bimini protects us like a screened in porch. But I knew better. I went down to our berth and sure enough the air conditioner was spitting water like crazy. We turned it off and tomorrow it goes back to Walmart for an exorcism.

And to think this was just the first storm of the season. I hate to think of what's to come.


  1. Hurricane season has definitely come upon us too fast! Glad all is well, and Hans is sure lucky to come home to find a hot meal ... and a dry berth! What a pain that it got wet!

  2. Regarding the AC, I use a similar system. If the unit is tiled to far forward (toward the inside of what is being air conditioned) condensation and rain will leak inside. Side to side uneveness will cause problems also.

    If you can swap one unit for the other and you might find the real proble is how the unit is mounted.

  3. Whew!, Glad Wilbur's OK. Oh Ya ;You Too :)

    Ditto on the leveling the AC.

  4. I love your blog. My husband just bought us a boat. I will be living on it 12 weeks out of the year . Lots of adjustments to be made.

    1. Thank you and yes there are lots of adjustments!!

  5. I love your dog! :) And your stories!