Thursday, May 16, 2019

A rough couple of days

After the beating we took on Monday morning we were (well, I was) very happy to be in Tangiers, safely docked. Since we arrived early we ate lunch at the only restaurant open this time of year, Lorraine's. While more of a diner kind of place, they had the best crab cakes this far (we intend to do more research, so stay tuned). 

Less of this...
More of that!

We helped a couple of other boats dock (TxAu and Southern Cross... in the end, one boat was rafted onto the other -- remember that), then all of us got together for docktails, a AGLCA gathering to share adventures. All of us had stories about the day. The two other couples planned on going out to eat at Lorraine's, which we passed on, having just eaten there. It was particularly amusing watching them return, given the tide had risen and they had to wade through knee-deep waters.

The next morning we got up really early. Given the tide, we weren't able to take the dogs to shore for their last walk. We hustled to get them out before any accidents, wearing sandals in case we had to wade a bit ourselves. Once each dog did their business, we came back to the boat. Russ lifted Lizzie and put her on the deck, then stepped onto the fender step with one hand on the railing. Instead of stepping up onto the boat himself, he simply reached up and opened the door. 

His foot slipped, the door swung open, and Russ perfectly fell sideways, clearing both the pier and the boat, splashing into the water. He was quick to get out, joking about taking his morning swim. But did tweak his back just a little (the other side from the last time he went in to rescue the dogs).

Despite that, he repaired the radar array during the day, doing a much better job securing it to the roof than the builder did. 

By noon another boat had joined us, a 44-foot Endeavour TrawlerCat named El Tejon, also loopers. We all helped them come in and introduced ourselves. I mentioned to the owner, Don, that one of the boats we'd looked at was a 44-foot Endeavour. After talking to him for a while, and hearing when and how he bought the craft, Russ realized we looked at exactly THAT boat. It had the name Kingfisher at the time. Glad it found a home.

As the day went on, the weather turned windy and cold. Drips of rain came and went. No big thunder storms, just gray and dreary weather. No one wanted to back to Lorraine's so we all got together for a BBQ on the Southern Cross. She's a 63 foot vessel with a gorgeous interior. The hostess, Penny, offered tours, which we all were happy to do. At that time I realized I was wearing shoes. Most boats have a "no shoes" policy, so I kicked my off, leaving on my socks (cold, dreary, windy day...). The floors on the Southern Cross are varnished to a mirror-like finish.

Just as I took my first step down the stairs, my foot slipped. My heel slid off one step and onto the next, only to slide of it. I banged my way down four steps or so before I fell on my bottom. I hurt my heel (the same foot that is recovering from plantar fasciitis), bruised my bottom, and, you guessed it, tweaked my back. Nothing major, but yet another irritation.

By 9 pm, when we all retired, the winds were blowing like crazy, over 20 mph. Cat-n-Dogs bounced significantly from the waves while being pushed into the pier by the wind. Russ just made a comment about how wonderful fender boards were when a terrible squeak came from the hull. One of our boards had worked loose. We got up and out, pushing on the boat against the wind, trying to put the fenders and boards back in place. This did not help either of our backs.

The boat on the left is target practice for the military,
The one on the right is El Tejon.
This storm wasn't as bad as the Charleston one was, but the bouncing was significant. I did get to sleep, which was pretty sound, when a terrible squeak roused me. The other fender board had come undone... at 1:30 in the morning. We both got up, put on winter coats, and again pushed the boat against the wind to put the fenders and boards between us and the pilings. It was crazy cold, and blowing like mad. We thought we heard yelling. We looked around a couple of times but didn't see anyone. Once we succeeded we returned to bed and tried to get some sleep. After such physical exertion, however, I lied awake for two hours before finally getting some sleep.

That next morning my back was not happy. While trying to walk dogs I could only take 6-inch steps down the pier. I was in tears, just miserable from the pain and the memories of how we got here. As I walked, I felt better and better. I'm happy to report just one day later it's no more than a small nuisance.

All that yelling? Remember that one boat,TxAu, was rafted onto Southern Cross? Rafting means a bunch of fenders are between the boats that are tied together. Right at 1:30 am, their fenders slipped. TxAu was bumping Southern Cross, her deck stuck below the bigger boat's rub rail. They, too, had a rough night. 

Even El Tejon claimed they were up at 1:30. Probably from the commotion by the rest of us!

Sunset on Solomons
The morning was still blustery but all the weather reports said it would die off.  As the morning went on, 7 am, 8 am, 9 am, the winds died down significantly. All of us decided to make a run for it at 10 am. It had to be a staged exit -- TxAu first, then Southern Cross, then us, then El Tejon. We all headed out, we all headed to Solomons... and we all had a wonderful crossing.

Needless to say, I seriously needed a nice, calm day to remind me why we were doing this.

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