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Melissa & Dave - Adventures at Sea

Day 9 - Whew! That was a close one!

August 24, 2008

Early Sunday morning the winds kicked up again.  Melissa listened to them much of the night. Amazingly Dave slept through most of it.  He is famous for being awake on deck all night whenever the wind blows and we are at anchor.  Particularly surprising given our experience at Garden Bay.  However, Melissa kept checking to make sure we were still ok.  None the less, when we got up that morning, Dave went out on deck, and we heard him yell, "Everyone on deck now!"  We all scrambled up to find that while the anchor hadn't moved, the wind had blown the anchor line and the stern tie line so tight that we were only about a foot from bashing into the rock cliff.  The lines were holding us in place so tightly that Dave thought we were on the rocks (we weren't).  John (still in his PJs) jumped into the skiff.  Dave told him to push us like a tugboat away from the rocks.  Once we moved out, Dave untied the stern line - which let loose with a "twang" and sprang back nearly to the shore line.  Melissa pulled up the anchor with Dave at the helm keeping the boat away from the rocks.  Meanwhile John went to retrieve the stern line still tied to a tree on the shore.  The brush was so thick it tore a small hole his in PJs.  Dave and John joked that those PJs would now be deemed a favorite.  (What is it about guys that stuff with holes becomes the "favorite" anyway?!)

In the process of pulling up the Anchor, Melissa had scratched her left eye on the safety lines when she reached down to disconnect the snubber line off the anchor chain.  So she spent much of the day down below out of the wind to keep that eye from drying out and hurting.  (She was worried whether it would get infected if it got all dried out - but it was fine the next day.)

Dave and John spent much of the morning trying to get the rope that we had used to tie the stern to shore untied.  We had tied three ropes together to get one long enough.  The boat had been blown so tightly to shore that the knots had gotten so tight there was no way to get them loose again.  The boys even tried with wrenches and pliers to no avail.  They finally had to cut the ropes apart.

We then departed out into the wind.  The waters were protected because the area has lots of islands in all directions, so the seas were relatively calm - maybe only 2 ft at worst.  But the wind was really gusty - up to 45 knots.  Dave watched another boat when the 45 knot gust hit and they "rounded up" (meaning they spun around because the wind was too powerful to push the boat forward so it turned the sails into the wind.)  We sailed into an area known as Pendrell Sound - where the waters are known to be the "warmest waters north of Mexico".  Dave stuck a toe in the water and reported that it was like cool bath water amazingly enough.

Then we headed off for Refuge cove where we anchored the boat and Dave dropped Cindy and John off to catch their Kenmore Air seaplane charter back home.  A slot opened up in the marina and Dave and Melissa decided to grab it for the night.  So back ashore, we had an hour to kill and decided to get lunch at the Refuge Cove Caf´┐Ż.  So we grabbed John and Cindy again and hopped in the skiff to head for the cafe.  The Cafe is a barge in the harbor where they serve burgers and sandwiches.  A cute little place with about 5 tables.  When we arrived, the winds were blowing the ramp from the docks up to the deck of the barge off.  Dave and John helped them to secure it again - though we were all a bit nervous that the ramp might just fall off the barge - it was making horrid scraping noises every time the wind blew.  But they got it secured again and we had burgers for lunch.

After lunch, we waited for the seaplane.  It was about 40 minutes late.  We started thinking that maybe the winds had been to heavy for the seaplane to fly up this far - though they were finally calming down by then.  But eventually the plane arrived.  John was excited, but Cindy was a bit nervous.  John reported the next day that they had made it back with no trouble, but his hand was still a bit sore from Cindy clinging to him during the flight.

That night Dave and Melissa had showers.  They cost $4 each, but were worth every penny.  We spent the night tied to the dock so that we could get some much needed sleep!

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