Thursday, June 10, 2021

day eight - the storms

Wake to check the forecast.  Sustained winds to 23 out of the southwest, gusts to 31.  Not going anywhere today.  Glad I have good books to read.  The first gusts arrive at 9:45.  Anchor holds fine.  Noon the first of the thunderstorms arrive.  

12:45 a cold blast of wind and rain that shakes SPARTINA.  The boom tent, held in place by bungee cord, constantly changes shape.  One moment the sides are pushed inward and down, the next the canvas is pulled up and away from the boat.  The mizzen shakes and rattles in the wind.  The anchor holds through it all.  In a matter of minutes the storm moves on.  Calm by 1:00, and cooler.

A second line of storms approaches at 1:40, lots of thunder to the north.  The cool outflow ahead of the storm hits, much stronger than the first storm.  The boom tent is pushed down, then pulled up, shifts to starboard and back to port, it is constantly in motion.  Driving rain throws up a fog on the surface of the water.  A very solid gust hits SPARTINA on the port side and the boat heels to starboard, and heels some more.  Water erupts into the boat over the coaming and under the boom tent.  How much, I don't know but I had never seen anything like that before.  SPARTINA rights herself.  The storm still rages.  I move up forward in the cockpit, figuring it is best to have the weight up forward.  As the storm moves on I turn on the weather radio to hear reports of the "severe thunderstorm" moving across the region at 30 miles per hour.  Tell me about it.  I use the bilge pump and get the water out of the boat, pleased to find everything is back in order in a few minutes.

More thunder and cool outflow.  A third storm maybe.  I slip on the dry suit and crawl up forward to the bow and wait, and wait and then....I fall asleep.  

I wake only to realize that the cool air is not from another storm, it is the cold front pushing down from the north.  There is a long fetch across Babbit Bay and the water is choppy.  I break down the boom tent at 6:00, struggle to raise the anchor as all the wind and storms had buried it deep in the mud, and motor north to calmer water near Chain Island.  

 It is getting colder.  Tent back in place, sleeping gear laid out, I slip on some thermals and climb into the sleeping bag.

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