November 1st is a big day in East Coast U.S. sailing. It is the official end of hurricane season according to most insurance companies. That means it is the height of the snowbird migration South as boats transiting the ICW can cross the fabled Georgia - Florida state line. It is also the kickoff for the Carib1500 from Portsmouth, VA to Nanny Cay in the BVI and the Salty Dawg Rally essentially to the same place. As a result we have some 400 or so rally boats and a large number of snow birders here in the Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth area.
Leave it to Mother Nature to remind the sailors who is in charge. Last night the temperature dropped into the mid forties with winds in the high thirty knot range and gusts to fifty knots! A mini-Nor'Easter. It is not clear if it ever reached official tropical storm criteria but I am sure for a lot of people it made for a long night.
Reboot was bouncing around to beat the band. She is sitting on a "T" head and is very exposed to winds and harbor chop from the North and Northeast. After a few unpleasant hours I decided to take a break and go on shore. The combination of being hit by a 50 knot gust and the fact that the floating dock was alive took me within inches of being thrown into the water. After a dinner on shore (OK, a hamburger and fries) I headed back to settle in for a long night. The wind had shifted slightly to the Northwest. The good news was this got Reboot off the dock so the fenders were not taking the load of being pushed up against the dock. The bad news was that in addition to a wind induced 10 degree heal I was subject to the sounds of the dock lines (all doubled up of course!) stretching and rebounding all night. Between the bucking and the heal just staying in bed was somewhat of a challenge. And yes, my lower back is killing me this morning.
At times like this I wonder what XO (the wonder cat) is thinking. In particular what he thinks about the "really big cat" he lives with (me.) I have been told that cats think of humans as if they were other cats. (I have no clue how some researcher came to that conclusion.) Well, XO must have decided that the big cat was going to keep him safe. All night he was wrapped up against my body in a tight ball. The fact that I had also broken out the mattress heater and was covered with a thick blanket (thank's again Maury for the Abu Ghairb blanket!) certainly added additional incentive.
This morning the winds have moderated to the 20 to 25 knot range. Still not comfortable but better than last night. At least it ia all wind with just a smattering of rain.
Fair winds and following seas :)
Sunday, November 2, 2014
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