Thursday, October 31, 2013

Excitement in Kingston

So now the excitement begins.. who knew, I thought it wouldn't get exciting until we were 1000 miles off shore in a gale with 15' seas.

Here we were safely tied up in Kingston making lunch on a lazy afternoon. I happened to look out the window and notice a VERY large steel fishing vessel (turns out it was 58' and 92 ton) in the harbor in front of our boat. "What in the world is he doing?" I say. He seems to be maneuvering in a circle directly up wind of us and it is blowing 15. I am thinking.. "I sure hope he is on his game". A couple of minutes later I realize the skipper is NOT up to the task! "Jan, he is going to hit us, prepare to abandon ship!".

Sure enough, his stern blows right into our bow. Fortunately our anchor is the farthest end point on our bow and our anchor roller is very strong. A crewman tries to put a ball in between our anchor and their stern. It quickly crushes and then pops out. Now his stern is laying on our anchor. Our dock lines stretch to the point that our stern is pushed up against the dock. Fortunately I had earlier doubled our dock lines because I knew the wind was going to blow.

The skipper in the LouiM from Reedsport Or (in case you want to look it up) powers up and grinds his stern across our anchor until he is free, leaving a big gouge on the side of his boat. The LouiM ends up blown against the end of a few finger piers next to us. About that time the owner of the boat shows up and works to get the vessel off the pilings. It was very interesting to watch.

The only damage I was able to find on Rapture was a chip in the stern where she contacted the dock. But I am going to have a professional look at her to be sure. The owner of the LouiM was very nice about the whole thing and promised to take care of any damage.

But the excitement does not stop there. The next day the wind is still blowing hard. I notice a 26' Bayliner coming around the breakwater. He makes an arc and is finally coming straight toward us going way too fast. He finally turns at the last moment and tries to pull into the slip next to us. He realizes he is nowhere near making a successful landing so he backs out, way too fast again. This time he tries to back into the next slip over - still way too fast and no chance of success. That is when I realize I had better get out there and help this man to not hit my boat! I run 2 slips down and start waving my arms to get him to move down and away from our boat. He follows me and starts heading for the slip.. you guessed it, WAY too fast. To compound the problem of too much speed, the wind is howling and blowing him into the slip. On his 3rd try he got the boat close enough that I could grab a line. As soon as I have the line in my hand he shuts the engine off, OMG(osh)! There is no possible chance that I will be able to stop this locomotive. I am too far past the cleat at the end of the pier so there is no place for me to tie the line off for some help. CRASH! His anchor plows into the power pod and smashes it to pieces. Well, at least it wasn't my boat.

The wind stopped the next day and the sun came out, yeah! There is an abundance of star fish here in Kingston and the seagulls just love them. Every day at low tide there are seagulls all up and down the dock with star fish hanging out of their beaks. Sometimes they are lucky and can just grab one off of a rock on the breakwater, but other times they will actually dive for them. They stand around on the dock with one arm in their beak waiting for the star fish to go limp. Then they quickly swallow them whole. It is quite a sight! It takes a few minutes before the bulge in their neck disappears. There are also a few blue heron around and you find them standing motionless in the morning waiting for breakfast to swim by.

We are finally starting to get use to life aboard. It is definitely a culture shock. We are really falling in love with Kingston. Everyone we have met here has been more than friendly. We took a long walk yesterday and everyone that we saw out in their yard made a point of waving and saying "hi". It is definitely a different culture on this side of the bay.

Jan has been playing her keyboard in the cockpit. She enjoys it, but says it is not the same as her grand piano at home. I have a feeling that she will spend a week playing her piano when we get home. The good news is that she is back at her guitar (which has been collecting dust since the day that we bought the piano). I really enjoy listening to her play.

We had the grandkids over for the weekend last weekend - what a great time! They really love the boat and were very disappointed that we weren't going out sailing while they were here. They are still a bit young for being in a confined space with limited activities, but they still did just fine.

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