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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Day After PTS Arthur

Our biggest challenge this morning is getting internet, hence we are fine.  Thank you for your prayers.

The barometer was at 1016 on Friday and began dropping rapidly Friday evening.  The winds increased about 2 am Saturday out of the southeast.  The timing was well forecast in the gribs, although the velocity was understated.  The southeast was our most exposed direction of fetch and it was not an easy task for Myron to go forward and check for chafing.  Further, I had opened the starboard water intake, optimistically seeking to fill that tank with rainwater, but we got very little rain and were taking salt water over both sides of the deck, therefore Myron secured that tank early on.

Since Arthur moved up the Bay of Fundy to our west, that put us on the east side of a north moving storm.  Our strongest winds came while we were in the northeast quadrant of the storm.  We do not have wind instruments on board.  It was daylight soon enough, allowing us to estimate winds based upon visual observance.  We figured the winds to be at Force 8 (Beaufort Scale) based upon how the top of the fetch was blown off into streaks across the surface of the water.  According to Luke, a local who radioed us from shore to check on our status, the winds were clocked nearby at 100 km, or 54 knots.  By 10 am the winds were more south for us, putting us parallel with the shore and a little less fetch.  It was nice not to be concerned about other boats in close proximity, although we were struck on the port side by the float section that broke off of a swim platform moored nearby.  No major damage.  We knew we just had to ride it out, so we watched movies, looking forward to when the wind turned west and came directly off shore.

Just after 12 noon, our barometer hit bottom at 988.6 mb.  Arthur was about 982, according to last time we could get internet, and we figured he was passing about 61 nm west of us.  We knew we would get a break for a bit, so we went on deck to check our tie-downs, recover the mizzen halyard that was mysteriously climbing up a jack line, add additional ties and to also secure the cover on our dinghy.  It had blown off the front, over the engine, and was trailing from the back of the dinghy like a red cape.  It took both of us in the dinghy to accomplish the task as the gusts were still strong.  After over 50 knots though, 30 knots, or even 35 knots (gale force) seems like a break.   We also used the break to get some needed sleep.

About the dinghy, we chose not to secure it on deck Friday night.  It is frequently a dilemma for us as we like the thought of having the dinghy for an exit strategy, but it is also a worry to keep it safe from capsizing behind Hold Fast during a storm.  We removed things from the dinghy that might go airborne, left the engine down, and it would have been fine if I had only thought to secure the cover as well. 

The winds increased again late afternoon.  We were well protected by the hills and trees on our west.  Occasionally some strong gusts would use the hill like a ski jump, rushing down to lay Hold Fast over on her side.  The knock downs were abrupt enough to make objects fly off counters and to re-arrange cabinet contents.  So we watched movies.

We went to bed looking forward to a calm 20 knot day.  The winds must have died down after 2 am, because I slept like the dead.  We were so blessed by Robin and Maggi who gave us the use of their secure mooring, and we are thankful to Simonne and Luke who were watching out for us.  I keep saying, great people here in Nova Scotia!  We want to go ashore soon and check on them as they appear to still be without power.  Simonne may be back from the mud run by now, rescheduled from yesterday to today due to Arthur.

We will use the next day or so to find an opportunity to put Hold Fast’s canvas back on, as well as wait for conditions to calm down outside.  Seas offshore are 3 to 6 meters, where is the fun in that?

Love to all,

1 comment:

Ruffian said...

Hi guys.

Super pleased that you are safe and well and that the ship weathered the storm.

We're now hot on your heels and are off to Port Mouton tomorrow.

Hope to catch up soon.

Safe travels.