Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gust Front

2011 01 26
North Lake Worth

We came ashore today.  Sanity required firmity beneath our quavering feet.

The gust front we expected to precede last night's cold front was a doozy.  After a day incarcerated aboard our delightful Meredith, imprisoned by high sustained winds and antagonistic chop in our anchorage we retired for the night.

Before doing so we lengthened the scope of our anchor rode.  Ten feet of water at high tide, five of freeboard gave us a 5:1 scope of 100 feet, rounded up. We hit the berth with 150 feet in front of us and a doubled up snubbing line.

Just as we retired the phone rang.  Peter and Jane from Kinvara safely at a dock in Coconut Grove called to wish us well.  They were watching the weather approach our anchorage on the internet.  Sometimes, as it was last night, just hearing another human voice is incredibly relieving. 

This is one of the choices to be made when the atmo threatens imminent harm.  Kinvara finds security in a solid dock.  Meredith seeks the freedom of a good anchorage.  The only harm we have ever suffered has come from a dock.

When the front hit it was intent on disproving all the doubting Thomas's in the anchorage who found themselves beseiged in their sleep.  Like Meredith and those aboard.  It was 10:30 p.m.  Two quick puffs introduced the impending giant.  These puffs had an eerie quality however, and they put both the BC and myself sufficiently on edge that we were up, dressed and lighted by the time the gust front attacked.

At its peak wind topped 48 knots.  It held for 45 minutes.  Not a single boat dragged in North Lake Worth.  At Lake Worth Inlet things were a bit of a mess.  A 67 foot ketch lost hold in the softer bottom and went on an unescorted tour of that crowded anchorage.  We listened as one poor fellow desperately called the Coast Guard "We see that ship you told had come adrift.  It is coming straight for us!!!!". 

Now I am not sure what the Coast Guard were supposed to do about that situation but his predicament affected all of us in Lake Worth.  Coast Guard offered their usual helpful comments "You are talking to Miami Coast Guard captain.  We suggest you call West Palm Coast Guard for assistance."

Like always, government was very helpful.

Next morning the sun came up. the wind was gone and boaters started to set up their dinghies.

When it hit both

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