Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 7, 2014: back on Cape Cod with Hurricane Arthur, oysters DIDN'T die in polar vortex, my Tiny House meetup

I first met Arthur on my morning hurricane watch on, I think, June 28th. Merely a low pressure area moving south off South Carolina and Georgia, it showed a good chance of growing. I still had not begun preparing for my trip from Coral Bay to Chatham, but as time passed and my trip became imminent, the system strengthened, tightened, and turned north near Miami.

This reminder encouraged me to dive along my mooring and examine the chain, line, and anchor (an old engine block, I think). I added another anchor (45 lbs) and 40' of chain (maybe 100lbs) and a bit of hope and prayer (weightless). Sails are all stowed below, various leaks are caulked or sealed with epoxy, caulk, or gel coat, and the various hatches are closed. 

The flight was pretty uneventful.....if you ignore the minor catastrophe of setting up all my plans and coming to the airport a day early for the ticket I bought. Still, although I missed the last bus (11:15) and had to sit in the airport until the first AM bus (6:15), I survived. Andrew and Kathy picked me up in Barnstable and drove me back to the hot humid Cape on Thursday morning. I slept most of the rest of the day.

On Friday, Arthur came to town. The morning dawned foggy and warm with lots of sun shining through, but the forecast said 98% chance of rain by 2pm. We went for a walk on South Beach, News vans lined the bluff at the lighthouse, hurricane warning flags flapping gently above them. Andrew, Kathy, and I walked to the south break, then took photos of us with the flags in the background. 2PM came and went with not a drop of rain, but the radar showed the mass to our south and moving closer.

We went to the traditional 4th party at my uncle Bob's place....and the rain began. The grill was moved around to the lee of the house, just inside the open garage, rather than remaining in the usual spot where rising wind and increasing rain would have made things, well......problematic.... Ok, impossible!

Anyway, the party went off darned well considering the hurricane. Yes, the fireworks were delayed until the 5th, but we enjoyed the excellent company of family and friends, ate large amts of wonderful foods, and I, for one, found an incredible wave of gratitude come over me for the extraordinary blessings we often take for granted. In many ways it felt more like Thanksgiving than the 4th.

And watching the bay whip up into a wild frenzy was AWESOME!

The next day, Kathy wanted to swim and I thought that sounded crazy enough to be fun, so we donned wetsuits and swam in the waves and whitecaps of the Mill Pond. I tired and decided to poke about and look at oysters while Kathy swam further. It turned out that the oysters still survive in abundance, despite my fears that the polar vortex would kill the exposed oysters. Very nice!

So, Arthur brought us excitement and only minor damage.

Still darned windy yesterday and today, but Kathy, Andrew, and I launched the Hobie yesterday and went for two sails, one with Mollie and Kerry. Pretty wet, windy, and a few issues in setting up; but the sails were fast, wild, and fun.

A bit over a year back I created a Tiny House meetup group in the Sonoma/Napa area. Of course, shortly after that I bought my boat and moved, but folks have gradually been joining (up to 51 members today!) and one of the members has set up the first meetup! And Jay Shafer, the father of the tiny house movement, is going to the meetup! Whether or not I ever get there, I love that I have had a hand in creating this group that could make a difference to each other....and that supports people moving toward simpler living.

PS: Andrew and Kathy took all these pics. I haven't touched my camera since leaving Dorado.

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