Sunday, August 3, 2014

August 2, 2014: Argh! Bertha is hitting to St John....and I am not there yet!

Every day, I turn on my computer and pull up my home pages. One shows hurricane warnings and, last Saturday morning, showed a weak system that had a small chance of becoming a problem. Well, Friday morning it got upgraded to the second named Atlantic storm of the season and should pass west of my home today. I wish I were there to keep an eye on things....and to collect lots of water! Oh, well, I will get there Monday afternoon.

Speaking of getting back, this is going to be another Loooong night: the last bus gets me to the airport a bit after 10pm and the flight leaves at 6:15, so I will have a long wait. This gives me, however, an excellent chance to catch up on some reading and thinking, then (perhaps) sleep on the flight. Crossing fingers that it all works out well.

Thursday, I met up with Penny Keith at 7am to sail from Jackknife Harbor to south of south cut, walking and pulling the boat for a bit. We each got plenty of steamers, although I am not sure who will eat the ones I got or where they will get cooked. We left the boat in Outermost Harbor, my bag of clams dangling from it and spitting sand. We contemplated sailing back to Jackknife, but, after visiting the frustrated bass fishermen, decided to head to Outermost Harbor instead.

Yesterday, I met up with the St George family (David, Jill, Ruthie, and Tom) and we sailed/walked/dragged again past the south cut, exploring the route for them to follow in their motorboat at high tide. Good fun. Headed back after a couple hours, dropped them off at the Morris Island stairs, and picked up Heather for a speedy, wet, and wild sail into Nantucket Sound as far as Harding's Beach (avoiding the weir on our return), and then back to Morris Island at 2pm so she could head home to prepare for her weekend of work in Boston.

David and I planned to bring the Hobie around to Jackknife at 4pm, leaving me 2 hrs to kill. I found myself a bit cold, weak, and shaky and, after a bit of contemplation, narrowed it down to cold plus either hungry or tired. I scarfed down the remaining food in my daypack, then lay down on the boat under the warmth and shelter of the sail, and napped. This really helped and I woke much refreshed and sailed the boat to the beach where David and I were to meet.

A little gap-toothed boy, perhaps 6 or 7 yrs old, came shyly toward the boat. His father asked if he could photograph the kid beside the boat and I said "Of course!". The boy asked all sorts of questions and found things like the roller-furling jib tremendously exciting. Then David arrived and he and I waved farewell to the family and took off and headed north, fighting wind and the incoming current.
After failing to make much headway through the cut, we sailed further south and headed into the ocean through the southern south cut (this place is getting too darned complex!). Barely making headway against the current, we finally eased out of the cut and into the open ocean. Light wind pushed us slowly, waves humped up over sandbars, seals splashed in surprise and dismay at this interloper, gulls sat on the shore under gray skies and waited for nightfall. Entering the harbor, we decided that, given the late hour (6pm), tide (current about to switch against us), and the dying wind, we should simply anchor at Claflin Landing and bring the boat around the rest of the way over the weekend. David's family drove up and met us and, to my immense gratitude, dropped me and my clams back at Andrew's house. I will take the boat to Jackknife over the weekend.
Well, rain coming in here, rain coming in to St John....and I am watching both on the radar and weather sites. Not sure why: wouldn't I be better off reading or relaxing? But there is something mesmerizing about watching the oncoming storm...

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