Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Grounded


3 days of wind. I did not sail once. Bummer. I suggest you stop reading now.

The wind started Sunday afternoon. The north wind was eager. It was supposed to arrive at night, but came early. It surprised us - he had our eyes out for Monday, with a forecast near 30 for the entire day.

Monday came, and the wind was still there. It was a bit rainy and cold, but not quite freezing. We packed the van and drove to Duxbury. Lots of snow showers on the way could not discourage us. Neither could the cold that I was coming down with, but it was still in the early stages - some pain in back of the throat, not at the "I need 5 boxes of tissues" stage yet.

As we approached Duxbury Harbor, the water seemed unusually high. It was a spring tide day, with a difference of 12 feet (3.6 m) between low and high tide. But we were still a few hours before high tide. The tide did not care. 24 hours of wind gusting 40-50 mph (80 km/h) had pushed all the water to the shore and into Duxbury bay. The little grass islands we had planned to sail next to for some flat water speed already were under water. Parking was a problem, too - the lot across the bridge was closed for repairs. The overall nastiness factor was just too high - neither Nina nor I wanted to go out, so we turned around.

The weather go slightly better when we got back to the Cape. A short afternoon session in Barnstable Harbor would theoretically have been possible - but Nina never sailed the nice parts of the harbor. She still remembers a rather horrible session where we started in nasty chop a mile downwind from the "correct" launch. I was in absolutely no shape to go sailing alone in near-freezing temperatures, so we sat out the day.

As if to taunt us, the wind was still around this morning. Nina never checked the wind until the sun came out (which was, of course, shortly after the wind finally left us). I was to busy blowing my nose and taking cold medicine. The storm was quite typical - three days of great northerly wind, with some rain thrown in every now and then. We have sailed such storms many times, often three days in a row. Not this time, though.

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