Sunday, August 28, 2011

Natural Disaster Week!

Burley Creek, Annapolis

Well what a week, we are tied to the dock at Larry & Bev’s and had planned to potter around doing a few boat chores and then heading out for a few days on the boat to do some motoring to make sure all is working well with the new engine before we head south.  However Mother Nature has other plans and we have a far more eventful week than we hoped.

On Monday I am working away inside the boat while Linda pops up to the motor bikes to take some photos to stick on EBay.  I feel the boat shake as the piles bang against the hull but given it is flat calm can’t think why, there is then a lot of banging and the rig starts to shake. 

I run up on deck and see Larry coming out of his office saying that was an earthquake, we both head up to the house and find Linda and Bev both literally and metaphorically shaken.  Linda had been wheeling her motor bike into position when the ground began to tremble and the bike shake, she miraculously managed not to drop it, but was clearly taken aback by the whole thing.  We watch the news to find it is a 6.5 on the Richter scale quake – quite a shock.

The rest of the week passes watching the weather news as Hurricane Irene homes in on us, by Friday it is inevitable that it will pass right over us, so we move Matsu to one of the neighbours docks that is vacant (thank you Marvin and Judith) and start to tie ourselves up with a maze of long lines kept specifically for this purpose but obviously well stored away as you don’t need them very often!

Hurricane Irene_025

The storm itself arrives on Saturday morning, initially with lots of rain and some wind, and then late afternoon and overnight Saturday (why does bad weather always come at night?) we get the bulk of the winds and rain.

Burley Creek is incredibly well protected, high banks on either side, no room for a fetch to develop and lots of mature trees to cut down the wind.  During the night we only saw 40 knots on the wind instruments, and that for a short time, the rest of the time it was 25-30 knots all very manageable.  The only scary bit was knowing that the wind at tree top height was 60-70 knots and wondering if a tree may fall on the boat.

During my frequent excursions outside to check lines, that was the scary bit, the sound of breaking branches making me flinch from time to time, but luckily all I got hit with were a few leaves!  By dawn on Sunday the worst was past, winds backing right off and even the endless rain starting to slow down.

After breakfast we head up to see the damage on land, there are lots of branches and trees down in the neighbourhood and obviously no power.  But miraculously not just Larry & Bev’s house but all the houses seem to have escaped damage.

Hurricane Irene_002

We spend the day chopping wood and clearing up and by afternoon the sun is out, the branches are gone and it almost seems like a bad dream.

Ironically given how worried all the homeowners were about us on our boat in the storm, we are now fine and it is them that suffer.  We obviously still have electricity and water while they have neither for a week afterwards!

A big thank you from Linda and I to the local community for looking after us so well during the hurricane and indeed the whole summer.

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