Storm Scare

With Hanna looming last weekend, my dilemma became whether or not to pull our catboat out of the water ahead of it.  We were supposed to see torrential rains and gusts over fifty knots.  But I decided to chance it and leave Finn on her mooring since the hardest wind was forecast to blow out of the southeast, which would leave her in the lee of the land. The seas wouldn’t have a chance to build up because there’s not much of a fetch between the land and the mooring field. Since she was buttoned up tight with her sail cover and cockpit cover, she would be able to withstand the deluge. Peter Eastman at Howard Boats,, who built Finn, concurred. He said he wasn’t hauling any of his boats over in Barnstable Harbor.

At around two o’clock on Sunday morning I woke up to rain lashing the windows. Outside, the air was impossibly swampy, Borneo-thick, with this visitation from the tropics. The wind hadn’t seemed to rise much yet. But what if it did, and Finn broke loose from her mooring? Doubts began bedeviling me. Would she drift into the rocks? Would she be swamped? Would another boat break loose and run her down? I thought of Luke aboard Piper in Seaborn., contending with this kind of storm. The thought made me slightly queasy as I looked through the steamed-up, rain spattered windows and leaves beginning to surge in the outside lights.

I went back to bed expecting to be rousted by rattling and banging and thunderous downpours, but instead I woke hours later to pristine sunlight. I blinked at a cloudless blue sky and the trees etched in vivid definition in the cleansed air.  All was well with the boat, I learned later in the morning, considering that the wind never blew harder than it does some days during the summer in a rambunctious sou’wester gusting straight up Buzzards Bay. Still, somewhere out there, if only in my imagination, Luke was contending with the aftermath of the blow, fighting his fears alone. 

I, of course, climbed out of bed to feed the dog.


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