October 28, 2009

The Gusts From Hell

My home is a few inches over 51′ long and a few inches short of 15′ in the beam, and while it cost more than twice, pre-owned, than your average house in the suburbs, it can move considerably faster, in the immediate neighborhood of 33 knots in calm seas (not my doing, thank a pair of Volvo Penta diesels that produce 715 MHP apiece for that).

She resides at a dock in Marina Del Rey, just down the coast from Venice, California, and is the ultimate love of my life.

Having said that, you’ll understand why, yesterday afternoon, I spent considerable time lashing her down in response to a marine forecast that called for a windy time along the California coast.

A couple of neighbors and I teamed up to secure one anothers’ boats (mine is the largest of the three by more than ten feet).

I doubled up on the fenders, then we took every ounce we could of slack out of the lines until the fenders were practically crushed against the dock.

When the wind really freshened, to the tune of something like 43 knots, I was aboard, relaxing on the overhung fantail, sipping a large Mt. Gay Eclipse Barbados dark rum, puffing on a Montecristo and enjoying the whipping wind.

It was coming from the northeast and really slamming in, palm trees being defronded and all kinds of goodies whipping through the air. The “gale” was reminiscent of the Santa Ana winds that like to pummel through from time to time, except those are generally nice and warm, whereas these originated, purportedly, in the arctic regions and things became downright cold as the hours went by. I wondered for awhile there if an Eskimo, a walrus or maybe even a polar bear might not come soaring down and land on the flying bridge.

Riding it out was great, even as tightly secured as she was, my home moved quite a bit as waves arrived beneath the hull and the winds tried their absolute best to dislodge her.

At about 2000 hours, I decided, as the wind was doing its utmost to blow me overboard, to go below and continue my rumming therein. I put on some Marshall Tucker followed by Charlie Daniels, nice and loud (no disturbing the neighbors, not with the wind rumpusing the way it was outside. It went really well, in fact, with The Devil Went Down To Georgia), and finally, somewhere around 2300, hit the rack and got a good night’s sleep despite the external hammering. Rum has a way of helping such things along.

When I awoke this morning to the percussion of pounding temples and a mouth of cotton, I started a pot of coffee and went topside to have a gander at my environs. This was at about 0715. I usually arrive home from my morning run long before that, but what the hay, sometimes it’s good to throw inconvenient habits to the winds (no pun intended) and live dangerously.

The clean-up people hadn’t yet started in, and you should’ve seen things. “Things” were strewn everywhere, a few pieces of gear adrift from other vessels at the marina (quite a few weekend sailors had neglected to thoroughly police their weather decks in advance of the coming of The Wind), large palm fronds, paper cups, various and sundry litter items, anonymous branches, even a rubber boot and what appeared to be a Nike sneaker.

Then there were legions of leaves in what looked like a miniature northeastern autumn morning. If there were any dead leaves in any trees along the southern California coast yesterday evening, they are no longer.

Anyway, just thought I’d share that.

I pretty much needed a break from politics, since watching the country I’ve spilled blood (my own and others’) for being disassembled by a corrupt left wing president and an equally anti-patriotic, anti-Constitutional, anti-America Congressional majority can be more than a little depressing and writing about it even moreso.

Now, where the hell did I leave the rum…?

by @ 7:46 pm. Filed under Weather or Not
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2 Responses to “The Gusts From Hell”

  1. Tom Says:

    The gale is nothing like the hurricane coming out of Washington.

    Have one for the rest of us.

  2. Chuck Says:


    Washington got what we got early on in its “en route” period, so it had to be a lot more intense.

    I’ve been both on and underneath the surface of an ocean or three in much heavier weather, but it’s certainly a different experience when you’re sitting there tied up at the dock, being domestic. :-)

    Cheers! (that’s the requested rum going “down the hatch”)