Monday, April 27, 2015

Life Can Be A Drag At 4AM

It started out shaping up to be a great night. We anchored in a spot that was close to the dingy dock, important for the Saltrun Taxi Service, catering to dogs only. The dock was only 2 minutes away, across some calm water. This must be better than the 5 minute ride across half the bay, which can be pretty choppy at times. We were a bit close to the rocky shore, but the wind was blowing us away from the dangerous rocks, and it was pretty calm in general. Ahh, this is the life! We hit the sack, gently rocked by calm waves and cooled by the gentle East wind. We were awakened at 4AM by some rather startling changes. The boat was pitching up and down pretty hard, the wind was even whistling loudly through the rigging. Why would we be rocking so much though? Even if the wind had picked up, there wasn't room for waves to get big enough to toss us around like this. So up on deck I went for a look. It is at this point that I want to introduce you to Lee and Rocky Shore. Lee and rocky shore are not the children of Dinah Shore, at least I don't think so. A lee shore is when you are anchored where the wind and waves will push you onto shore if your anchor does not hold. This is a bad thing, especially if the shore is rocky. Now things get bad fast. It is always preferred to anchor where the wind and waves will push the boat into deeper water if the anchor drags, but this is not always possible depending on the location. Well, about 3:30 or 4 in the morning, an abrupt wind change put us in this situation. We had spun around 180 degrees and were about 100 yards from some ugly Shore brothers. Our anchor seemed to be holding for the time being, so we decided that we would watch it until daybreak ( which comes early on a boat, ask Capt Ron ), and move the boat out into the bay away from shore. At this point, I need to introduce the second player in this episode, Stephanie Fisher. She is not the daughter of Carrie and Mel Fisher, she is a big old ugly fishing boat that has been anchored out in the middle of the harbor since we got here. Well, Stephanie decided to go visit the Shore brothers about 4:30 in the morning! She was pitching wildly and dragged anchor a good 1/4 mile and guess where she stopped on her way in? About 35 feet off of our port side, that's where. To make matters worse, Stephanie has two long poles called outriggers, that are used to pull nets. One of these has been extended strait out the side of the boat, and not pointing up in the air like they are supposed to be when not in use. This pole is about 20 feet long and heavy duty, it is made to handle the weight of heavy fishing gear. This outrigger was, of course, pointing right at us, like a giant joust. I watched it go up and down, making a big circle like an Olympic fencing champion, circling has lance around, waiting to take the kill shot. Yikes! This thing was about 15 feet from us! OK, we are leaving now I said, if Miss Fisher and those Shore boys want to meet up, that's one thing. But to point a weapon at us, well, that's the last straw. So, we started up the engines in the dark, and made our plan to leave the party. That's when Mr. Johnson showed up, we could hear him screaming through the wind and waves. He must have been Stephanie's step dad, or something, because he was on her in a flash. Actually, it was a small skiff with an outboard, it's motor winding in the dark and spray, darting around the much larger fishing boat, trying to get control of her. We tried to contact Mr Johnson, but couldn't, we were willing to help with our dingy. Stephanie was pretty determined though, and she pressed on toward shore as we watched this drama unfold in slow motion. She got within a few feet of the jagged coastline before Mr Johnson got control and started to slowly drag her back out and back home. Slowly but surely she got back out, and then, it was like she gave up, and relented, and quickly allowed herself to be towed away. This all took about 45 minutes, and we decided to go ahead and move out to deeper water. At first light, we moved back to our old anchoring spot, a long dingy ride, but a lot safer place, too. Besides, we don't seem to care much for partying with the Shore boys, Miss Fisher, or Mr Johnson. We like our sleep a lot better.

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