After days of heavy weather delay and little buffer time left, the Someday Lady was finally roped up for a “road” trip to dry dock so we could begin her overhaul. Snowing, foggy and hovering on ideal conditions, Damon met our tug guy along with two other friends able to help, down on the dock. Mother Nature’s timing proved to be anything but ideal: instead of meeting them at the docks when they arrived, I was driving Damon’s parents – who were to be additional and much-needed help during the process – back south to catch a flight home. Sad to see them go, and sad that Damon couldn’t be with me to say goodbye, we met the weather in thick snow-covered & slick roads our entire journey.
Meanwhile, an estimated 2-2 1/2 hr trip was dragging on to be a much wilder ride than anticipated. Waters were not as flat as ideal, and the boat seemed to want to stick to one side. Winds were stronger, and not switching directions when we had hoped. Rounding our Island is tricky on the best of days as a long shoal juts out the south end forcing boats to go much further south and into much less protected waters before heading North again. This landscape is breeding zone for very strong currents and whirlpools, among a variety of other hazards as the tides ebb and flood. It was during this time, when the clouds the darkest, winds the strongest, shore far from sight, and waves pushing and pulling the Someday Lady, that the rope snapped. Quick thinking and all hands on deck, she was lasso’d back (after yanked four miles in the… wrong direction) and given much more slack so she could maneuver the surf with a little more room. Not confident of this rope’s integrity, and seeing her perform all kinds of circus tricks amidst the tossing of the sea, lots of cursing, prayers, and I’m sure thoughts of euthanizing this feral boat were a roar in all their thoughts. Damon would call and give us periodic updates that always left us uneasy, and scanning the horizon when we drove along the shore.
Indeed, her spirited bucking snapped the rope, heaving her back down the straight. Fetching her yet again was a little trickier as surf heaved the solid bow of the hull into the stern of the tug, denting the steel, and only scuffing her bow, while the side rails sliced through a mounted life ring, uncomfortably close to the windows of the tug’s wheelhouse. I have to admit, I’m glad I was in the car at this point, rather than on the roiling seas. I imagine the tension to be as thick as the concrete hull.
Damon had left at 10am. I was on the 430pm ferry back. Having made the point, and sitting over an hour in the same spot battling the strong tidal currents, it had appeared from my side that they had made it. The sun had made a blazing miraculous appearance that seemed to downplay the day’s ugliness up until that point. It smelled like spring and the horizon opened up to reveal even flatter waters!! A returned phone call coordinated it perfectly for me to meet them there at the ferry landing, just up from the boatworks, where the tug would be docked until it took its turn up on the weighs. She was pulled up to reveal a beaver tail that was much more damaged than we were told, another small patch poorly done and chipping away, as well as a significant ding to the bottom of the keel. The temporary patch we were intending on fixing had been infilitrated by crustaceans – which had together ingested (?) the first layer of plywood covering the gouge, and intending the same fate for the second.
BUT, the day was done. The men were tired. It was enough adventure for one day. Tomorrow, we’d clean her up.