Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Some Serious Fear Last Night

A big line of severe thunderstorms passed through the northeast last night. We learned a few things about preparedness. We'll be doing some emergency drills! And our sense of respect for weather and vigilance about the forecasts are heightened - maybe we shouldn't have been where we were for that particular forecast. We're not sure - we'll have to consult the members of the mother ship about that when we reunite.

Vicki took a pic (after the storm) of Norm checking radar on Weather Underground - with his life vest on - that's something we hope not to see again!

While Norm was cool as a cucumber under pressure, Vicki was pretty scared. He said later that his only concern was the anchor. While we have a good anchor that is known to be very effective in many situations, there are some that are referred to as "storm anchors". Norm said "we're getting one of those--soon". Here are excerpts of a note Vicki sent to friends Lynnie and Rick last night at 11 p.m. - it conveys the essence of the experience...

"It looked like armageddon approaching us on the radar on Weather Underground.... the emergency weather station on the VHF was reporting a storm with 70 mph winds west of here....we tried to reach the coast guard on the radio just to inform them of our location and were unsuccessful.... Norm took the antennas down because of the lightning threat so we didn't think we could use the regular VHF radio and switched to the handheld and it's battery was low.... luckily we had another one, but we don't think it works as well.... we got out the life vests and I discovered that I had no idea how to activate it. OH MY GOD -- literally - I was praying mighty hard.
The storm that hit us was reported at 38 knots of wind, some rain, and lasted about 30 minutes. Could have been a lot worse. Norm started the engines as soon as it arrived and we both put on our life vests and Norm put the EPIRB in the ditch bag. Before the storm arrived, we talked through what to do if the anchor didn't hold. Remember we've never tested this anchor before - this is our first night anchoring without Jim and Robin and our 3rd night total -- talk about trial by fire! The anchor held just fine. Thank God, literally. Then we heard that the coast guard was searching for a 25 foot boat that lost its radio and contacted the coast guard by cell phone. The people are all out of flares and have only a flash light to signal the coast guard. Made me feel pretty lucky. Think I'll start praying for them now."