Storm Ties – On Wednesday, June17, five boats sailed to Whiskey Rock to overnight there. The weather reports were threatening and around 1600 (4 pm) the skies across the lake near the Three Sisters was darkening and there was an occasional lightning flash. Over the next half hour or so we watched a storm with big winds, big waves, and heavy rain march across the lake toward us. Precautions were taken. Extra fenders were put along the hulls of several boats (me included); and additional dock lines were tied between our boats and the dock. I added a second bow line and a second stern line. When the storm hit, we all ducked inside our respective boats to ride out the storm. Inside Snickerdoodle was like being inside a washing machine. I wedged myself on the starboard settee and found myself seeing the most amazing sights. First, the boat across the dock; then the sky; then the dock - - repeated over and over. Stuff that never leaves it’s place on settee shelves or the shelves behind the stove was dislodged and flew toward the starboard side of the boat. All of the miscellaneous food that started on the counter tops was thrown onto the floor. And, the boat was continuously brought up short on the dock lines as rocked to and froe while the dock was also rocking violently. Suddenly, there was a loud bang – much like a gun discharging. I knew at once that one of the dock lines had snapped - - and I went on deck to survey the situation. I brought with me a 20 ft long dock line (1/2”) and a 50 foot dock line (7/16”). It was one of the stern lines that had snapped (3/8” dacron line). I replace it with the 20 foot line… and then put an additional line on the bow and took the tail of that line back to make up an additional spring line.
Things were still topsy-turvey and the waves were still knocking the dock and boats around. By 1830 (6:30 pm) the storm was pretty much blow off to the east. The wind shifted from the south and the waves stopped entering the bay.
What is the “number one” lesson learned? Make sure to take extra fenders and docking lines along whenever cruising around the lake. Yes, these do take up valuable room below… but, when you need that extra fender or have to re-tie a broken dock line, you will be glad that you had them.
Of course, the next morning everything was calm and minimal breezes all day long.