– or was it just The Great Wind accompanied by
Exceptionally Heavy Rain?
We have just had 48 hours of thunder and
lightning, winds gusting up to 45 knots (well that’s when our high wind alarm is
triggered and that kept going off all night), and Exceptionally Heavy Rain.
It was exciting (well it would have been had I not
slept and had not been trying to finish off some work before Christmas…). We
were surrounded by boats crashing into pontoons and anchors smashing into
electric boxes. Lots of boats were damaged – mainly because there is so little
bad weather out here that they are tied up (very badly) with bits of ‘string’.
Luckily, CAPE’s tying up string is 28 mm octoply (breaking strain 12 tonnes),
because that was what we needed when we acted as the windbreak for the whole
marina in Aberystwyth (many was the night in Aber when we slept with lee cloths
up at a 10 degree heel – on our berth in the marina).
Anyway, back to The Great Storm. One particularly
exciting moment occurred when the cleats holding one large (expensive) motor
boat to an outer pontoon broke off and set it adrift – luckily David and a
couple of other boatie types were able to get on to it, secure it and hold it
until its keepers arrived to take it to a safer berth. (Captain Lilo to the
The rain was exceptional – even better than the
Welsh stuff. At least 6 inches of rain fell last night alone – our dinghies
nearly sank with volume of water (you should know that we are a 2-dinghy
family), and a few others were partially submerged by the morning, their
outboards just peeping above the water. We often hear water making its way down
the inside of the mast, getting in via the holes at the top that let the bits of
rope out. The first night of the storm the rain was so voluminous that water
made its way down the outside of the mast that is inside the boat (work that one
out if you can). Our fairy lights (lovingly transported all the way from
Wales) blew up and our precious
antique mast covering got soaked. We dried out the mast covering (which left
dubious black stains on Bryn’s 3D rendering of a bonito for Art), bought a new
set of lights and rigged the whole lot up again. The next night the
Exceptionally Heavy Rain did its thing again, so David was up at 3 am taking
down the fairy lights and mast covering. Today he put them all back up again. At
least now he can dismantle the lot with his eyes shut and without disturbing my
The wind and rain have now abated. Injured and
abandoned fenders have collected in one corner of the marina, along with dead
tyres, trees, plastic bags and bottles – and lumps of polystyrene (where do the
lumps of polystyrene come from?). We had ordered a ‘boom bimini’ – a smart, dark
blue vinyl ‘tent’ that we stretch over the boom and tie onto the toe rail (a
metal rail that runs around the edge of the boat at deck level) – and this has
now arrived. As we are now protected, the bad weather should subside.
TENGY, DRY WHITE, MBOLO and ONS JOOL – our mates
suffering the weather in the UK – are all fine – thank
Unfortunately, we were so preoccupied with
reinserting fenders, staying dry and avoiding crashing anchors, we forgot to get
any piccies of events!