To quote John Barrowman.. we made it through the rain

The big winds & swell were predicted & boy oh boy did they hit us hard.

In the previous post we talked about how we had prepared the boat for the really big winds & then showed the sky & some damage from the local tornado.

Last night the swell started coming in around lunchtime, with the wind & rain steadily increasing. I duly dispatched Trev for his last wander off the boat for wine provisions (essential carbonara ingredients) & to take some interesting pictures.

Just after he returned the world got darker, wetter & windier. Trev doubled checked fenders & mooring lines regularly, whilst I settled myself in for a good read.

I’d just started to make dinner when the wind gusted and we jolted forward … disaster. Trev threw his glass of red wine (why is it always red wine??) Around the salon. Liberally soaking sofa cushions & blankets.

“Get a cloth, get a cloth” he screamed hysterically/masterfully.

“I’ll do this, you see what the lines are doing” I retorted (not all heroes wear capes 😁😁). Our lines looked fine, though we were being thrown around quite a bit & the sea was breaching both the outer & inner harbour breakwaters.

After a few hours when we heard our lovely French neighbour Annie shouting to us that some boats on the our pontoon had broken free from their stern (behind) moorings & were coming towards us. Trev rushed out to see what was going on & I got on the radio to tell the marina what was happening.

The picture below shows how close one of the 6 rogue boats was to us. Their bow lines held until marina staff could attach long mooring ropes. Trev’s fitting a bow fender to Gianti to help cushion any impact if they hit us.

Whilst sorting out our boat Trev saw a cleat (metal point that you attach your mooring lines to) had ripped off the pontoon & the boat was now only held on at the back by 1 rope. He caught the rope & managed to secure it onto another cleat.

This followed up & down the pontoon all night, with 2 boats either side of is breaking their mooring lines (or cleats) & slamming into us. We told the marina & the owners of 1 of the boats. And due credit, the marina team were amazing last night, with people running around & fixing lines where they could.

Trev used lots of our lines on other boats to protect Gianti from being smashed & putting extra strain on our own lines. 2 of our climbing line wore through, fun times using the emergency knife to cut that & do a running repair/rig job. One of our snubbers (stretchy shock absorbers) snapped, so Trev had to go out & sort out running repaira/rigging system again.

All in all, it ruined a perfectly good episode of Game of Thrones for me.

The pictures below show the damage to some of the cleats on our pontoon

We resigned ourselves to the fact that we were not going to get away without damage to Gianti, grateful that we have great insurance. When we checked it over this morning it appears that Trev’s vigilance really paid off & we have some marks from fenders & need new mooring lines, but that’s it.

Below is our current rigging set up, ready for the next lot of big winds (over the weekend)

Weve opted for chain & looping rope around the entire pontoon rather than relying on the cleats completely.

Everything is drying out & we’re safe & sound, if a little tired. Hopefully the next post will be a little cheerier & lots less dramatic!

EDIT: 20/11/2019

I’ve compiled a short video showing some of the tornado scenes with footage of the storm & the next day:

2 Replies to “To quote John Barrowman.. we made it through the rain”

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Sailing Éalú

There is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.

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S/Y Maggie

Living the dream onboard our Beneteau 473 with our sailor dog

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