Tuesday, September 18

Big Blow

As we sit in Port Washington, NY attached to a mooring ball watching, waiting, anticipating how big the next gust of wind will be, we are hunkered down inside.  On days like today, we are ever more grateful for the extra space we have on board our catamaran and the full enclosure that allows us to be in the cockpit too.  So far, it’s been up to 41 knots (that’s 47 mph)!  We are in what would be considered a very protected harbor and the waves look like we are out in the middle of the Long Island Sound.  Trust me, the waves out there are ginormous and even bigger swells.  We have secured an extra line to the mooring ball and have even considered putting our anchor down, just in case all else fails.  

We can hear the wind howling through our rigging, increasing in pitch as the speed increases.  We all look up and someone jumps out to see how many knots are being registered on the wind instrument.  We also hear halyards banging masts from other boats, zippers flapping in the wind, creaks of the boat as it moves about in the waves.  I can't say there is a gentle lapping of the waves against the hull.  Down below it sounds like we are sailing at 7 knots and the waves are rushing by.  We have had some rain this morning, but we are waiting for that to hit next.   The wind has steadily increased with building waves all day.  And we still think the worst is yet to come.

Olivia continues to ask if this is a hurricane.  The answer is positively NO.  Believe you me, I wouldn’t be hanging out on the boat if this were a hurricane.  But it does raise the question of what category of wind we are experiencing and definitely a teachable moment. 

According to the Beaufort wind scale, we are experiencing a Force 7 or near gale.  But bear in mind that this scale is for those on the open sea.  Wind speed is described by force (1-10), speed (knots) and wave pattern (flat to very high rolling waves with long overhanging crests). 

Some boats around us have had their sails unfurled and ripped to shreds.  The smaller boats are bouncing like hobby horses on steroids.  While we are rockin’ and rollin’ here on Anything Goes, I am smitten when I say we are not as bad off as some.  Our neighbor looks as if he is actually healing in the wind when his boat swings on the mooring ball.  At one point we thought they were going to be knocked down.  Since we have 2 hulls, we pretty much stay centered to the wind and don't swing violently from side to side.  

Here are some pictures and a short video to illustrate the severity of it all.

As Kate would say, it's a perfect flag day

Pictures just don't do it justice

It looks like a decorative streamer atop the mast, but sadly, it's what is left of the jib sail.  It's not supposed to do that!

Another jib comin' loose

And a main sail escaping


  1. Quite an experience! We agree that being on a catamaran is SO much better than a mono in these conditions.

  2. We were in Bar Harbor today. We saw the big wooden lobster where the girls had their picture taken. Weather reminded us of Seattle. Looks like you were here about 3 weeks ago according to your blog. I recognized a lot of the pictures you took. The storm you mentioned above is one that rolled thru the part of Maine we were staying in at the time - intense rain. Hope you don't encounter too many more of those storms. - Joyce