Thursday, September 24, 2009

Free at last.

We ended up spending a week in Wainwright. At first we felt like we had made the wrong choice because the weather we hid from didn't end up being as bad as we thought, but the next front that came through changed our minds. We had constant 35 knot winds for three days, with gusts over 50 on Monday night. Our little anchorage got whipped right up. As the winds picked up, they emptied the lagoon we were in so that the 8 foot anchorage slipped down to 5.7 feet. When waves would go by we would touch bottom. Touching bottom is never good and the noise it makes is the worst part. It sounds like pulling your car to far forward in a parking spot and scraping the curb, magnified by ten. Barunch! Each time we would touch bottom, it was like someone shocked Bianca with a Taser. Barunch! She was beside herself. There wasn't one thing I could do about it until the winds died down. I went outside to check our anchor line, and it was tight enough to walk on and walking on deck was difficult from the gusts. We discovered that if we were in the front cabin, the boat wouldn't touch bottom. We all got our reading quota in for the month though. I read "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair a book about mostly white immigrants who struggle to make it in the huge meat industry in Chicago at the turn of the century. Then I read Alex Haley's "Roots", a book about seven generations of a black mans ancestors from being abducted in Africa to gaining freedom from slavery. Now I am reading "Exodus" by Leon Uris, a book about the struggle of the Jews to win the right to live in Israel. I didn't plan this, as each book was given to us by a different person. After reading these three books, I have gained a new perspective on the little struggles that we have been having with weather and time as just that, little. If you are feeling like your life is difficult, read these three books and you will realize that you are rich. Filthy rich.

Yesterday it took three boats to get us out of Wainwright. One boat pulled sideways on our mast, one boat pulled us forward, and the other took depth soundings with a paddle - this being the only way to check depths in this town. It took nearly the whole day just to get us out. We are impressed with the tenacity of the people who live here. They just plain did not give up, even though getting a boat that draws five and a half feet and weighs ten tons through three feet of water is just about impossible. Afterwards a good chunk of the town lined the shore in a procession of four wheelers to see us off.

It feels good to be moving again. Amazingly, we suffered little damage. Precipice is starting to look a little beat up. Between the ice, dragging through sand, and the fact that people in the North just motor right up and bang into your boat as normal operating procedure we have lost an amazing amount of paint on this trip.

But we are still floating. Free.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yeah, your SPOT yesterday kinda suggested problems.

Glad you are free and we all can read more.

D in Vancouver

PS SPOT not currently updating