Today I officially felt like I became a sailorman
Ok so here is the story. Ernesto is coming up the coast. This morning I go out to check Dove sitting out on her mooring. Pumps are working fine but they are continuously cycling, there is a significant leak some place. After not being in the water for 30 years I expected as much.
So Knowing that the wind and tide are going to be unusually high and expected heavy showers I'm concerned with her out there on the hook all alone. 10:00hrs I get down and check both Tidbit and then down to Garrison to check on Dove. Take the dink out and all systems are operating the bilge pump is cycling and there is little water in the bilge.
18:00hrs I get a call from John Guinan - Joe your boat is listing to port and the winds are coming in hard, rain is coming down, and the tide is freaky high. The south dock is going under water. Ya might wanna come and check on yer boat. So I run and get a spare battery, an extra bilge pump, some hose, some dock line, and and a large electric sump pump with a float switch.
So down to the dock I go and sure enough the tide is some of the highest I have ever seen. Way above the dock. I talk with the dock-masters son and he says there is a slip on the floating docks on the inside of the marina I could use and it has shore power for the pump. Ahhh but how to get her there. No motor, heavy rain, and strong wind. I make a mental note that the tide is still coming ion on a heavy flood. The wind is unusually coming out of the south and has let up a bit.
I wade through 6 inch of water over the dock, thank God for my trusty Crock's Jump on the dingy dock and launch lil'bit. Out to Dove we row, through the rain and tide. hook up and asses the situation. She is OK but the choice is let her ride out the storm just on the remaining battery power of the one bilge pump or take advantage of the offered slip. Arrrrrg am I not a river sailorman ? I get in Dove raise the sails, asses the wind direction and tide while still on the hook. I think I can handle this maneuver says I. Unhook her and catch a nice southerly. Ease out the main and pull the mizzen in a lil'bit. bringing her stern around. then on a nice reach I make the parallel heading along the now submerged outer south dock. Starboard tack into the narrow marina opening. Once again pulling the Mizen in before the main to bring her stern around, I'm liking this ketch sailing Angle into the slip as smooth as silk. I knew I had just one shot to do it perfectly. I'm utterly amazed that anyone let alone me could sail a small boat off a mooring around a submerged dock into a narrow opening, turn and position the boat to a single slip, with nothing more that skill, wind and tide. No motor, no bow thrusters, nada. I was unbelievably proud, I felt like this one small task confirmed me as a true sailor.
I cleated her off on the slip. Fixed the sump pump and plugged it in. Immediately it started to cycle. and Dove was safe from Ernesto. I walked into the Pub at Guinans with all the boys who watched me and saw their jaw drop when I explained Dove has no Motor. They all had assumed she had some form of aux power. Lots of congratulations on my sailing skills.
We still have to sail her back up to Cold Spring and pull her and locate the source of the leak and repair it. But for now she is OK.
Today was a good sailing day. I know Neptune will exact his revenge someday but today was not that day.