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Sailing with Nine of Cups
What a night!
Marcie
31 January 2011 | Southern Arm, Dagg Sound
What a night! This was by far the worst night of our trip and rates right up there with storms to remember over the last decade. The day hadn't been very pleasant with high winds and rain, but it was tolerable. By night, however the rain was beyond torrential...it blew in massive sheets across the bay until visibility was nil in the ink-black night. Even in the dark, the waterfall behind us was visible however, shimmery white, and resembled Niagara Falls with its roar louder than the shriek of the wind. This morning there are still at least 20 more cascades plummeting down the cliffsides. We had winds in excess of 60 kts and we can only imagine what it was like at sea.

We were nearly knocked down several times as Cups worked to fend off the blasts of wind. Everything that wasn't stowed for open sea passage went flying, including us. David worked his way to the bow at one point to check the snubber and anchor. It was a trial just walking the length of the deck. It's rare that we feel harnesses and clipping into the jacklines are necessary at anchor, but last night was definitely one of those nights. Several times we thought the wind was abating, but then a blast would catch us and seem to continue forever with the rain pelting down even harder.

We're thankful we re-anchored when we did as we think we may have wound up in an untenable situation with little hope of recovering in 60 knot winds if we had not. The new spot was in deeper water and far enough from shore to let out almost all our anchor chain.

This system was not forecast. As we think back on similar experiences at Easter Island and just off Cape Horn, it seems that the worst weather was never predicted and caught us by surprise. A lesson from Neptune about the sea...never turn your back, never get complacent.