Chained to the Dock
11 January 2007 | Exuma Docking Services
It was not a fun night. We spent most of it getting our fender configuration dialed in. With fifty feet of length and about five feet of freeboard our boat can put a considerable amount of pressure on a dock in 25 knots of sustained wind. The sawing affect of the harbor chop makes it even more fun with waves barreling right through the marina. What marina? Fenders slide forward or back, squeeze up or down, it is a constant battle to keep the boat protected.
First thing in the morning we made some coffee and then Hideko went to the store to buy some more fenders. We now have out all six of our large fenders and three new smaller fenders. This dock is treacherous; it nicked up our rub rail a bit last night (glad we have a rub rail!). The dock planks stick out as far as the posts so you really have to protect your topsides. I sawed off a few that were cracked and rotten. We have three horizontal fenders on a post amidships to bear the main load and one each fore and aft to handle the small compressions as the boat yaws in the wind. There are various other fenders near the middle of the boat to protect the gel coat. Our aft spring line is holding us in place and we have a cross tie on the far bow cleat and the far stern cleat to keep her parallel.
The constant chop mashes the fenders about so we really have to have someone here at all times to realign things every once in a while. On the other hand it has been sort of nice to have a down day and easy access to the store. I think that we've finally built our larder back up to spec after the family visit.
It is interesting listening to the VHF here. You're best off monitoring 16 and 68 with double watch. Most of the cruisers hail on 68 but 16 is still an active and important channel. The cruiser network is stronger than anywhere I've ever seen. Everyone you've met on a sailboat in the Bahamas is either here or on the way. There are over 150 boats all networking, chatting and helping each other out. Organized activities take place on Volleyball beach every day. It sounds like a lot of fun. Now if we can just get out of here and over there...