31 August 2007 | Martin's Marina
The morning weather continued to rain on our parade. Razmig and Atsuko had come a long way to hang out in the sunny tropics and the reality was now somewhat less exciting. Tropical Depression #6 was on the way. As far as anyone could tell it was heading straight to our position. Today would be dedicated to preparations.
The first order of business was to collect some more detailed weather info from the Internet. Razmig and I dinghied out to Clark's Court Bay Marina to get online but the Internet was down there. Along the way I continued to survey the area specifically looking for spots not open to the west through south. If TD6 came through as advertised it would not be a big deal. If it strengthened it could be rather unpleasant and bring some serious chop from the south. Also the west wind that shows up when a rotating storm passes north of the area is unsettling. It seems that no one is ever ready for the wind to come from the west in a country where it always blows from the east.
On our way back to the boat I saw the skipper of the boat next door on deck. We stopped by to have a quick discussion. I wanted to diffuse any misgivings that may have been brewing. We exchanged information on anchor locations and discussed our proximity. He was friendly and reasonable but I detected a bit of underlying friction. I am always willing to move if someone anchored before me finds my proximity unpleasant, but I move regardless when I find myself near boats that aren't committed to work together in the face of a storm.
Razmig and I took Little Star on around to Secret Harbor to get our Internet business completed. Upon arrival we saw all of our friend's boats; Kelp Fiction, Monaco, Blue Star and the others. We also found the Internet up and our slip wide open, with two weeks still prepaid. The slip I originally chose was at the absolute North end of the dock with the best protection from southern swell in the bay. It also allowed us to face the east and west wind and to be blown off the dock by the south wind. It didn't take long for me to decide on our location for riding the disturbance out.
When we returned to Swingin' on a Star I told everyone that we were going to move back to Martin's Marina, and so we did. This also gave me the opportunity to put our guests ashore if need be and allowed them to still have fun on the island while I prepped the boat. Hideko took everyone out to lunch while I got things ready. I felt bad that we could not be better hosts.
TD6 was not supposed to be a storm upon arrival, just a depression and it was likely to go north, which always makes things quite a bit more mellow. I always prepare for the worst and assume a direct hit one to two categories up if a system is in the area. So, prepping for a strong Tropical Storm, I lashed the sail bag and main to the boom and secured the boom. I didn't drop the jib but I removed just about everything else on deck. Fred helped me drop an anchor out to the north just in case. I put little star on a cleat on the dock about 10 yards from the big boat. Little Star has minimal freeboard and actually sits lower than the dock allowing it to just about ignore anything other than strong wind from the north. Being on the north end of the bay, strong wind from the north has to cross the entire island and then has about 30 yards of fetch before reaching the boats.
Scott on Odyssey was busy on the dock with a neighboring catamaran. When I enquired he said that the marina owned the boat but declined to do anything to secure it further. It was basically tied up for a sunny day and parked right next to Scott's boat. Sad that Scott had to be the one to take care of someone else's property to protect himself. In retrospect looking into how others were secured is the one thing I should have done more of.
Everyone was anxious as it came time to hit the hay. I had checked the weather after the 5PM NWS updates (positions and reports are updated every 6 hours at 5AM, 11AM, 5PM and 11PM with an occasional intermediate update if things are nasty). TD6 was still TD6, so that was good news. The bad news was that he was still headed right at us.