Monday, July 5, 2010

Anchored Blog by Laura Thomasson July 5

Blog from Laura Thomasson on Go Commando

July 5, 15.30

I'm sure that you will get a few separate accounts of our experience yesterday with 35-knot winds, as it was probably one of our closest calls to getting into a dangerous situation.

We had good prior warning that force 10 gales were forecast along the NE coast so despite our longing to continue along the coast to Aberdeen, we played it safe and found a protective cove not far from Peterhead.

The cove was a spectacular sight with jagged rocks, steep cliffs and a menagerie of gulls covering the cliff face.

We carefully edged our way into the rocky cove and anchored in a central position; unfortunately we were unable to get nicely tucked under the protection of the cliff due to a rocky ledge that protruded under the water.

At the time of anchoring the water was fairly calm and it was hard to believe that a big storm was on its way but we resisted the urge to continue down the coastline and stayed put in our cove awaiting the building winds.

The hours seemed to tick by slowly and I began to wonder whether we had been lucky enough to miss the strong winds, until at 06.00 swelling waves started to roll into the cove.

From this time onwards the waves steadily built and the wind began to tunnel down from the cliff top, blowing us out at an angle that was broadside to the waves rolling in.

Facing the waves side on we took the impact of 20foot waves that flooded the deck and also flooded Bev and I's cabin during one of our change over of shifts.

We filled a 10-litre bucket of water in an attempt to bail out the cabin, all of our bedding and belongings were soaked just as I was about to snuggle into my sleeping bag and warm up from the wet and cold outside.

As if matters couldn't have got worse, I was rocked around in the cabin so much as I was trying to empty it of water that I began to feel the creeping nausea of sea sickness.

The best place to be when sea sickness hits you is on the deck where you can see the horizon, so I sat out on deck for 9hours in my wet clothes trying to suppress the urge to be sick!

During this time we began to notice that we were slowly being dragged on our anchor line towards the rocks that were coming perilously close to our starboard side. With the waves continuing to rage into the cove we had no option but to sit it out and watch the boat edge slowly nearer to the rocks.

After 12hours of crashing waves and streaming winds the sun gradually began to creep out from behind the clouds and the waves slowly began to subside.

At 2100hrs we were finally safe enough to lift the anchor and row away from the rocks that had gone from being 30feet away to only one foot away.

A lucky escape! With the relief of re-anchoring a safe distance away and looking out upon the calming waters I promptly gave into my sea sickness and threw up over the side of the boat.

What a day! Let's hope the winds that are forecast for Wednesday and Thursday are a little kinder to us.

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