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The Mast-Head: Ship Ashore

Wed, 10/30/2019 - 13:52

The village police closed North Main Street where it goes under the train trestle on Sunday during a heavy rain. Passing by on my way upstreet, I could see the brown water swirling in the dip beneath the bridge.

A little farther on, gutter water seemed to be flowing the wrong way I thought, from Newtown Lane toward Hook Mill instead of the other way around.

A couple I know who grow wine grapes said this has been an exceptionally wet fall. Statistically, there have been periods with more overall rainfall, but for October it has been notable.

My boat got loose last week in a windstorm with gusts to 50 from the west. Best I could tell, the high tide and wind-driven heaves pulled the shoreward stake to which it was tied from the mud where I had driven it with a sledgehammer in the spring, securely, or so I thought at the time.

Nothing about the mooring broke. The heavy chain and anchor held fine. But with the stake free to move, the boat was quickly driven ashore. I was headed there to see if it needed bailing out when Marine Patrol called.

“Hi, your boat’s up on the beach. It looks fine, but she’s about 20 feet up from the water.”

Feeling stupid about the whole thing, I was determined not to call the Mendelman yard up the road for help. During the next low tide, I rigged a second line from the boat to the mooring, and in the next evening’s high tide was able to get it off with a block and tackle from behind with my truck.

Sunday’s storm was not enough to toss it ashore again, but it had shipped plenty of water and with the bilge pump shot after the last go-round and more rain in the forecast, I had to scramble out of the office to make sure everything was okay. Such is boat ownership.



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