Sea To Land Delivery: URGENT

August 10th, 2007

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Ensign Charlie-

Reporting here from the coast of Maine once again, though this time I’ve earned my sealegs - as we call them. Come with me, Charlie. Follow me inside.

We’d just dropped off the Arnold boys in Castine and were heading back to the Betz compound when we paused in the middle of the bay to watch some cumulous clouds in the distance explode with heat lightning. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a heavy westward wind picked up. At the moment neither of us thought much of it, but as we headed north, powerful waves began smashing into us on the starboard (or possibly port) side, rocking the boat, dipping the toe rails below the surface. My worst fears realized: a squall. A pitch black, midnight squall. We struggled to keep her steady and head home, all the while swaying violently from side to side. Once we turned towards shore, going with the wind and waves, she handled much smoother, but when we approached the dock we saw a horrifying sight. The float was bouncing around uncontrollably, and approaching would be nearly impossible. We tried to slow down and assess the situation when the current started pulling us towards the dock. Only feet ahead, the roaring waves smashed into the rocky breakers, spraying fifteen into the air. We crossed our fingers and threw her in reverse.

We only had one choice: head back out to sea, point our noise into the icy cold gusts of the squall, grab the life jackets, and wait her out. After half an hour the wind was as strong as ever so we formulated a plan and turned her around. We came in wide to the float, Andre at the wheel trying to inch her in against the current, me poised on the back toe rail holding the line, ready to jump to the wildly rocking float and tie off the boat before she got pulled toward shore. When my feet hit the float I almost lost my balance, only stabled by my important mission. I successfully tied her off, struggling against the angry sea, and we finished securing the lines and then added a few storm lines, you know, just in case. As we watched from shore, she ripped around, mercilessly pulling on the lines like an untamed mare, thrown around by the sea.

The next morning the waters were still rough and the boat had gotten slightly beaten up, but we were alive. In daylight we were able to put her out on the mooring, still a difficult task, but far from impossible, and in fact, almost a fun challenge for my newly acquired sealegs.

-First Mate Shababo

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