• Terry Groves

Sailing a Float Home


Weather is a constant threat for anyone venturing out on the water. Regardless if you are swimming, floating on a raft, paddling, sailing, or zooming around with a power boat, you need to keep an eye on the weather.

Despite every effort to forecast, the elusive manifestations of mother nature can be unpredictable and sometimes downright cruel.

This was reminded to me when an unexpected wind storm blew (pun intended) into Maple Bay where the boat I live on is moored. We went from calm to screeching mad in just a few minutes. I was notified by the flailing of my winter tarps as they whipped against their tie-downs, and ultimately tore free.

While trying to deal with that minor catastrophe,  with the ever increasing wind tearing the loose tarp flap out of my hand, I looked up and saw a float home floating (what else) past.

It took a moment to realise that that structure was supposed to be tied to a warf, at all times. It was not meant to be free as a whale in the middle of the bay. And then my brain noticed there were people on board. It felt like a scene out of The Wizard of OZ. The one where Dorothy's  house goes spinning up into the funnel cloud...it just ain't supposed to be doing that.

Then the Atrevida,  a large, converted wooden car ferry sailed past. Although the Atrevida is a boat, and boats sail past my home all the time, it had been on a constant mooring for about five years and it was moving backwards. Again, I knew this just ain't supposed to be happening.

Both structures had been blown off their moorings. This wind was pretty serious.

This was a harsh reminder that, with all things nautical, we are at the mercy of the weather. Even the really big ships that ply the oceans are tiny vessels in the face of what mother nature can wave in their direction. Don't believe me? Just search for 'big waves' in YouTube.

So, if you don't  want to be sailing your float home, watch the weather and keep some spare mooring lines handy.


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