The Blizzard of 2015


I was very concerned with news of this storm.  I spent the day yesterday checking my fenders and lines.  Did I have enough protection?  Would we be blown off the dock?  How much rocking and movement would we experience?  Would my shrink wrap blow off?

Last night was really nerve wracking.  The wind gusts were very intense.  The boat would slam back and forth, knock the dock, bounce off, then yank the lines.  The lines all screeched from the tension.  The shrink wrap rumbled in the strong gales. The worst was the pounding, slamming, crashing noises that I could hear from the hull.  I couldn’t figure out what could be crashing into the boat making such a loud banging noise.  It took me a few hours to figure out that the floating dock was slamming the pilings and the vibration was being carried through the water making it seem as though the hull was being slammed, but it wasn’t, it was just the sound being carried.

I must have gotten out of bed 10 times last night, checking the boat as much as I could.  The problem is you can’t see anything out of the shrink wrap and the wind gusts were too strong to take the chance opening the plastic door.  I tied a rope on the door so that I could open it about 6″ without the wind taking it.

I finally fell asleep at about 4am, and woke at 7am, to a calm.  I could tell at that moment that the worst had passed.  The high wind gusts were over.

I got dressed and went out to check for any damage.  I opened the pilothouse door and I was surprised that so much snow had blown in through a 2″ gap under the plastic shrink wrap door.  All of our shoes and boots were covered with snow and I had to remove snow from the electric and water inlets.

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When I got outside I was relieved to see that 45 Gaege was still in perfect condition.  Thankfully, my fenders had done their job.

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The trick is to pull the boat in without going for a swim.

The trick is to pull the boat in without going for a swim.

The intense pressure on the bow line snapped it over night pulling the boat about 5′ off the dock, so I had to wait for the boat to blow in to re-board.  My Mom came out and we cleared the cleat, pulled the boat back in, and ran a new bow line.  The bow line that snapped was a 1″ line.  Other than that, all was good.  This storm isn’t over yet, but the worst is done, for us.  The heavy wind has passed.  It can snow all it wants now.

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The Blizzard of 2015 — 16 Comments

  1. Glad to hear that you came through it relatively unscathed, mostly tired.

    Are you actually living aboard in this weather, or did you just elect to spend time during the storm aboard to address any issues that might arise?

  2. The purpose of owning a boat is to escape to warmer climates during the winter. You mentioned how many times you got up to check lines, did the kids just blissfully sleep through the whole night?

    • Actually, the kids slept like rocks the entire night. Good thing for me these storms don’t come that often. I thought the purpose of owning a boat was to enjoy water life no matter where you are.

  3. A week or so ago i started at the first post and went all the way through to the end. I admire your tenacity and courage. Can not wait to see your adventures in the Bahamas. Your children are going to love it! Thanks for your great post, they are entertaining and enjoyable to read. GOD Bless, JC

    • Thanks Jc!!! I’m glad that you enjoyed the read. I really can’t wait to see us in all of the carribbean islands either. Especially right now while we are buried in snow and freezing our butts off :). Brrrr…

  4. Many people do enjoy living up North on a boat. People that live down South also get cold at 60 degrees. The body does strange things–like adapts. We get cold in St. Augustine. The heat is turned up higher and higher because we do not dress for the cold. After a few storms, you will sleep like a log. Your ears will let you know if something is not normal and you awake. The problem is, if your anchor or lines break free, your boat just floats away and you do not know it. You will not know it if you are awake unless you look out side. That is why an anchor alarm is necessary. After seeing the Constellation(I think that is the name), atop of the pier, you came out great. You should be proud of yourself. You might think of using a leather guard to protect your dock lines.

    • I had to chuckle when I read your comment because sometimes at night if the boat is too still I have to get out of bed and look out of my ports to make sure that we are still at the dock. I have visions of us floating out into Boston harbor and being beached on one of our harbor islands…hahaha

  5. I am not a fan of cold weather. How did you all fare with the second storm? I have leather covering lines that experience friction. The leather is a little bit of help with chafe. I am impressed. I did not realize you all were living aboard.

    • I’m not a fan of cold weather either. Do the leather straps help with the squeaking? I purchased these line covers and they worked great for a couple of months but the squeak is back. That’s the one thing that drives me crazy. I don’t care how much the boat rocks and sways at night, but I hate the squeaking.
      Oh yeah, the joys of a winter liveaboard.

      • I use old water hose where the line comes in contact with the dock. I cut off a length of hose (2 feet) and split the hose down the middle. I place the line inside of the hose. I have more fun tying off the halyards so they do not slap against the mast. Between the leather and the hose, I do not remember squeaking lines.

        Dot and John

  6. On a happy note, at least your docks aren’t covered. When I lived aboard on the Mississippi River in St. Louis, occasionally the weight of snow and ice would push the docks under water; mooring-lines had to be cut to relieve the pressure on the cleats. Hang in there, you’re doing great! Spring is just around the corner … well, around “a corner” … somewhere out there buried under all that snow.

  7. This winter, every time Boston gets hit by yet another snow storm I think of you and the kids. This has been quite a winter for your first live aboard cold season.