The rising tide will fill the bay, churning waves in our direction, miles to build. For the 10th time I huddle up to the bow, the howling wind cuts through my knit hat to chill my ears, life vest cold against my neck. The rain starts falling, of course. Looking down I watch the gray chain tighten in the blue water, somewhere at the end sixty pounds of metal seeks purchase. Dig down and hold so we can be safe tonight, set deep for the coming storm.
As night settles gale force winds dominate all senses. The big swells show up, building, lifting up the heavy sailboat as a toy. If the anchor fails now we will be blown into deep water, which is a good thing, better then grounding. But that would mean trying to reset in the dark and now terrifying night.
At thirty knots it's too rough to sleep in the v-birth, we are pressed deep into the bed as the bow climbs, then that twisting gut feeling of an elevator dropping, too fast. We try to rest by staying to the center of the boat..
Hour after hour I check to see if we've drifted, but our gear holds, unbelievable as we are heavy, full of fuel and water, 14 tons and somehow we hold position.
By 2 AM the winds finally drops with an eerie suddenness and we collapse into bed. I don't sleep but her warmth and calm help to sooth my nerves. I open my eyes to every sound, creak and groan. We're safe now and I'm awake waiting for morning's light to clear away the nights demons.
The winds eventually eased and gave us a few good days there, and Tuesday saw us rested and back into Cap Sante for a night before heading out into the heart of the San Juan Islands.