Titusville. Ah, Titusville. Like a Russian nesting doll, it has layers and layers of surprises. If the rocket launch on Saturday wasn’t enough, on Sunday, we got a cannonball in the shape of a power boat.
But that puts the end of the story at the front.
If you remember back to either of the two previous posts, one of the reason we decided to stay in Titusville was that there were to be some winds/storms on Sunday. And here it is, Sunday. And the wind it has begun to blow.
It started very, very early Sunday morning. Like at 2am. And apparently two of the three people aboard were disturbed by the blowing wind and didn’t sleep well. I, on the other hand, slept the sleep of someone who knows that we are tied to a mooring ball and, short of an act of God, aren’t going anywhere.
By 8am we all are up. The mooring field is quite far into the lake on which Titusville sits and through which the ICW transits, and little waves are rocking us. But the four legged furry thing on board needs a walk, so we all head into shore, get the doggie duty done and get a shower to boot. And make it back to the boat to wait out the wind.
At 3pm, the clouds to the west look ominous. Very dark. And a quick look at our weather app shows that the state of Florida must have done something to tick off Zeus, God of Thunder, because there is are two lines of HUGE thunderstorms rolling their way across the state. Tornado watches and warnings are popping up as are severe thunderstorm warnings. In our neck of the wood, we don’t have any watches/warnings, but the clouds just look ugly.
And at 4:30 pm we get hit. The wind, which was 20ish mph with gusts to 25 suddenly shot up to over 40mph. Sustained. With gusts higher. The little placid lake was now a roiling cauldron. In the mooring field, all of the boat owners rise like gophers from below decks to stand on top, hand on ignition keys, ready to start engines and ‘do something’ if something broke free. Anchor watch at its finest. Today we would get to see something!
One little important detail. When we pulled into the mooring field, off our starboard side was a small power boat, recreational type (think water ski boat, not trawler), anchored, not moored. He was within 100 feet of our boat. The marina had been out to look at the boat on Saturday; they said it had been there a week and they would see about the owner. We didn’t think he was in danger of swinging into us and for two days he didn’t. Of course, we didn’t take into account 40+mph winds.
So as the winds kick up and we all start pounding, Jan notices that the small power boat is moving. There is no pilot in the boat–that thing has sat empty. The anchor is slipping. And as it pitches and yaws its way in a circle, we can see that it appears to have three anchor lines and not.a.single.one.is.holding.it.
Jan calmly announces “HOLY SH!T THAT THING IS GOING TO HIT US!!!” And the next 30 seconds is a blur. In my mind we calmly and methodically go about addressing the crisis. We get the air horn and blow five blasts to alert the mooring field. Get a knife to cut anchor lines if we get fouled. Get a boat hook to push it off. Call the marina and inform them of the crap show in the morning field. Tear off shirt, flex pecs a’la the Incredible Hulk, jump across the three feet between us and the boat, fire up the engine and drive the boat to the marina.
In reality, most of those things happened (minus the whole ‘tearing t-shirt and jumping’ thing–that is idiocy), but at a very frenetic pace. The boat slowly towards us, we stood on deck like knights of old with lances in our hand ready to push it off; it passed very closely (2 feet), but clear of our boat. And was on its way towards a trawler when the wind dropped to something in the 30s. Then 20s. And it stopped. The boat, that is. Not the wind.
The marina sent out a boat as did the sheriff. Both looked at the sad powerboat and then shrugged their collective shoulders and left. Boat still in the middle of us. And another line of storms heading our way. We were in the proverbial clear–wind direction wasn’t changing and they had already pushed the boat past us. But the trawler was in the potential arc of disaster. And at 8pm, back on deck were all of us watching the winds and our little buddy the powerboat. This time the winds weren’t so strong and all was well.
But I gotta say that Titusville has certainly given us our money’s worth on this stop.