Wind Invasion, Day 1
I’m on the ground now and plant the tent fabric underneath my knees while unfolding the poles. Okay, got that done. I crawl to the bottom right corner and push the poles through their prospective sleeves. Here we go. Quickly now! I burst upright grasping a pole and shoving one end and then the other in their grummet and do the same for the other. The tent is up and the wind hits so hard that it is upended in my hands. I walk beneath the odd-shaped kite, climb up the trail to the field and fall to the ground. I finally get control of the tent in the space beneath the tall grasses. I go back to the beach to grab my sleeping bag, pad, compression sack stuffed with clothing and make my way back to the tent. Zip, Zip, one door opens. Thud, Thunk, in goes the gear. Grab and Zip, Zip, trudge back to the beach wading through the soft sand while pulling the weighted tent behind me.
Man, this is work! Land on the sand. Drag Abbie B up ten feet of wet sand and over another twenty of dry to settle her in for the night. Open hatches to unload gear and taking care to keep sand from getting in. Wrestle with tent, Ugh! But, it’s finally up. Think positive. Actually, I’m not thinking at all. The sound of a small engine invades my crazy space. Oh, no. There goes my privacy! A small skiff lands and four people climb out with one tossing wood up on the beach. Okay, be polite. I walk over and greet them. We have a pleasant conversation. Thankfully, they are kind enough to move around the corner to build a fire, drink beer and whatever else youngsters do there at night.
The tent is still where I left it but is caving in on the side of the wind. I’ve pitched her in some pretty wild places but this spot takes the cake. The later it gets the stronger the wind. I’d hate to be out at sea, even in a big boat. The forces to reckon with under a gale is not for the weak of heart. For that matter, the strong do not welcome such circumstances either. It’s one of the great wonders of the world to me. How a calm surface can be whipped up into heaps within moments.
Walls of water that block out the sky, wash cargo off great ships and run others aground or into rocks. The sound of many cannons erupt on impact, boom! boom! boom! A mighty creaking and crunching follow as the forsaken breaks apart. Twisted chunks and heavy cargo head for the bottom like bodies ensconced in cement. The rest are torn asunder, scattered and taking a beating.
God help the souls of those holding on as thousands of pounds of water rain down upon them, as they are sucked up and over thirty to fifty foot swells and sent tumbling over and over down the backside. They choke on water, spray and foam. They pray for death and let go while others hold on and still drown. And after the tempest, rescuers find frozen bodies poking and turning them hoping for signs of life. The dead are still gathered. Leave no one to the cold barren sea. Bring them home to the widows and orphans that they may mourn and sing the hymn, Eternal Father, Strong to Save.
Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid’st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.
O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked’st on the foaming deep,
and calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!
Most Holy spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!
O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger’s hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe’er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee,
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea. ~ words by Rev. William Whiting and music by Rev. John B. Dykes
And those found alive cannot help themselves. They are too cold and over-come with exhaustion. Some believe they are dreaming. They awake in hospital beds, calling for help or sobbing at the sight of a mate torn from hands by the angry sea. Loved ones keep watch by day and night until the peaceful calm returns once more. The go home. They go back to work. They head out to sea once more. But they will not forgot, nor will those who watched from afar and those who worked Search and Rescue.
See next post for gallery of a storm driven tide at Crescent Beach.
Posted on December 20, 2014, in Casco Bay, Richmond Island, Solo Journeys, Twenty One Days at Sea, Weather and tagged Atlantic Ocean, Maine Coastal Islands, Richmond Island, Sea Kayaking. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.