It takes me two buses to get to work every day; a long commute which I use to write or surf social media sites. However, last Monday I had something else on my mind. When I left the boat, the wind was already exceeding the forecasted 35 knots. One of my neighbours had decided to stay home to monitor her boat in the building winds because the month before, her dock broke up in a storm and she was feeling a little nervous.
I sent her a text to make sure that she was okay and this is what she texted back, “Your float is not good.” Quickly followed by, “The float is coming out from under the dock.”
Crap. Our dock was breaking up and I was one hour away from the marina. I quickly called my husband, “Can you get to the marina? Our finger is breaking up.” We agreed that there was very little that I could do, so I continued on my way to work while curious bus passengers looked my way.
Ten minutes later as I turned the key in my office door, my phone started ringing. “Come home now,” was all he said. I knew from the terse message and the tone of my husband’s voice that all was not well at the marina. A co-worker offered to give me a ride to the marina and as I stepped out of his car, I was met with intense wind.
Making my way down the dock to the end where our boat is moored, I had to stop a couple of times to brace myself against gusts of wind which pushed me backwards. Several fellow boaters from our marina were present lending a hand tying the float to the dock because it had separated. The only thing keeping the float in place was our boat and without the flotation, the dock that our boats were attached to would sink. For added safety, the two boats were tied to a piling should the dock give away completely. And then all we could do is stand and watch our boat being bashed by the broken, half-submerged dock and bouncing wildly in the storm. In these conditions with gusts up to 57 knots, moving the boat away from the sinking dock was not an option.
Once the storm abated, we moved to another slip in our marina so that the finger could be repaired. Now safely back in our slip, I reflect on that day. The outpouring of support from our neighbours was heart warming. Many helping hands, hugs to ward off fears and offers for shelter because it was unsafe to board our boat were much appreciated.
The “community” that exists amongst liveaboard boaters is one of the things that enriches this lifestyle. I know that community exists in other places: neighbourhoods, places of worship, amongst co-workers and even between strangers on social media sites.
Our need to be connected to each other is rooted deeply in our genes – or perhaps, it is an expression of our spirit which understands that we are all connected.