Friday, November 22, 2013

Wizard of Oz: Ocean Edition

As I mentioned in the last post, we were currently at the time of the month with lowest low tides, this also meant that we had the highest highs! When we had arrived at Kingfisher Bay, it was high tide and we were now trying to leave at the low. We had a LONG way to drag Dingbat, which with her outboard and jugs full of water, it not a light boat. So we set at it. We could see the predicted storms across the bay and wanted to get back to Aquabat before they got over to us. As we were dragging Dingbat down to the water, both Bryce and I noticed a weird finger-like cloud pointing out of the sky. We both had our thoughts as to what it could be but just dismissed it as weird because things like that are so rare and would never happen here! This was a good lesson/reminder to trust our instincts. When we finally got down to the water, we were dragging the boat through knee high mug. When we got out far enough, I got in and Bryce tried to drag us a little bit further before he got in too. With both of us in the boat, we were essentially sitting in the mud. Bryce started to “row” us out through the mud and it was at this point that I noticed that the waterspout had formed. 
I pointed it out to Bryce and he looked up, noted it and kept rowing with a bit more urgency, determined to get us out of the mud. It was about this time that we could here yells coming from people up at the Beach Hut, making sure that we knew that there was a waterspout behind us. Thanks guys, we were well aware! I was fighting the urge to dig out our phone so that I could take pictures! I let Bryce go on rowing for as long I could (I think it was minutes, Bryce says it was 5 seconds) before I firmly declared that we needed to get out of there. Bryce nodded and said “You’re from the Midwest. What do we do?” Leaning on all my tornado drill experience, I decided we just needed to get out of the water. We set off with Dingbat, with me at the front and Bryce at the back, dragging her to tie her off under the jetty. When I got there, I looked back and Bryce was basically where I left him. Apparently, I just took off and he could’t keep up but wasn’t about to stop me. Superwoman here! We tied her off and went up to the beach hut to watch. On the way up there, I was so busy watching the waterspout behind me that I ran into one of the mollusk covered jetty pilings and cut up my foot a bit (It’s all healed now). Once we got up there, Bryce asked around and was able to find Carolyn and Greg who had taken these awesome photos of the waterspout and were willing to share them with us! Bryce pointed out that in a strange or perhaps not so strange coincidence, earlier in the day I had commented that the sky had an eerie yellowish tinge like that which precedes a tornado.
We got outta there and so did the ferry.
The spout didn’t last long and we finally felt it safe to head back to the boat. We walked back down under the jetty and were back to dragging Dingbat to the water. The second Bryce stepped out from under the jetty, the hair on his head all stood on end. His hair is quite long lately so this was a sight. I stepped out and my hair did the same (though mine was tied back so not as cool). The thunderstorms hadn’t started yet over here but there was clearly electricity in the air. After waiting and trying to leave multiple times, we decided to stay and wait out the storms. They were quite spectacular to watch and we eventually made it back to Aquabat around 5pm when there was a break in the storms. We hadn’t taken lunch or any money so we were pretty hungry by the time we made it back. 
It was eerie...
With the afternoon gone, we decided to stay where we were for the night! There is a ferry that makes 6-8 trips a day from Riverheads to the resort. In the middle of the storm that night, I poked my head up for a look and saw what looked like a roadtrain (the ferry) barreling down upon us, headlights glaring. This was obviously amplified by the dark and rain and other weather and the ferry turned into the dock with plenty of space to clear us, but I was momentarily terrified none the less. 

Bryce saysThat was an amazing day. I'll never forget us slogging through the mud with dingbat, giving her a haul and she'd move a couple of feet (SLURP and she suctioned out of the mud)... give another haul for another couple of feet... repeat ad nauseum. Give Alissa a waterspout chasing her down and she took off (dragging the dinghy by herself) so damn fast I couldn't keep up with her, even without being burdened by the dinghy! I was supposed to be pushing, but she just took off! It was quite an effort.

We learned from our experience and the next day when we went ashore (at high tide), Bryce waded Dingbat out as far as he could to tie her to one of the jetty pylons so that when we left later, we wouldn't have as far to drag her. As he was swimming back in through the beautiful, crystal clear waters, a big stingray zoomed underneath him. 

Oh the adventures we have!


  1. I thought you need to go to the basement!! Great story....

    1. Haha! :) Logic said that the spout wouldn't survive on land so we would be safe!