Our First Big Storm
The wonderful thing about modern technology is the information that is made available to us with the touch of a button on the many wind and weather apps that are available. With a little common sense and no set schedule it is possible to use this information to avoid dangerous situations and have safe sailing.
We saw the development of a large area of low pressure across the UK and the high winds that it was expected to bring. With an expectation of what may come (Winds in excess of 45 knots which would be a Force 9 Gale) - we decided to hold up in Scheveningen Marina in advance and see what would happen.
Arriving on Monday afternoon, the storm was expected on Tuesday afternoon. Tuesday morning was still quite calm and we wondered if we were being a little over-cautious.
As evening progressed, we added an extra mooring line "just in case" but with the current winds it did not seem necessary. At about 21:00 the wind force picked up and the our boat began to move around a little with the wind and the waves in the marina. By midnight the storm was really raging and I was pleased that we had used extra mooring lines.
With the bumps and sounds from all the boats around us it was not so easy to sleep peacefully and I think that half of the people on the boats in the marina did not sleep at all (including Ingrid). Sail covers were torn away, our spray hood had screws torn out of the woodwork and the stitching torn and we lost screen covers from our instruments.
It was difficult to walk on the pontoons to the harbour facilities without being blown into the water ! Yes, this was a real storm where 60 knot winds were recorded offshore and we were please to have reacted positively to the weather forecast and only suffer 43 knot winds in the marina - which was the only place to be.
We walked along by the beach and were seriously sand blasted as we looked at the white tumultuous seas, thinking again that our safe haven was good to us. It was also like being back in the desert with sand in your hair, eyes, nose and ears !
Our slightly extended time in Sheveningen was valued and quite practical as we had time to rest, plan for the next steps and make the few small repairs that were needed. The harbour sailmaker was very helpful and repaired our small damage in just a few hours. We also met more like minded sailors and enjoyed exchanging stories and experiences - this is half of the fun of what we are doing.
The weather and weather forecast is looking good now for the next few days, so tomorrow we set sail for our next destination down the Dutch coast.