Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rock Me Gently

It's November, the windy time of year. The fjord nature of Powell Lake makes a natural funnel to increase its speed and change its direction. We are fairly protected in Hole in the Wall, but we do get our share. The cliff to the north usually protects us from clearing northwest winds, but not the incoming storms from the southeast. Those winds squeeze through First Narrows, hit the high rock wall, then split off eastward to hit our cabin.

Float cabins are anchored to shore with either heavy ropes or steel cables. In our case, it's steel cables. When the wind hits the cabin, it acts like a sail and we are blown backwards to the full extent of the cables to a jerky stop. Then comes the rebound, back into the face of the wind and it starts all over. This puts lots of stress on the cables and their connections.

During my first solo trip to the cabin in November 2001 (Up the Lake Chapter 4), I lost two connections. After that, our friend John installed double cables. Those lasted for five years, until another nasty winter storm. After that, John devised a whole new new system.

What he came up with is a shock dampening system using old car tires. Instead of connecting the 7/8 inch steel cables from the rock wall directly to the float, he placed a car tire in the middle. The new system has made a huge difference. Instead of roughly jerking the cabin as before, the tires rise out of the water and gently pull the cabin back in place, rocking us gently in the "breeze." Here is a video clip of the shock dampening system in action.

The new system is a huge success thanks to John and his ingenuity. -- Margy


  1. John is amazing isn't he.That is a great device.
    ~~ Hugs~~

  2. We had something like that on our cabin on Barclay Sound. Your first experience sounds harrowing...I well know how being pulled back and forth by the forces of nature feels in a float cabin. I love the way you write!

  3. I hope this doesn't happen to us but if it does I know what needs to be done..call John. Wow that wind was howling.

  4. That looks like an ingenious system. Well thought out. Like the video and those do look like some powerful wind gusts.


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy