Sunday, October 20, 2019

Remembering a Fierce Fall Storm

Our float cabin in 2001.
Storms in fall and winter are the worst. Low pressure systems build in the Gulf of Alaska, swoop down Vancouver Island, cross the Strait of Georgia, and head up Powell Lake. With the lows come rain and high winds. It's the wind that causes the worst damage.


Our first boat.
We bought our cabin in Summer 2001 and had several weeks of wonderful weather. The next Thanksgiving (the U.S. kind in November), I got a week off from work and went to Powell River on my own. The weather was partly sunny for my boat trip up the lake. Good thing, I'd never driven a boat alone before. Thankfully, John rode in formation to make sure I made it okay.

Stiff leg at low water.
After a few nice days a storm moved in. The rain was heavy and strong winds made the cabin jerk forcefully back and forth on her ¾” steel cables anchored to the cliff. On the backwards swing, the stiff leg (a log that prevents the cabin from hitting the cliff) bounced off the rock, sending reverberations through the float and into the cabin. With daylight, everything calmed. Whew!

Cliff anchor bolt with cable needing replacement.
The next evening a new low slammed into Coastal BC. The steel cables and their anchor bolts had been weakened the previous night. Just after dark, the wind blown motion of the cabin ripped a steel cable free. With the greater range of motion and stress, another cable snapped. With each gust of wind, the cabin swung far out into the lake, only to snap back, causing the stiff leg to ram into the rock wall.

Adding a second anchor cable for future storms.
The motion was constant and nerve wracking. The lake wasn’t safe to navigate, so there was no way to leave. To say the least, it was a very long night. Fortunately, the remaining cables held and I could talk to Wayne (still in California) via our satellite phone for moral support. You might think a night like this would have scared me away, but I love the cabin, and knew John built it skookum (strong) to be safe in all kinds of weather.

You can read the whole story in Up the Lake and learn how I got the nickname Frontier Jane. If you have a kindle or e-reader, Up the Lake is free from Amazon, Kobo, Smashwords, and many other online e-book sellers.


Thanks for visiting part of my world. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad.

And  Tuesdays with a Twist at Stone Cottage Adventures. -- Margy

13 comments:

  1. I cannot imagine. You have a strong heart.
    I hear you're getting big rains this week, too!

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    1. That first big storm was very scary. I'd never experienced anything like it. At to be alone with a crappy boat and no way to shore topped it off. The extra cables and tire shock absorbers have made a huge difference., - Margy

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  2. Autumn storms can be really disastrous & scary. The human really feels tiny.

    Finland gets its share, allthough we don't have hurricanes etc. A few years ago in my neighbourhoud the storm fell down big ancient spruces & pines. Luckily no damage to my house...

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    1. The same happens here. One year about twenty trees fell in our neighbours back bay. Fortunately his float cabin was far to the front. A log salvage operator came and took them away to sell. - Margy

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  3. That must have been very scary for a while. And we think our storms are bad,.....

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    1. It was very scary, especially since it was my first storm to experience in the float cabin. - Margy

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  4. I can only imagine how frightened you must have been you had quite an adventure! I do admire your courage!!

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    1. I didn't feel very courageous. There was nothing I could do but wait. I used my California earthquake knowledge and found the best interior wall in a room with limited windows. - Margy

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  5. Wow! What a time ~ Frontier Jane is so appropriate ~ rough riding ~ great story ~ (wouldn't want to live it though) ~

    Happy Day To You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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    1. Now it doesn't seem so bad. The extra cables and tire shock absorbers make a huge difference in the feel of the cabin's motion. - Margy

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  6. Wow, Margy, that sounds mighty scary. You are a frontier woman, that's for sure!

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    1. At least I had lots of camping experience as a kid to offset growing up in a big city. - Margy

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  7. Sounds terrifying! I hate storms. We just had a doozy of a storm in my neighborhood that knocked a huge tree down in our yard.

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We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy