Seasonal observations of an ever changing coastal landscape 
by Bold Bluff host Tamar Griggs 

Wild Wind Storm!

From:
Date: 1/7/03
Time: 11:18:41 AM
Remote Name: 208.181.177.231

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On Thursday, January 2, we had the wildest wind storm in the Southern Gulf Islands with winds howling to the tune of 117km per hour from midnight to 3AM and flashes of eerie pinkish lightning sheets illuminating the sky, and windows rattling, power out, trees ripped out of the ground, it was wild and scarey and Gyp shook so I brought him into my bedroom.

The next morning, Friday, the tide was high, high, high and our upper dock looked squashed flat like a pancake with the pilings about 4 feet above the ocean (in low tides the pilings are 20 feet above the ocean). Went out in the early morning wearing my gumboots and my long flannel nightie to observe the damage and found 20 feet of our walkway smashed to smithereens by a big fir that had fallen on the walkway. Two major beams under the walkway were broken in two, and the entire boardwalk was sloping into the sea at a precarious angle.

It looked like an earthquake hit the cove. No way could I make it to the dock and boats. I just stood there stunned with Gyp at my side cocking his head, big ears up, trying to make sense of the scene. Something had to be done right away! Back at the Lodge, with our fairytale Christmas tree glimmering its tiny white lights (our power went out in the wee morning hours but miraculously went on again by dawn, unlike our neighbours south of us who were out of power for 4 days). Called our trusty friend, Lloyd Rooke, who knows exactly how to fix anything that looks totally impossible, and he flew up here from Sidney, leaving his job, in his speed boat at noon. He stood at one side of the broken mess in his red suspenders, stanley wool shirt, raggedy jeans and big boots,and I stood at the other side (dressed by now!) and he shook his bearded head enquiring, "What did you DO"? "I partied pretty hard last night! Danced up a storm, and too bad you missed it!" I replied. "Naked?" he asked.

He studied the situation a while and knew exactly what to do. Within 3 hours he had chainsawed the fir in sections, towed it across the cove, tied it up by the boat house, and rigged a temporary fix with pilings made from a log that had been floating in the Narrows, and 3 narrow planks he found in our trash heap, with a sturdy rail towards the dramatic rock cliffs. It's rather slippery-nervy to walk on this but it certainly sufices!

Hurray for Lloyd! I thought 3 men couldn't do the job, and he accomplished the miracle by himself in 3 hours. It'll be another 10 days before it is fixed properly. The next day, Saturday, we had a Three Kings Party here in the afternoon (you know, the Wise Men came to Bethlehem 12 days after Christmas!) Maya and her friend had made gold crowns and we fetched Grandmothers old Chinese robe and my African black hooded robe and got 3 brave men to bring little gifts to the baby doll under the tree, we all singing "We 3 Kings of Orient Are"! My friends were good spirits, and it was an altogether cozy afternoon with sunlight streaming into the Lodge and a fire crackling and yummy roasted yam and garlic soup served out of Grandmother's China. Happy New Year to all!


       Last changed: January 26, 2012