We just finished our first day of active dredging here in the West Basin (100 foot in full view from So...fea), so, I know (without looking at the Calender) that it must be 15 November (that's the schedule to begin).

What happens next is a Keystone cops event (for you youngsters, a Chinese Firedrill, a SNAFU, or a cluster f**k)

Suddenly, there is a loud extended growl and a vibration that drowns out the TV show, its one of those jump to your feet fear things... WTF is "that"?

It lasts perhaps a second or two, there is a 15-second pause (while you try to figure out what it is) then it happens again, and again, it will not stop!

It's that kind of vibration that unexplainably chases (vibrates) silverware across a counter - like a dryer out of balance in another room. the noise is like a helicopter that is sitting very low just overhead.... after a fashion, you realize this all is coming up from below you, and the deck is what's vibrating. Something is "under" the boat ! a 18 foot 750 pound Dungeness crab is under my boat.

On with the boots, coat, deck and fishing lights...

The empty, air-filled and floating 16-inch discharge piping from the dredge has broken its dock moorings and the tidal flow has it dead center underneath So...fea on a 20-degree angle, it is playing the keel and boat bottom like a fiddle. As the wind comes up and it starts to rain, the chop now also had it bobbing up and down to "pound" the hull-vibrate across it in a non-stop and increasing intensity -pound-vibrate-pound-vibrate-pound-vibrate... In a 45 degree rainstorm at 2015 at night ... THIS IS BAD.

Immediately I begin the calls for help ... and to notify the harbor of the problem, I have six Port phone numbers at my disposal, including the emergency entry gate number for visitors locked "in", or when the access pads are not working for access with code, all go to voice mail, but four are "mailbox full....thank you, call back later". I will run those same telephone traps three times in the next hour and a half... always with the same results and no call-backs.

To avert the problem at hand, in the rain,
cold and wet the wife and I manually untie and move So...fea down the dock 20 feet to free her from the pipe, ... but now, with dry clothes on, the move proves to be short-lived, and the pipe reasserts its position under sofea, we again go out and do the drill, moving another 10 foot back to freedom, we rerun the telephone calls... with still no answer, So... we do as the Port always tells us to do for "anything" ... CALL THE POLICE.

That worked ! the Port Manager arrived in 15 minutes, but, like us, he could assemble no help by phone (from the Dredge Company or the port employees), so, we were on our own.

And, now, at 2245 (the low tide mark), we needed yet a third move to avoid the pipe (again) putting us 40 (feet back from where we started), the pipe was now 1 foot off our port bow and only "side" bumping us on rare intervals and this was all we could do... after low tide ended, the pipe slowly moved further and further away from So...fea as the infow developed high tide (which came in at 0515) PART TWO TOMORROW