Thursday, 24 May 2012

Its the storm's they don't warn you about that are worst - May 21

We are sitting here this morning in the middle of a very nasty blow. Well rotten storm actually. And worse, like the Great Storm of 1989 (was it?) we were not warned about this one. It started off last evening, after a wet day but not one which caused me to consider installing the side and front sections on the awning. By midnight I was well aware this was a mistake. I had fitted the storm straps and reasonably well secured the canvas that was up. But 20 square metres of canvas exerts a pretty hefty tug. I did not get much sleep, what with actually checking every couple of hours that we were still attached and in between listening fretfully at the unhappy sounds of the canvas and frame flexing.
By 5 a.m. I gave up and in what turned out to be only a slight and temporary lull managed to fit three of the side sections and secuire them - well sort of; saturated and very poor ground we have here now. Pegs it will not hold. Two at a time and facing opposite angles is a little better.
Janet provided cheer and tea and a fine cooked brekky but I declined her offers of physical assistance on the grounds that one wet twit is worth two in the caravan.
By 10 a.m. I was off to reception to see what if anything the French Meteo could tell us. Fist item was that the storm had NOT been forecast anyway! Indeed the previous day suggested wind speeds of maybe 40-45 kph. Ho bloody merde as they might say! By this morning the up-dated forecast acknowledged overnight and morning speeds up to 65kph - a bit more like what we are getting. And I am no bad judge having spent an interesting night on Porthclais campsite, Pembs in 1981 with Janet and the girls literally holding our big old frame tent to the ground. Come the morning and we stepped out to find we were the ONLY sirvivors of about 20 the evening before. Readers may recall that this was the year of the Fastnet race tragedy when several yachts sank with significant loss of life. That was a 60-80 mph gale and I would judge this one here as actuially about 50-60 mph - NOT a mere 65 kph!
Many replacements of yanked pins meant much mud on knees and an increasing unlikelihood that the new pins would hold anyway. I have some 12 inches long and they didn't work either!. Finding some in the mud will be problematic too!
The forecast for this afternoon is 20-25kph so if that is proportionately correct things will calm down. Sunshine? Maybe Wedesday but then it could last through the weekend. The moment the canvas is dry of course it has to come down. Which is why we had, hopefully,left the four large zipped in window/door units off. Ho bloody etc.

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