OK, I just have to include these links. It was a really cool day. That’s me, left door of helicopter, yellow jacket.
Many hours flying in the Search and Rescue helicopter this afternoon. We evacuated 12 people from situations in which the water had trapped them, including several children. Our teams throughout Snohomish County rescued 30+ people total. Last I checked, the hovercraft crews were still out on the rivers. We’re all expecting to be at it again tomorrow as the rains haven’t stopped and the rivers aren’t even close to cresting yet.
I actually got wet today when we were flying with doors open on the Huey. My fellow crewchief suggested that we install rain gutters. Who knew that the water would pour in like that? It’s rare that we fly in such crummy weather, so it hadn’t occurred to me before. I must say that it was some of the sportiest flying I’ve experienced (hey, it made me gasp a couple of times when we got caught by gusts and spun sideways). Our pilots are awesome, though, and had no troubles.
This is looking at Steamboat Slough from the air ~ Katherine Jane is between those bridges. I shudder to think at the amount of debris headed her way (those were some frickin’ BIG trees I saw floating down the rivers!). She’s actually rolling quite a bit tonight, which is unusual. We typically don’t feel anything at all (remember: 66 tons. Takes a LOT to shift that around). Greg leaves in the morning and I’ll probably be out helping with missions as much as I can over the next few days.
So I get an email from our deputy in charge of Search and Rescue, with a heads up that it could be a very interesting week weather-wise:
…EXCESSIVE RAINFALL SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY COULD LEAD TO MAJOR FLOODING IN WESTERN WASHINGTON….A POTENT…VERY WET STORM SYSTEM WILL DUMP SIGNIFICANT RAINFALL ACROSS THE AREA STARTING TONIGHT…CONTINUING THROUGH MONDAY.RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 6 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS MUCH OF THE LOWLANDS BY TUESDAY EVENING. OVER 9 INCHES OF RAIN COULD FALL ONTHE SOUTHWEST FACING SLOPES OF THE OLYMPICS AND CASCADES. THIS AMOUNT OF RAIN COULD PRODUCE RIVER…AS WELL AS…URBAN FLOODING.
And where will Greg be this week, dear reader? (Go on, guess…home protecting me and this beautiful boat of ours? Standing guard as docklines strain against the swift current, debris comes pouring down the swollen river, and the winds pound against Katherine Jane?)
Chicago, of course.
Given what happened last time he was gone, all I can say is “Stay tuned.”
As an adventuresome, intrepid gal, I consider myself to be well above the feminine average in terms of ability to tolerate (and even enjoy) radical living conditions. For instance, I was thrilled to give up the landlubber existence for the slightly lunatic undertaking of living on a boat. I’m happy to sleep under a dripping tarp on a cold, foggy hillside in the name of rescuing poor souls lost in our local mountains. I don’t even mind the fact that there is an occasional drip into my ear when I’m asleep on the boat.
When Greg and I first agreed to move aboard, I made it abundantly clear that I cannot, will not, and absolutely refuse to live without 1) heat and 2) Internet access.
So, as you may remember, dear reader, we left off our most recent installment with Natalie and I alone on the boat for the first time, hoping all would be well. Alas, a few short hours after that post was written, the adventure began. It started, as all great adventures do, with a loud bang. Only on a boat, it gets better – the bang is followed immediately by alarms going off throughout the ship.
I am nothing if not a calming mother; panic is not part of my repertoire. So I managed to troubleshoot the system and figured out that a) it’s just the heater and b) we’re not sinking or on fire, all the while remaining calm and reassuring for my darling daughter’s benefit. She followed this up in true Warrior Goddess fashion by telling me that “It’s OK, Mama, I don’t need heat this weekend.”
Of course, fate would have it that we were entering the first cold snap of the season. When we awoke on Saturday morning, it was a balmy 51 degrees. (The troubleshooting did not, in fact, involve “fixing.” While I did diagnose correctly that there was air in the fuel line to the diesel heater, I was unable to bleed that air out of the system). She and I managed to survive reasonably comfortably by creating a Puppy Pile of Two under our down comforters. A couple of space heaters, accompanied by a short learning curve about what 30 amps will and will not get you, cheerful attitudes and we had the makings of a decent weekend, despite the fact that it never got above 56 degrees.
The best part, I think, was when Greg got home and he couldn’t fix the system either. There would have been a significant loss of face for me had he just flipped a couple of switches and restored comfort to our lives. As it was, I happily learned a few tricks from the Ocean Alexander repair guy and we are back to a happy existence on the water.