Yesterday, Thursday, May 15, 2009 was windier than a subway median at rush hour. Lake Champlain wind blasts reached 50 mph. The forecast had threatened gusts up to 90 mph. The rain drizzled off and on all day, but the fellow building the stone wall near the mud room stuck it out and got the job done.
This morning my bride interrupted me, frantic. She could only see one wind surfer on the on the boathouse dock. There had been two. Could the wind have blown it away? Possible, I supposed aloud, but unlikely.
I headed down and discovered that the older, larger Mistral sailboard was gone. Scanning the shoreline I spied it some two hundred feet north of the boathouse smashing against the rocks in heavy waves.
I couldn’t believe it. The wind had lifted it off the pier and deposited in the lake where it drifted until washing ashore. The wind! It’s a “vintage” sailboard at least a decade old. Huge. Heavy. A veritable aircraft carrier…
Yet there it was, getting splintered against the rocky shoreline.
I made my way north and climbed across the rocks. It was banged up pretty well, but still usable, though I figured it might be time to re-purpose it as a standup paddleboard.
I retrieved the board and made my way precariously back to the dock house, struggling to control the board in the still gusty wind. I was nearly blown off my feet several times before making it to the lawn.
Susan met me at the waterfront, and together we stored the Adirondack chairs inside the boathouse. I lashed the louvered doors shut because they’d blown open and wedged the sailboards in beside the chairs. The building moaned and the windows rattled against the wind gusts.
We headed back up to the house holding hands. The internet/television cable dangled from the pole where it had snapped and we counted two immense ash trees that had been knocked down in woods to the north of our front lawn. Leaves and branches were strewn all over the deck, driveway and lawn. An apple bough laden with blossoms lay on the grass.
After 24 hours our internet service was still down so I called the local company again for an update. A day later I showed the technician the dangling line. He’d been looking for about half an hour, walking around and using the hydraulic cherry picker on his van to lift him up for in-air surveillance on both sides of the road.
“Oh, sure enough. There’s the problem,” he said.
There’s the problem…