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Midnight Alarms

Midnight Alarms

Sound asleep just past midnight, the GPS alarm rang notifying us that the boat had moved more than 50 feet from our original position. The mooring ball that we’re affixed to allows us a 40-foot swing so anything beyond that meant we potentially were drifting out to sea, into another boat, or crashing into the rocky shoreline.

With only a sliver of moonlight and the soft glow of neighboring anchor lights, Allen jumped out of bed to determine if we had broken free of our mooring ball. Night vision binoculars proved essential to confirm where we were relative to the shoreline and neighboring boats. At the point Allen woke Jim I knew there was a problem so I joined the triage discussion in the galley now fully underway. Of course on this boat, we have a multitude of electronic devices and part of the confusion was that they were not in agreement of any boat movement. We appeared to still be secure on the ball but had the ball moved? Not likely given that it’s attached to a concrete block at the bottom of the sea. But why would our trusty GPS alarm sound? GPS failure? Garmin no doubt would deny that possibility.

Now, we could see activity on another boat, which appeared perilously close to another vessel and was quickly motoring to another point in the bay. As is the case with most Jim Moore/Allen Roberts discussions, the triage discussion at this juncture turned into a far more technical conversation that this sleepy head could not keep up with and certainly had little to contribute. I returned to bed, trusting the shipmates to solve the immediate problem and any other global crises.

Allen eventually returned to bed but it was a sleepless night as GPS alerted us two additional times. In the morning as we caffeinated our sleepy bodies, we continued the discussion and speculation. Allen dove on the mooring line and confirmed all was good. It continues to be a mystery. Yawn.

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