Safe arrival and snug in bed for a couple of hours we were woken by the small boat beside us trying to leave. We assisted him to do so, manhandling our mooring lines over his boat. The wind was now blowing a full gale and rising.
At this point the main pontoon started to concertina and the finger pontoons to rotate. The situation was deteriorating rapidly and we could foresee a serious risk of personal injury and/or of Sea Bunny being sunk if the whole pontoon with some 15 boats upwind of her blew down onto her, or if the main pontoon collapsed sideways.
We gave ourselves 5 minutes to leave hurriedly dressing and collected a few essential items and temporarily left the boat crawling up the pontoon to safety. Returning to attempt to mitigate the damage when things has stabilised somewhat.
Over the next few hours the situation did indeed get worse, but this happened relatively slowly. By the next day Sea Bunny was sandwiched tightly between rotated finger pontoons on both sides. The next boat to windward was similarly sandwiched - the entire gap of two spare spaces having been filled by the collapse.
Sea Bunny was being damaged on both sides by the pontoon cleats and the sharp unprotected metal edges of the pontoons. One of our bow lines was bar taut, holding up a submerged part of the main pontoon. Releasing this would probably have caused further closure and increased crushing.
The wind dropped during 3 November and by 4 November the marina were able to straighten out the pontoon sufficiently to release Sea Bunny and the boat next to her. They did this by running a large hawser across to a tug on the wall opposite the marina and winching in on this.
|0529 2 Nov The pontoon starts to collapse|
|0617 2 Nov Main pontoon further collapsed|
|0618 2 Nov Pontoon buoyancy detached|
|0709 2 Nov Getting worse|
|0746 2 Nov Pressure now on Sea Bunny's starboard side|
|0747 2 Nov Main pontoon collapse nearly complete|
|0748 2 Nov Cleats gouging into the hull|
|0850 2 Nov About 50 m of pontoon affected|
|0917 2 Nov Cross pontoon also affected|
|0938 2 Nov View from the bow|
|1040 3 Nov We were able to get some protection in|
|1041 3 Nov Sea Bunny's port side. The barnacles on the floats holed the other boat!|
|1043 3 Nov Our dockline was holding up the submerged pontoon. Before it was released slightly the bow was being pulled down 50 cm|
|Inspecting the damage - with the insurance surveyor. (Photo:Yvonne - Happy Bird)|
|1200 4 Nov Alois enlarging the gap|
|1206 4 Nov Pulling the finger pontoon clear|
|Nearly free with Alois & Tom's help (Photo: Yvonne - Happy Bird)|
|On the move (Photo: Yvonne - Happy Bird)|
|1348 4 Nov Main pontoon nearly stretched ou|