Snow may still be falling, but warm weather is on the way and we’re delighted to report that the boat has made it through the winter!
Right now she’s the only craft in the water on C Dock, just one slip away from where she spent the summer. The main issue has been managing the water intake from the gashes formed by metal jutting out from the dock broken during Sandy. Our battery-operated bilge pump and dehumidifying system inside the hull have been doing a fair job of keeping her warm and dry. Currently, we are heading to the marina periodically to bail out any collected water by hand and re-charge the battery. We’re looking forward to spending quality time out there and getting some more work done as soon as possible. So happy that summer is on the horizon!
Our friend and neighbor at Marina 59, Robyn was interviewed on Here and Now about her continued effort to provide relief to Rockaway residents via the organization she started, the Rockaway Rescue Alliance.
The Rockaways were one of the areas hardest hit by the hurricane and with 120,000 residents, most stayed during the storm. Lifting off of its foundations and smashing into houses, cars and fences, the boardwalk was completely destroyed. Homes were swept away by the surge and fires flattened over 100 houses in Breezy Point. Residents have been gutting their homes for days and gigantic piles of furniture and debris now fill the streets. Making a temporary dump at Riis Park, garbage trucks have been dumping load after load in its parking lot. Power has still not been restored to this neighborhood, many homes and stores have been looted. After the sewers leaked, tap water is no longer drinkable.
With little immediate help from the city, the local community has rallied together, setting up clothing and food distribution centers and they need your help! The fire station at 59th street and Veggie Island on 96th street are two main donation centers but food and clothing should be delivered to far out areas that are still in isolation. For information on how to volunteer, visit the occupysandy website which is shuttling people from Jacobi Church in Sunset Park. The houseboat owners will be down there again next weekend. If you would like to help out, let us know!
(Above photo of looting sign courtesy of ceodollhouse, a Rockaway resident who has been posting on Instagram, and who provided most of our news for the first couple days.)
We took a trip out to Far Rockaway today and are happy to report that the boat has indeed weathered the storm with really minimal damage. However, the Rockaways are in really terrible shape. Debris has washed up all over the place, so many houses and stores are totally flooded and the boardwalk is almost completely destroyed. The island is still without power, there are fires, looting and the place feels like a war zone. Check out photos here.
As for the houseboat, she has a gash (maybe 6-inchs long) in the hull about 5 inches above the waterline.
We think this is because the finger dock on the starboard side flipped over during the storm and must have smashed into the side of the boat.
We need to get the hole repaired ASAP, but in the meantime, we’ve plugged it with some rags.
Additionally, the skylight over the Captain’s Quarters room was completely gone so we grabbed some discarded fiberglass and weighed it down with wood and heavy plants to keep out the elements while we come up with a more long-term solution.
Wanted to let everyone know that we have heard reports that the boat is still at the marina and seems to have survived the storm. We have yet to assess damages but are so happy to hear that she is afloat. Once it is safe for us to travel that way, we will go check in and do what we can to take care of her. Things sound pretty terrible on the Rockaways, with reports of fires, flooding and looting. We are hoping for the best for the community out there.
UPDATE [4:38 pm]: Just heard that the houseboat is indeed OK but has minor damages and badly needs to be retied because it is resting diagonally in its slip. We’re waiting for bridges to open so that we can get out there ASAP.
UPDATE [1:24 am]: We got the following message on Facebook:
"hey, some of the fishermen retied your boat. cleats came off, i think, was swung around crushing neighbor boat. they mentioned a hole made by something metal few inches above the waterline."
The question on everyone’s mind about the houseboat is how we are going to weather the cold winter months coming up just around the corner. Well, we are just embarking upon that journey but one of our first steps is to make sure that the beast is secured strongly to the dock by installing new cleats and re-tying the lines so that they are pulling in all the right directions to keep our boat from swaying in the blustery winter winds.
Here’s a shot from the roof of the boat, looking down over the port side:
And here’s a shot of the starboard side:
We’ve got a lot more work to do in terms of battening down the hatches, but it’s a start!
We had an amazing turnout for “Old Age Sucks and It’s Going to Be Great” by Ashton Applewhite on Sunday, October 14th. Everyone was super engaged by the monologue and the stirring discussion that followed! More photos of the event here.