Dock neighbors are your second set of eyes
When Scott and I started mooring our boat Kokomo at Elliott Bay Marina, we didn’t think too much about the importance of our dock neighbors. With over one thousand boats in the marina and us being moored at the very end, our boat is just a spec among many.
But over the last few months, we have realized that we do care about our dock neighbors and we make sure to keep an eye out on their boats. Being new boat owners, we were not sure about how to connect with the folks we see every weekend. In fact, I’m a bit embarrassed to say that we didn’t meet our neighbor Joe until the Christmas party. We decided then, that it’s important for us to connect with our neighbors and also meet new ones throughout the year.
A Fuel Leak
When we first arrived in May 2017, we did meet our yacht neighbors, Jules & Doug. They own a beautiful custom yacht and are located at the end of our dock, just a couple of boats away.
We didn’t get to see them much during the summer as they left for a few months to cruise British Columbia. When they returned in the Fall, we exchanged numbers in case of emergencies. Of course, I was hoping that would never need to happen. But a month later, we knew they were out of town and we noticed fuel around their stern.
I immediately called the marina and I also texted Jules to let her know. She was very grateful and the mechanics arrived asap, so nothing major happened. When all this was happening, I was nervous about notifying them. No one wants that call, but at the same time I would want someone to call me.
Should that water be running?
Right next door to Jules’ yacht, was an older Chris Craft house boat. It was under major renovation and the owner lived on it part time.
One morning, I noticed that the hose that was hooked up to the boat, was pouring out more water from the faucet connection than probably going in. Turns out she had hooked it up and didn’t know she needed an auto shut off valve and so water was going everywhere. We did call the marina, but they already knew about it. Better safe than sorry.
Should the boat look like that?!
Last week, the PNW had another wind storm and our marina lost power. We decided to go down and check our lines and make sure the heaters were back up and running fine. It was a beautiful sunny day and we were just making a pit stop at the marina.
As we approached our boat, we noticed Joe’s boat across the way and it didn’t look right. (No, I don’t have a photo – we were too concerned with fixing the problem than taking pictures). But here’s one from summer and if you can picture what we saw. First, his bow looked like it was on the dock, but it was because all of his bumpers were ON the dock, not between the boat. What the?? Turns out his stern line had snapped and forced the bow up onto the dock slightly.
We called him right away and fixed his bumpers and secured his stern. Normally the marina staff walks the docks and they would have noticed it too, but it was the day after Christmas so they were on a light staff.
Just as we were done and walking down the dock to leave, we notice the lock box next to us, was completely tipped over. Nope, didn’t get a photo of that either. Will do for the next time. So we went to the marina office and told them about both situations so they were aware.
The Dock is Sinking!
Scott and I follow many cruising / sailing blogs and YouTube channels. Recently, there was an episode on Sailing Ruby Rose. They were sound asleep and were woken up by their neighbors to inform them that their dock was sinking! You have to watch this episode–WATCH HERE! There’s lot to learn should this ever happen to you. Thank God their neighbors woke them up.
The moral of this story is all of us dock neighbors need to be looking out for each other. If you don’t know your neighbors or haven’t exchanged contact information, do so the next time you see them. Boat neighbors are no different than your house neighbors, in fact in some cases this could be their home.
If you have experienced any dock neighbor situations, please share with us.
Happy New Year! Scott and Ally
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