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21 October 2016

Things That Go Bump In The Night

After two sleepless nights, I was looking forward to a quiet, restful sleep. The first night I had been woken up at midnight due to a boat coming into the slip next to me, followed by a tree frog running loose inside my boat. The following night was when Hurricane Matthew was threatening to make landfall nearby. Sleep is pretty much impossible when you're waiting for massive destruction to take place.

After all of that drama, I tucked myself in bed early, read for a while and drifted off to sleep. I was having a really pleasant dream about kittens and unicorns frolicking in a meadow dotted with colorful wildflowers. It was a great dream. Then the kittens started hissing and scurrying for cover. The unicorns started panicking and making a screeching sort of neighing sound.

I looked around and saw the cause of their distress - a giant spacecraft with bright shining lights had just landed in the meadow and was about to abduct the kittens and unicorns and conduct all sorts of horrifying experiments. Did you ever wonder why you hardly see any unicorns around these days? Yes, that's right, the aliens rounded them up and took them back to perform in what passes for rodeo shows in their galaxy.

Suddenly, I realized I wasn't dreaming. I woke up to see bright lights shining through the windows in my aft cabin. Now I was starting to panic. The aliens weren't coming for the kittens and unicorns. They were coming for me!

I quickly opened the companionway and looked out just in time to see a car crash into the power pedestal right next to my boat.

And by right next to my boat, I mean right <<insert naughty word of your choice here>> next to my boat.

Here, let me show you what I mean.


I screamed some very naughty words at this point.

A man got out of the car and seemed totally unfazed by what had happened. I asked him if he was all right. He said he was fine, but the way he was moving and talking made me think that perhaps he wasn't fine and shouldn't be driving. I couldn't be sure if he was drunk or on drugs and I got a really bad feeling about things.

He moved very slowly to inspect his car and asked me if I wanted to come check things out. I declined. The last thing I wanted to do was get close to this nutter-butter, so I stayed on my boat.

I asked him what he was doing down by my boat and he told me he was lost and trying to find his way out. This was weird on so many levels.

There's a grassy area near my boat that has a little workshop area. Cars sometimes park there when they're unloading stuff. It's also a good place to lay out your sails. There's a track which goes up to the point overlooking the canal. Normally, it would be pretty straightforward to drive your car there.

But these weren't normal times. There were boats stored on the hard in the parking lot in preparation for Hurricane Matthew which made it difficult to see that you could drive into there. There was also a lot of equipment and wood blocks near the grassy area which created a bit of an obstacle course to drive through. Somehow, this guy managed it.



I suggested that he contact the marina in the morning in case there was any damage. He told me that he wasn't worried as his fender was indestructible. Not exactly what I meant. Then he drove off.

Somehow, I had the presence of mind to memorize his license plate number. Which is truly astonishing as I can barely remember my cell phone number. I went back down below, noted the time (2:45 AM), wrote down the license plate number, tried to calm down and was trying to decide what to do when I saw more lights.

Great. The lunatic was back. I grabbed my phone so I could call 911 when I noticed that it was one of the sheriff's deputies on routine patrol. Phew! I waved him over, told him what happened and gave him the license plate number.

The next day, I told the marina staff what happened and they came down to check out the damage. I later heard through the grapevine that there had been some guy who got really drunk at the bar that night and was picked up by the sheriff's deputy after his escapade at the marina.

I used to complain about the turtles who always bang against the hull of my boat during the night, but I'll take their little bumps in the night anytime over someone almost crashing into my boat.

Have you ever had someone nearly crash into you or your home? What would you have done in this situation?

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38 comments:

  1. Unfortunately I have been in that situation. A car drove into my parents house when I was still living there. It hit the wall on the street but because the wall was so close to the house it fell onto the bay window and caused a lot of damage. I had been sitting on the sofa by the window at the time but escaped unscathed. It was a hard time as the house belonged to the council and although they came quickly and made it safe we couldn't use that room for weeks. We had also just turned it into a bedroom for my Dad who had terminal cancer so we had to switch him into the back room which was small and not as bright. Horrible time.

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    1. Wow that's such a scary story!! You were so lucky to have escaped getting hit. Such a shame about your father having to move into the back room. :-(

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  2. I've almost been dragged into twice but haven't had a near miss with a car (yet). Maybe you should go get a couple of those orange barrels from the highway department to set outside your boat in case he or his friends return. ;-) Of course, if he didn't see the power pedestal, don't know if it would help.

    -Mike
    ThisRatSailed

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  3. That sounds scary! I think you handled yourself very well, especially not getting off the boat. He could've been some kind of psycho. (Of course that's where my mind goes. Sigh.)

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    1. That's where my mind goes too. That's why I wondered if I might have overreacted a bit.

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  4. Thanks for clearing up the unicorn mystery! So scary....glad you and Tickety Boo are OK and it sounds like this guy was intercepted. Never a dull moment, eh?

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    1. I'm surprised more people don't know about the fate of the unicorns. The National Enquirer is falling down on the job.

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  5. You mean aliens are abducting the unicorns?! :0

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  6. That was definitely the guy. Good thing you got his plate.
    At least the aliens didn't get all the cats as well.

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    1. Honestly, the aliens think the cats are just too much work. They're way too demanding.

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  7. You did exactly what you should have done. It's going to cost him big time with all the fines and court costs. Bless his heart. That was a scary experience indeed.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  8. Wow. That's crazy! I'm glad the guy didn't damage anything. I can't say we've ever had a close encounter with a car . . . or turtles. But I do sort of miss hearing the sound of those little shrimp chattering on the hull at night.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

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    1. Oh, the shrimp noise! It's been so long since I've heard that.

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  9. I'm so glad you got the guy's license number, the sheriff showed up so quickly, and that the pinhead didn't hit your boat! I've been in more than one car accident. Once in Italy, (I have a nice scar from that one), once when I was 8 months pregnant with my daughter, (no noticeable harm), and a couple of fender benders. None of these were the fault of my driving..... truly.

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    1. Getting into an accident while 8 months pregnant must have been very scary. Yikes!

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  10. What a crazy and scary experience! I got hit by a car (while I was walking, crossing a road) in 1989. I had many bruises and a deep head injury, which required stitching. Thankfully no concussion or broken bones, but it was a very scary experience for me.

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    1. Oh, wow, that sounds like an awful accident. Glad you were okay.

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  11. What a scary experience, Ellen, especially since no other people seemed to be around. Good that this sheriff came by!

    Very recently, Mark was briefly parked in a parking lot, while I took a photo of the Utah scenery. All of a sudden, a woman drove her car backwards out of her spot, without looking behind her (we think). At full speed, she headed for our car. Mark first thought it could not be possible for her to not see him, but when she kept on coming, he quickly stepped on the gas pedal and the Prius moved as quickly as it could forward. The woman missed our car by a hair and never realized what happened. Mark was shocked when I came back to the car less than a minute after getting out. I hadn't noticed a thing! If that was me in the Prius, I would have honked and made that woman aware of her craziness, but Mark's priority was to get out of the way. Good he was in that car and not me! She would have driven straight into our car!

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    1. Good thing Mark is a fast thinker. That was a really close call.

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  12. Hi, greetings from South Africa.
    On the road I've had many near misses, I live in Africa, But nothing like what you've experienced. My boat did sink one night while we were sleeping in Durban harbor though.
    Have a fantastic weekend, Geoff.

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    1. Hi Geoff! Thanks for popping by the blog :-) How awful that your boat sank. I can't even begin to imagine.

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  13. Oh my! Think you had great presence of mind there. Hope you've been able to catch up on sleep since.

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    1. I have caught up on my sleep. Thankfully, things have been nice and quiet here lately.

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  14. The house I grew up in had the kitchen in the front and I would sit at the table and look out the window. One late night I saw this strange car pull into the driveway and just keep going. He drove right into the rear-end of our car. We all went outside and discovered that he was drunk and had turned onto the wrong street - he lived about a mile down the highway. We called the police but he drove off before they got there - no way we were hanging onto him. Glad you are OK.

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    1. Hopefully, he didn't hit anything or anyone else on his way home. Good lesson not to drink and drive.

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  15. You've had one bizarre week! I'm very glad you and Tickety Boo weren't hurt, the guy didn't go in the water (in his state, he might not have gotten out)< and that you had the presence of mind to get the license. I hit someone in my car once (I was 16) and someone hit me many years later. Both were just fender benders, but the second guy was actually fleeing the police in NYC and turned down a one way street and hit me head on. Luckily I was in a huge old Buick and he had a newer smaller car. His radiator was spewing steam as he reversed and kept running from the cops. I love big cars--and they're so much safer than the newer littler ones. Sadly, now we can only afford one of the little ones... I hope next week is much better for you!

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    1. That's such a crazy story! I can't believe he was on the run from the police. There definitely is something to be said for big cars - they'll definitely win in a fight over a smaller car.

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  16. Phew you sound sorta calm recounting this story but I would imagine you had moments of anything but calm during the night. Good presence of mind to nab his license plate!

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    1. I definitely didn't sleep well for the rest of what was left of the night :-)

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  17. That would scare the crap out of me. It has never happened to me but I'm sure I would not be as calm as you were.

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    1. I don't know that I was all that calm - hence the naughty words ;-)

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  18. Wow, you are one cool cookie! Nancy Drew would would be proud! You didn't dither like Bess one bit and now the criminal has been apprehended! This is good. He could seriously hurt someone making those kinds of decisions. Hope you were able to get some shuteye after that, but seriously, job well done.

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    1. I was definitely channeling my inner Nancy Drew :-)

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  19. Well, that was an adventuresome night. Glad you and the boat are okay, and the bad guy apprehended. Here's hoping for quieter times!

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    1. So far, it's been very quiet at night here since that incident. Fingers crossed it stays that way :-)

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