Dawn didn't bother to come today. A storm came instead and pretty much broke the Bay Area with buckets of rain and tons of wind.
Up early, I saw it come in as rain and wind started lashing the houseboat. Inside everything was fine, for a while. The lights had gone off twice before when, around 7:30, they went out for good. Which was sad, since daylight never really came along to replace it.
Meanwhile the tide had come up and we were floating. In storms previous we've bobbed a bit, but you don't usually have any sensation of buoyancy unless you look out the window and see things moving. But today... today you needed your sea legs to walk to the kitchen.
At one point I looked out the window to see what looked like a giant vampire landing in our parking lot, which is always an alarming sight first thing in the morning. Fortunately it turned out to only be a giant green awning that had been blown away and was now attempting a landing on the overhanging powerlines. It bounced off the upper electric ones and landed on the lower telephone and cable ones where it flapped the rest of the morning, scraping all the cars parked below it with its aluminum framing.
Sensing today might turn out to be, um, a wash... I decided to make the best of it. So I decided to go out running. It seemed safe enough, seeing how the nearby bayside bike path was in open space away from power lines or other flying debris. I may have been wrong, however, seeing how as soon as I was past the parking lot I turned back in time to see part of the roof of a neighboring building peel off... But I was already past its zone of danger so I decided I might as well continue. Which I did, only to discover that the bay had overflowed its banks and was now all over the bike path. Which was fine, I thought, as I was wearing waterproof shoes and there's nothing wrong with a little wading. Until I realized that there were, in fact, nearby powerlines after all, and if any of them had fallen into any of the enormous bay-filled puddles and were reenergized I'd have a problem. At this point my premature Jewish grandmother instincts kicked in, I declared my adventure unsafe, and I went home.
To a home that looked about as bright as it was ever going to get. Realizing that I was insufficiently prepared for disaster, at least in the flashlight department, I began a quest to find one. The quest actually went pretty well: the next town up on the freeway still had power so I was able to buy a lantern at a hardware store. Batteries, however.... I ended up at a convenience store where I paid an arm and a leg for 4 D-cells. I suppose it's a good thing I did, though, as it may well ensure that there will be power this evening.
Which would be a very good thing indeed, as there's lots of things that we need power for. Heat, for instance, although since it's been more than a month since it last worked properly I've gotten used to living without it. TV and Internet, too, require power, so I'm currently sitting in a McDonalds in Mill Valley (itself leaking) writing this as I recharge my laptop and my phone.
At this point I'd say I'm set for whatever comes tonight, power or no power, except there's one other thing we need power for that there's really no getting around: plumbing. Water can come in, no problem, but to get it out again we need a pump, and that pump needs electricity.
Looks like it may be a long, annoying night...
Edit 1/5: Well, I'm fine. The power was still off this afternoon so I ran off to camp out at a friend's place in San Francisco where there was light, heat, Internet, and fully functional plumbing.
However the somewhat goofy atmosphere has been muted by sad news about a neighbor. He was a professional diver who was working in the storm to haul in a boat adrift and didn't survive the effort. It's hard to fathom that we won't be seeing Todd anymore. I hadn't seen a lot of him since the roommates he was closest to had moved out earlier this past year, but he was the first neighbor on the dock I'd ever met, and there was a time when he'd come by all the time. A Treo enthusiast he had beamed to me the Tide Tool he always used. I don't mean this to sound trivial, but I'm sure I'll think of him whenever I use it, which is actually quite often. He connected to all of us in the house differently, but that typified my connection with him.