Jim and I both scheduled Monday off so we could have an extended weekend visiting family up in Washington, but plans fell through at the last minute.   I didn’t want to waste a 3-day weekend at home since it’s not easy for me to get time off work….so we went to Rockaway Beach!

We knew there was a storm heading in sometime during the weekend, which made it all the more exciting, because the place we stay at is ON the ocean front (sometimes the high tide comes all the way up to the building base!).

Our place was on the top floor-  all the “open” windows you see on the right side of the building.  I really think it offers THE BEST view in Rockaway Beach. We can see all of the townside and beach from the comfort of a cozy living room, so we knew it would make for some great sight-seeing if a storm rolled in.

Here’s the view from our living room windows:

There’s a stream that runs alongside the building.

Our kids really enjoy playing in and around it.

This is what it usually looks like between our building and the wayside parking lot.:

But this is what it looked like this weekend.  Lots of logs jammed together:

And this was what I recorded during high-tide on Monday:

As for the stormwatching….the wind and rain…well….the waves were definitely intense, beautiful to watch, powerful.

Saturday night the wind started to pick up around 8PM.  I think we went to bed around 11pm that night.  I knew I’d have a hard time falling asleep with it being stormy outside, but I managed OK.  Our unit faces due-south and it’s pretty much all windows on that side.  I woke up around 3AM due to some hefty gusts that were really noisy as they slammed into the building.  I later found out they were 30mph gusts.  By 6AM it had all died down.

We checked the weather forecast the next morning and it showed winds picking up again around noon (Sunday) with a bigger storm moving in Sunday overnight.

Here’s what I wrote in an email to my mom Monday morning:

“The winds hit here around 7pm, fairly decent gusts but not as bad as when we went to bed at 11:00.  The place was taking a beating!  Literally SHAKING.  In the girls room (the most sheltered) there was no wind to hear or feel…but something on the roof area was clanking and creaking.  It sounded like someone was up there working on the roof, pulling nails or roofing up!  Jim listened for a while and said it sounded like those vents that can spin directions based on wind.  So that’s what we decided it was.  I really wondered if the roof was going to detach and blow off!
All the windows were howling.  So were the bathroom vents and the range vent.  We shut the damper in the fireplace and closed the glass, so that helped a little (we had let the fire burn out earlier than we wanted to, knowing that we would need to close the damper before bed).  The wind was blowing through every crevice and gap- big leaks at the top corners of the patio doors- you could feel the wind blowing through there.   And you could “see” the doors flexing with each big gust.  S-c-a-r-y.
I lay in bed and with the BIG gusts, the building would vibrate and the bed would actually shake!  At one point I could feel my heart racing and anxiety building, so I reminded myself that this building has been here for years and years- no windows have blown in during that time, and this storm was certainly not the biggest in history.  I always keep earplugs in my luggage tote, so I put them in and they blocked out the rain and regular wind, but not the big gusts or the shaking of the building.
The power flickered off a couple times, but never stayed “off” for more than a minute.  The kids claim to have slept well. I slept fine after about midnight.
Jim and I agreed that this was the worst either of us had personally seen or felt.  It was intense.  Wish it would have been light outside so we could see the waves and surf.”

When we got home, I checked some various weather tracking websites to see what the recorded winds actually were and was surprised that it showed several hours of winds sustained at 30 mph with gusts between 55-75 mph!  WOW.  (Jim said the news reported a peak gust of 84 mph in Garibaldi, which is just minutes south of Rockaway Beach.)

The reports for here (Aloha) showed at that same time, winds were averaging 20 mph with gusts around 30 mph with the highest gust at 43 mph.  So for anyone who thought Sunday night was a blustery gusty night….double that and you’ll know how it was at the beach!


Anyway….if you enjoy stormwatching…..or are looking for a great place to stay in Rockaway Beach….it doesn’t get any better than this place:  http://www.irontrader.com/condo/