Throughout the night it began to rain and the wind picked up, and it carried on picking up right up to the point where at 4am I had to go outside and perform some emergency fixes.
Because of the angle of the wind, it was blowing on one end of the tent and the beam had collapsed in to the bed area where my kids were still fast asleep. Luckily the car was parked near so I tied together some guy ropes and secured them to the roof bars of the car. A crude attempt to relieve some of the pressure of the wind and keep everyone inside safe. This was one of those moments where I needed 3 hands because at this point I am trying to tie guy ropes together and hold a torch at the same time – whilst also being bombarded by wind and rain. I had on my waterproof jacket but my PJ bottoms and trainers were soaked through, so I just proceeded to check the rest of the tent over, tightening guy ropes as I went around the tent. The bit of the porch that goes over the roof of the tent was blowing around like a bloody wind sock and was acting like a wind trap, causing lots of noise and allowing wind to get into places it shouldn’t. Both Mrs TentLife and myself hate this part of the porch design, it always catches the wind and can never be pulled tight enough so that it doesn’t flap about in bad weather.
I made a few other temporary fixes and then came back inside the tent to try and get some sleep. At this point puppy beagle Elsie was terrified by the weather and started howling and crying so we had to take her out of her fabric crate and try and calm her. Cheeky beagle then climbed inside my sleeping bag, went down to the foot end and went straight to sleep – brave dog.
The wind was loud, the rain was loud, the flapping tent was, you guessed it loud. So sleep was not on the cards for the adults (only a few minutes here and there), except for beagle in my sleeping bag and those kids who were still fast asleep – unbelievable.
At about 6.30am the shit hit the fan and the wind had bent the beam into the kids bedroom again. We jumped out of our sleeping bags, (haha have to ever tried to get out of a sleeping bag quickly) and went to hold the beam up. The bloody kids (at our feet) were still fast asleep and both of us had to shout at the tops of our voices to wake them. Alarmed, they saw what was going on and assisted with righting the beam. The porch was also being blown all over the show and was at some point was going to get ripped to pieces with all the kitchen gear blown off to sea.
So I’m holding the porch up and Mrs TentLife is holding the kids room up and the situation does not look good.
We took the decision to temporarily deflate the porch, so I started taking stuff apart and folding down the tables. The kids helped move some stuff into the main tent area, luckily it’s a big tent. Mrs TentLife put some of the stuff into the car and we took the air out of the beams. End of that problem, except for where one of the guys attached had completely ripped off and would need to be repaired before we could use the porch again.
We left the porch lying on the ground, still pegged in so that it didn’t go anywhere. We Proceeded to spend the next 2 hours standing inside the tent holding the beam up against the wind. People that are members of our Facebook group will know all about this because we were having a laugh with them and posting photos. It wasn’t only the wind that was strong (40-50mph gusts) but the wifi/4g signal was good too.
By about 10am The wind did give in a little, which gave us enough time to put more air in the beam and put some more guy ropes in and repeg and retighten others. Mrs TentLife went off to the site shop and came back with some hot sausages in finger rolls. Washed the food down with more coffee, we were tired but also quite proud of our determination and resourcefulness.
We sat around for the next few hours waiting for the wind to die down, contemplating where to go for Sunday lunch.
It was very sad to see a lot of other tents get destroyed and people had to give up and go home. The weather had only forecast rain and there were no weather warnings, we know because we checked whilst we were getting battered.
The wind is due to let up about 1pm, and I’m writing this section at around noon; still very windy, fingers crossed. The kettle is boiling and I am drying my trainers out in front of the fire.
To be honest, I think the tent did us proud again. We are all safe, dry and still on holiday inspite of the weather, we do hate that porch in bad weather; and why is it always that one air beam that has a slight kink? It seems a little weaker than the others, perhaps someone out there knows (get in touch).
Oh, and did I tell you that during all of these shenanigans in the porch I managed to slip onto the communal bucket and cover myself in piss – hahahaa – one thing you should always pack when going camping is a sense of humour.
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