Monday, October 8, 2018

Weather weary...


Knowing that, come morning, decisions will have to be made in the face yet another hurricane, makes for a poor night's sleep. Come morning we made a run to the dock, and were surprised by the best rainbow we have seen in a long while. We took it as a reminder that making the best decisions we can is all we can do, and the rest will unfold as it will.

It looks like Hurricane Michael is going to give Beaufort a solid thumping, putting the boats in the north east quadrant of the storm as it passes early Thursday morning. The leading edge of tropical force winds is due to arrive Wednesday mid day and last through Thursday, maybe into Friday. Hours of winds up to 70 mph is a long, uncomfortable, scary ride on a boat riding to a mooring ball for any adult. For kids it would be downright terrifying.

So here we go again. This time we will be staying in Beaufort, heading for a local hotel rather than renting a car and running inland. That will help ease the debris field that is our bank statement every time we have to do this, "this" being the third time in 18 months. Which is why we are "weather weary." Prepping for storms and evacuating is a high workload, high stress decision. Always, in the back of your mind, is the thought, "Is this the one that tags us?"  Carrying that thought around is a load, all by itself.

Michael will (Should?) pass inland of us, which is another reason for not running too far. We would have to put a lot of miles in to avoid riding out a tropical storm in a hotel. We can do that just as easy here. Besides,  I'm not sure we have enough of a head start.Thirty-six hours ago the debate was over a low pressure area that might develop tropical characteristics. This morning the debate is over how major this major storm is going to be, with just two days warning for friends in the great bend area. By the end of the day it seemed clear that Michael is going to be a big deal indeed.

We have taken 60 knot winds without damage several times before, but are doing a near full boat prep anyway.  Clearing the decks and tying the main sail down to within an inch of its life only took a couple of hours. The new mooring lines are still on, and we will add the safety lines on top of those. It helps that, in a fit of mild paranoia, we didn’t put the head sails back up after Florence. There wasn’t any reason to think that Mother Earth was done cooking up hurricanes this season. Worse, She appears to have a recipe for microwaving up a storm in just a few days, and they have been consistently big, powerful, and serious. The only good news is that Michael will have to plow its way across a good chunk of land before it gets here, so there is reason to think all will be well after a couple of days in a hotel. But staying on the boat means betting one's life on that being true, and I'm not that much of a gambler.

Big storms do big damage. This one doesn’t have to shift very far to the east to be a serious, serious threat to the entire south east coast of the US. So this will be another week of work and worry. Truth to tell, one of these days, some careful thought will have to be given to just how viable living on a boat in the south east US might be. But for now, all we can do is make the best short term decisions that we can based on what we know at this moment. That means getting to work to prep that boat and getting people we love into a stout shelter to ride out the storm. It is the best we can do to insure there are more rainbows in our future.







1 comment:

Neal Birch said...

We had to abort our vacation in N. Carolina this year due to the proximity of Michael passing our home in Florida. This is the second time we have had to cancel due to tropical storms passing this region. This time, we spent 2 days of a 8 day stay in a cabin up by Murphy NC, then headed back south, no chance to visit the grandkids as we have a couple of dogs in a kennel down here, and you have to make choices. I'm still wired from all the coffee I drank (it's 4 am) on the trip down to Florida but I'll get the dogs out today and prepare for the storm. Thank goodness for weather satellites!