Wellllll.... I think this storm is being way over sold. I'll bet you can't find a parking spot in any Walmart or home Depot from Panama
City to Pamlico Sound!
Now don't go betting your life on what I say. To my knowledge, there have been NO fatalities among gullible morons caught out following my advice. But YOU could be the first!
We will see tomorrow if I am right or wrong. But I think this will be little more than some windy rainy weather
for a few hours for most people. I wouldn't want to be out sailing around in it. Or anchored somewhere exposed to wave action. But those who have taken reasonable precaution should be fine.
The "sustained" winds are wind
speeds recorded over a ONE minute period. And 33 feet AGL, if memory serves. Most of the winds are going to be closer to 20 or 30 with occasional gusts to 50 or so. And since high tide has come and gone for most of that region, I don't think the surge will be anything near the 6 to 8 feet they are predicting. I just saw that some beaches are under water
. OMG! THE PICNIC TABLES ARE DROWNING!!!!!
The storm tide presents the biggest threat to boats in marinas
. As the water
level rises, dock
lines tighten up. I have seen cleats
pulled out, lines chafed through by pressure over gunnels and sharp edged fairleads, and even pilings pulled out of soft bottoms by heavy lines on big boats. Once the boat gets loose, or a neighboring boat secured by rotten shoe strings breaks loose, the banging and crashing starts.
In 2004 I moved my boat from a mooring
ball into a slip up an adjacent creek for hurricane
Jeanne when it hit Stuart, Fl. I did that because it was a cat 3 storm with 125 mph winds. And because 53 boats had been carried off those same moorings and wrecked three weeks earlier by Hurricane Frances.
A 40 foot trimaran
moored upwind of me then came adrift and hung up on my lifelines
and beat up my gunnels and rub rails before getting loose to drift off and sink. My Dufour
Arpege killed it! HAHA!!! But I was convinced i wouldn't be so lucky twice.
So when the surge came up, I moved. Going in I power set my heaviest anchor
in the channel and paid out 200 feet of line, just in case I had to kedge my way out. I turned 90 degrees and into the slip and put out eight heavy dock
lines, four on each side. All to different pilings. With chafing protection.
And then I spent the night on board so I could adjust them as needed. When the eye went over me... I decided to turn the boat around because the back side winds might drive water through my wash boards and hit harder on the flat vertical surface presented by the back of the cabin
. I barely got that done in time, too.
I went out frequently to check my lines during lulls and was caught on deck
gusts I estimate were 100+ mph. I had to lie flat on the foredeck and hold on to the forward stanchions or be blown overboard
. I learned you are better off in shorts and T shirt than foul weather gear
. Too much windage. And you're getting wet anyway.
I was also heeled 25 degrees (on my inclinometer) by wind gusts on the bare mast
alone. I had removed the boom and sails
to minimize windage for Frances. I believe my dock lines prevented more.
I don't tell too many people about that. I get three reactions:
1) "You're an idiot."
2) "You're just stoned crazy. Or both."
3) "You're a liar."
And depending on the season, day of the week, time of day, latest political news, whatever; all four may be accurate in any combination. I don't recommend it. It seemed like a dumb idea at the time. Don't know as i'd do it again. But it worked out well. And I probably did save my boat. But it was intense at times, to say the least.
A64Pilot did good getting out of his marina. So much damage is caused by people who do absolutely NOTHING to prepare! But I think The cape east of him (Cape San Blas?)will shield him from most of it. People in the northeast quadrant will get the worst of it. People everywhere else; much less. probably nothing will happen in his marina. But by the time you know that, it's too late, so better safe than sorry. Maybe he'll let us know tomorrow how he faired and what happened in his marina.
Steady Hand's comment about rainwater sinking boats is well taken and often overlooked. You don't want to leave any canvas
covers on, as the wind will shred them. But a couple plastic cups or other trash in your cockpit
drains could do it. Remember, if the shore power
electricity goes out, you're bilge
pumps are on battery
power. Once they kill the batteries..... down she goes!
Good luck all!