Well, here we are. When you sell all of your stuff to voyage around the planet on a little plastic sailboat, you are aware of hurricanes. You just never expect to have to deal with one.
Here we are, just shy of six weeks into our journey from Lake St Clair in the Great lakes bound for the Caribbean and we find ourselves almost directly in the path of the mighty Hurricane Florence.
We passed New York city a couple of weeks ago and knew of Tropical Storm Gordon and knew we were well out of it’s reach, but when we got to Cape May at the foot of the Delaware Bay, we learned of the impeding doom.
We made a choice to get to the top of the Delaware to make sure we were as far from the Atlantic Ocean as we could and shortly after started to research: what exactly are you supposed to do when a Hurricane threatens your sailboat?
Our research led us to understanding what a “hurricane hole” is. These are strategic locations that are well protected from high winds and flooding. One such hurricane hole was right below us: the Sassafras River.
We came into the Chesapeake Bay and headed South a few miles and then East, some eight miles up the Sassafras. We’re in a very good spot and spending the extra money to stay at a marina instead of anchoring. Anchoring is often safer in a hurricane but Florence isn’t actually going to hit us directly at this point.
The other part we learned was to reduce the wind profile of your boat as much as possible so we stripped the sails and everything on the deck that could be removed. We are taking every precaution we can. Worst case, we will tie the boat up as best we can and go to a hotel.
For those back home who are worried, here is the situation as of right now.
Hurricane Florence is set to hit between North Carolina and South Carolina early tomorrow morning. The eye of the storm will be a few hundred miles below us, and the outside edge of the Hurricane will graze our location sometime this coming weekend or early next week.
By the time Florence presents any change in weather, water, and wind where we are, it should be downgraded to a Tropical Depression.
Sometime next week we should see first hand about 30kts of wind which we have sailed though before. Remember however, we aren’t at sail or in the open water anyway. We’re at a safe marina, well stocked and one step away from land where we can evacuate if something goes wrong.
We should also see storm surge raising the water level. However, as we are on a boat we don;t feel threatened by this much. We are tied to a floating dock that can go up about eight feet before it’s structure could be compromised. If it goes up near this high we will untie our lines, motor about fifty feet from the dock and drop the anchor. We have 200ft of anchor line so the water level won’t matter anymore if we take that step.
Speaking to much saltier sailors than us, dockmasters, local officials, and weather experts, our area is expected to feel little to no effect from Florence. We have taken every step anyway, but rest assured we are very safe and have little to no worries.
We love you guys, we will take lot’s of video for our next Lady K Sailing episode on YouTube which you can check out here: