Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Almost Joaquin

Two days of straight, heavy rain from the nor'easter
With Hurricane Joaquin building over the Bahamas and it's future path not known, we hunkered down in a marina, being total newbies to this whole hurricane lottery/forecasting thing, we wanted to be somewhere that we could quickly pull our boat and find somewhere to stay if the hurricane decided to head our way.

We pulled into the Worton Creek after sailing in 20-25kt winds down the Chesapeake Bay and were pleasantly surprised to find only a slight breeze in the marina and bay, despite hearing the winds howling through the trees on the hills around us.

As soon as we got tied up and extra lines secured, we were ready to take down our canvas and get all the extra gear off the rails. At that point in time winds were predicted to hit 45kt and our plan was to strip the boat as much as possible to reduce windage...and then we looked around us and there was nobody else in the entire marina, not just getting ready for the storm, but even on their boats. So we took a moment of pause and decided to talk with the marina and see what they suggest at this point in time. We were reassured that they could pull us quickly if we decided to go that route but that everyone else was waiting to see about the hurricane.

The good news is that the hurricane blew offshore. The bad news is that a nor'easter pushed the hurricane out, and it was now right on top of us. That nor'easter brought with it a LOT of rain (if all the salt isn't rinsed off, it's not coming off!), frigid temps (50's are frigid, right?!) and some 35kt winds, but with the outstanding protection of the harbor and the non-hurricane winds we didn't need to take down any canvas or gear.

We were also a little concerned about surge from all the rain and the wind pushing water into the bay, but the water only got about a foot higher than normal so we avoided the flooded docks and no power. We were getting a little worried when we saw a marina staff member going around and tying the picnic tables to the dock!

While the wind was nasty on the bay we would get occasional gusts up to about 20kts. At one point we even discussed the fact that it felt a bit odd to be sitting in a marina when it seemed 'pretty nice' out, but all we had to do was look at the weather to realize that is was most definitely not nice outside of our little bubble. So we soaked up the power and the hot showers and waited for a more pleasant forecast to jump down to Annapolis.

And thanks to a new friend who drove us into town for groceries (and gave us a little tour of the delightful little town of Chestertown), we were able to sit out the storm with full bellies and, perhaps more importantly, with a full snack cupboard! Thanks Stanley, we owe you one!

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