Spared by Earl
04 September 2010 | Topsail Beach, NC
Jenny / 75 degrees & mostly sunny
We are so relieved that the major part of Hurricane Earl chose to stay off the NC coast!
However, on the slight chance that the storm would make a jog to the west, we prepared Full Monty for its first hurricane of the season. Since Wil was busy with work, and we were pretty sure we wouldn't get a direct hit from the category 4 storm, all of the boat preparations were left up to me. (Wil would have come, if I had needed him)
Before arriving to the boat, I thought I maybe had a couple of hours worth of work, and then I would head to the beach house (which is currently under contract & scheduled to close on Sept 10th!!).
Little did I forget to remember . . . . time is automatically doubled or tripled when a boat is concerned. After 8 1/2 long, gruelling hours in 95+ degree weather, I finally had the boat prepared for the possiblity of strong winds. Thank goodness the kids were eager to help, so a few of the jobs were actually made easier than if I was totally singlehanded. My mother-in-law offered to help too, but at that point I had no plan and was only working as I saw things to do. She did help with supplying Gatorade, securing the dinghy, and organizing the dinner order.
The majority of prep included:
-removing anything off the deck that wasn't attached
-tying down anything that couldn't be removed by one person in the time allotted, but that might get damaged, or cause damage
-taking down our brand new bimini
-wrapping the main sail & boom with line
-securing the dinghy
-securing a broken hatch and checking all other hatches
-securing any doors/compartments that might leak or fly open
-outlining the stand plates on the hull with marker, so we can know if the boat shifts at all
-photo & video documenting the situation
The list may not seem very long, but some of these items became much more involved than expected.
There was a major concern about our situation that we had not expected. We did not expect to be packed into the boatyard like a can of sardines!
When I first arrived to the boatyard, the plan was to find 8 additional stands, and place them on either side of each hull at the bows & sterns, and then chain them together. Ideally, we would have then anchored the boat into the ground with tie downs.
Well . . . that idea seemed like a joke in the grand scheme of boatyard operations. After a long line of 120 haulouts, (ranging from 32-112 feet) the yard was packed tightly with boats, mostly large power boats. Therefore, there were no additional stands available, and at that point, it didn't seem to matter what we did. If the wind would ever be strong enough to blow any of the boats over, the domino effect would have us doomed. At the same time, Full Monty had a building to her stern and all those boats to her port & bow. She seemed pretty well tucked in for what portion of Earl we thought we might get. Then it was just a "wait & see".
Fortunately, the winds in Beaufort only reached 56 knots, and after inspection by the yard employees, there doesn't seem to be any damage. Once we get through fixing inspection items on our house and moving out in time for closing this Friday, we will head to Beaufort to do a more thorough check.
After the physical & emotional stress of a major approaching hurricane, I felt like I could sleep for 2 days! I returned to the beach house and the kids & I recouperated with walks on the beach & eating plenty of good food.
Topsail was only under a tropical storm warning, so it was exciting to see the waves & look for all the goodies that wash up on the beach. After the storm passed, we took trash bags to the beach expecting to pick up a bunch of trash & debris, but were pleasantly surprised that there wasn't a whole lot.
The weather for the day after a hurricane is always so incredibly beautiful. Therefore, after some schooling, we spent the rest of that day playing on the beach & swimming. Our unusual finds were a huge horseshoe crab, 3 live starfish, and lots of whole, open clam shells.
Definitely an after-storm scenario we can live with.