We spent last night in the marina and this morning stayed as long as we dared. This is quite a dangerous situation as Cat 3 Hurricane Matthew is still moving NNW at 12 mph with winds at 115 mph. The storm surge is expected to be 6 - 9 ft. The worst of the storm will be between 4 pm EST and midnight. As I mentioned yesterday, there are a few people staying on board their yachts although I cannot imagine why. We took one last look through the driving rain at Vanish and headed to our hotel this morning which is a 10 minute drive from the marina. Even though we are in Zone A in Brunswick where a mandatory evacuation order is in effect, we are able to drive back to the marina if we want to. The hotel staff have opened their breakfast bar and are providing food and beverages as people wait it out. They have also allowed people to bring their pets and every now and then we hear a quiet bark from either side of our room. Fantastic.
The rain bands from the hurricane come through in fierce waves. Watching the weather from the hotel room was too frustrating for Maynard. He wanted to go back to the marina just to check the water height and to see how our fenders and lines were doing. As we have vowed to stay together, I had to go along for the ride as he could not be swayed. We arrived around 2 pm at high tide. There was only 5 ft of post showing above the dock level which means even though the worst of the storm is hours away, we are already experiencing storm surge of 3 ft. The wind was blowing water off the top of the surface so it was blowing around 50 knots in the squalls. The worst problem was that the concrete post nearest Vanish was swaying an inch or two in the water. We didn't wait to check the other posts as it did not feel safe on the dock with so much movement. We went into the clubhouse where 4 or 5 people were watching the Weather Channel. In the hour we spent in the clubhouse with high tide supposedly passed, the tide rose another foot inundating the carpark. With so much rain and the hurricane still approaching, we are fearful that the docks could float over the top of the posts and be blown to who knows where.
The narrow inlet is no longer a narrow inlet. The reeds are completely covered and there is an expanse of water west of the marina which extends hundreds of meters.
The squalls were becoming a white out situation so we got back into the car and drove back to the hotel. Debris and branches were now on the road and a small creek we'd crossed earlier was flooded and completely altered. We cannot go back out now. Maynard just called one of the guys at the marina who said the posts are still intact but it's still raining extremely hard and the worst wind is on its way. I'm not sure what will happen. I'm not sure if I will be able to write again if we lose power and internet. We are safe and that's all that matters.
(I would like to say a special thank you for the heart felt comments on my last post. I must be getting old as they brought more tears to my eyes. It is often a lonely position to be in and to know you are with us in spirit makes the world of difference.)