Thursday, August 25, 2011

Irene Day 3 Late

In case you could not tell, this morning was an "Oh Shit" morning. While I may have sounded emotionally reserved, it was only because I was hoping that the later advisories would modify, if not refute, what I read at 6 AM. It did not happen.

All day, Beth, Taylor, Cameron and I prepared the boat for 100+ mph winds and an undefined storm surge. All canvas off. Genoa stowed. Mainsail secured. Dorade boxes taped. Wind generator and grill down. Double lines and chafing protection. Dinghy deflated, bagged and stowed in the saloon. Cameron and I finished about 1730, tired, sweaty and famished. The girls had already left, but they were in a similar condition as they drove west. Cameron and I will return in the morning to re-check everything.

Irene has strengthened. Hurricane force winds now extend 80 miles form the eye. Tropical storm force winds stretch 280+ miles from the eye. The last projected path passes over my parents' home on Bogue Sound, over Oriental, and over River Dunes Marina where our boat, our home, floats in a slip.

None of this is good. And we now worry even more about our friends anchored in South River. We cannot contact them, but know they are listening to the forecasts and likely growing more and more anxious as the forecasts worsen.

Our good friends, Dick and Jackie, have taken in Cameron and me tonight. A delicious and hearty pasta dinner with wine and humor in the face of potential disaster. They were relieved that today their boat, Sais Quoi, finally was hauled out. Whew... So are we for them.

After re-checking Wild Haggis in the morning, Cameron and I will drive to my sister's house in Kinston where Beth. Taylor and Scout are spending tonight. Beth and Cameron will drive to Greensboro tomorrow where tropical storm force winds will reach Saturday. Taylor, Scout and I will stay in Kinston along with my mother, and we will likely feel the impact of hurricane force winds. but I want to be close to the boat when the hurricane passes Sunday.

The most recent forecasts mention the possibility of further strengthening. The storm surge models have not become more specific than 6-10 ft. Morning could ease our fears or confirm and inflame them once again.

It is a wild ride.

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