Tuesday October 30, 2012
I realize there’s a few days skipped since the last post and you might be wondering how I could jump over something so big as our first hurricane. The answer is simple. It was BORING. There’s really not much to go over. After we woke up from Hurricane Party 2012 the rain was continuing lightly and the winds were a steady ten to fifteen knots with gusts up to twenty-five. Having enjoyed HP ’12 a little too much we rolled out of bed close to noon, our heads still pounding from the Hurricanes the night before. Our big accomplishment was making it the ten feet from our bed to the settees. Matt was even adventurous enough to make it out on deck where the engine was started to charge the batteries and warm the cockpit. The slew of movies began, first with Cinderella since the bright colors were enough to overpower the glare on the tv screen from the light still making it’s way through windows and hatches. When one movie ended another began and we remained mostly immobile except for a few glaces outside the hatch to make sure we were not swinging too close to shore. One interesting thing was that the water in the creek had already started to rise enough that some of the docks around us were almost all the way submerged. We didn’t think it could be the tide and the rain wasn’t hard enough to raise the water level by that much so we wondered if it was the storm surge that was predicted for the area. Letting out more chain just to be safe we continued to read and watch movies, thankful there were still leftovers from the night before so the task of cooking a meal would not be necessary. We had lost internet that afternoon though which meant we were about to go into the worst part of the storm without being able to check updated weather reports or notify family that there still wasn’t much happening and they could ease their worrying. But now the last messages they’ll have had of us until we can get internet again is intoxicated Facebook posts of how great our party was. I was sure both our mothers would be having heart attacks by Monday night without getting any more updates on us.
Anticipation was a little higher when we woke up Monday since we knew the storm was supposed to make landfall that afternoon and didn’t have access to weather reports to see what wind was building to or what part of the East Coast it would land on. We were still anticipating fifty to sixty knot winds in the area but didn’t know how accurate that was or when it would happen. We tried keeping our VHF on for updates or in case Rode Trip needed to contact us, but every fifteen minutes it would emit a long and loud beep and automatically put on a weather report that stated gale force winds would be there within twelve hours and there was flooding in the area.. Nothing that really helped us out. Having to jump up and hit the ‘ok’ button each time it did this we got sick of it eventually and turned it off. Going through almost the same routine as we did the day before the engine went on as did the movies. Movies turned into reading and reading turned into napping. Since we were instilling an anchor watch that night while the worst of the storm would be hitting us I updated our monthly spending while Matt slept. Besides a few gusts up to thirty knots we were holding at a steady fifteen, waiting for the worst to come. As of dinner time nothing had changed. I had assumed by that time the winds would be consistantly strong and whipping us all over the place making it hard to cook a meal, but I was able to go about as if nothing was happening outside and it was just a normal night at anchor. After eating and cleaning it was my turn to sleep while Matt kept an eye on things. Even though we had planned our our usual off shore three hour shifts I was woken up seven hours later (only about four of them were actually slept). Keeping myself bundled under the one blanket that was left out in the cabin I put on a few movies, trying to keep myself awake and give Matt the seven hours of sleep he had given me.
After the second movie the sky was starting to get light and I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open. Popping my head into the v-berth I grabbed out the sleeping bag and unrolled it onto the settee. Quickly sticking my head out of the hatch I looked around and saw that we were not in danger of hitting anything. Getting myself warm under all the blankets the next thing I remember was Matt calling my name three hours later. Promising that I had been ‘keeping my ears open’ the whole time I layed there for another hour before forcing myself out of the warm blankets and into the coldness of the cabin. Matt went above to turn the engine on, now a daily habbitt to keep the batteries charged and get a little heat. He stayed up there putting the boat back in working condition while I forced myself to get the cabin tidy again, something we somehow couldn’t find the time for while stuck in it for three days. When being asked if I wanted to visit Brian and Stephanie who were also putting their boat back together I piled on my foulies and realized I had not even stepped out of the cabin in sixty-five hours. There was still a light rain outside but it was so cold that it felt like it could turn into snow at any minute. After spending less than five minutes on the deck of Rode Trip we were invited below to where constant heat was running.
All of us agreed that we should head out the next day and start making our way south as fast as possible. Days and nights were getting too cold to stick around this area any longer. While planning out our next few stops our foodie friends decided that we should have something nice and warm to drink to heat ourselves up. Stephanie told us about a Thai tea she makes which is a combination of orange tea that is cooled and then condensed milk is added to sweeten it. Brian thought it would be a perfect time to throw the buttery biscuits he had been making into the oven. Soon we were celebrating tea time at actual tea time (four o’clock, right?) with sweet tea and biscuits covered in honey or homemade jam. I love coming over to Rode Trip because we’re always treated with something awesome to eat. Soon the afternoon started getting late and the two of us had to go back to Serendipity to get the headsail back up and finish the last few touches before leaving in the morning. It’s finally time to leave our hurricane hole, and even though the storm had absolutely no excitement to it I think we’ll all be happy if it’s the only one we ever have to live through.
I’m in a hurricane!!