Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hannah has passed

The winds have clocked around to the West which means we are on the back side of Hannah. The winds are down to 20 to 25 mph with gusts and dropping hour by hour. September Song did great, the only thing that says we were in a storm is she is covered in salt spray. We ventured out, removed all the blue tape before the sun hits it and make it difficult to remove, and put the chairs back out on the aft deck to give us back our salon. We fared fine, but if a storm is predicted to be anything over a low cat. 1 we will do all we did for this storm, take Half Note to shore and September Song will ride it out alone. Tomorrow morning we will raise the anchors, a job I am not looking forward to, then head to Oriental NC.

September Song (glad it's over) out

This is the house that was surrounded by water a few hours ago. notice the log and a set of steps that washed into the yard. They now have 4 foot of seawall.

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The worst is over

The waves have settled down to 3-4 feet, and the wind has let up a bit, down to 35-40 ish. The center of the storm has moved north of us, so things should be improving over the next few hours.
Godiva and Cassis can't wait for it to calm down - it's been a very long night/morning for them. Pica has done well - he regularly pukes when we're out in bumpy seas, but so far this AM nothing.
Bob has been dealing with one of his bad low-pressure headaches all morning - I think he's asleep in the helm chair. Mine came and went last night.
So much for the calmer winds - we just a had really bad gust.

That's all for now - we're hanging in there.
September Song out

In the worst of it! 9:00 AM (We hope)

We are in the worst, I hope, with 60 to 70mph winds and 5 to 6ft seas, and we are in a protected anchorage. We are hanging on and September Song's anchors are holding.

September Song (Surfs up!) out

5ft to 6ft seas in our anchorage and it's protected

Sail boat in our anchorage taking a beating

Biiiig waves

Storm surge coming in
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Update 7:00 AM

As I post this blog the winds have picked up to the 50's with higher gusts. I went out to check the lines while we had a lull in the action. (another bad hair day) I think we are in the worst of Hannah as I type, the wind is blowing off the tops of the waves. Time to go to the pilot house and watch the anchor watch screen to make sure we don't drag.

September Song (hanging in there) out

A lull in the action so I went out to check the snubber lines.

Waves washing against the hull

View of the anchorage in the lull (3ft to 4 ft waves)
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Hannah has arrived

At 5:00AM the winds are at about 45 mph with gusts to ? and September Song is moving around but holding fine. The rain is coming down sideways and it is too windy to go out and check the lines so I am using the remote spot light to look at them. Trac Vision is working great so we do have TV and the weather channel.

September Song (holding fine) out

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hannah is coming

The wind has picked up out of the East at about 20 knots with gusts. I just came in from the front deck adjusting the snubber lines one last time. (bad hair day) Later it will be too windy to go out. (I hope I don't need to go out) I will try to give updates so everyone knows we are OK.

September Song (like watching paint dry) out

The ribbon is to tell me which way the wind is blowing, so if I need to assist with the engines I can keep the bow pointed into the wind.

A trip line with a float to let me know where the anchors are at and to help in raising them after the storm

Snubbers doing their job

Sampson post. (let's hope it is as strong as Sampson) First time tested
Note the shadows - the sun is out!
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Views around the anchorage

September Song all taped up
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Pictures that didn't post

Views of the Pungo/Alligator Canal
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Trip to Dowry Creek Marina

Yesterday we headed to Dowry Creek Marina through several miles of beautiful scenery and wild life on the Pungo River Alligator River Canal in North Carolina. By Friday night/Saturday morning it won't look so beautiful. We arrived at Dowry Creek Marina at around 2:00 and made a trip into town via the marina loaner car to pick up shackles to attach the huge Fortress 85 in tandem with our Delta, and as you can see from the picture, if that doesn't hold us, nothing will. The afternoon was spent taking down the fly bridge enclosure, antennas, rigging the anchors etc. etc. Today we left the safety of land and headed for our new "hidey hole" up the Pungo river just a couple miles from the marina. I think we have found a very good spot to hide and we are all alone. (no worries about playing bumper boats) After lowering the Fortress 85 which was a trick in itself, and then the Delta, then letting out another 150 ft of anchor chain, we backed down and set the two anchors. When it is time to lift the anchors after the storm it will probably take three men and a boy along with the Maxwell 3500 windlass to get them out of the mud. If that doesn't work we will use the tender davit. After anchoring we (Stephanie) taped up all the vents, moved the last of the stuff inside and took a long deep breath. Stephanie is the best co-captain and co-worker a person could ever ask for. She's the best. (and we still like each other)
Well the first band of rain is here (the storm still a long ways away) but no wind. Things will get crazy late tonight and early tomorrow. Time to take a nap because I think it will be a long night.

September Song (at anchor, waiting for Hannah) out

Wild life along the Pungo River Alligator River Canal

Now that's an anchor! (Fortress 85)

Snubber lines stand ready. Absorbs shock and pulls on the anchor chain at the water level
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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Change of plans

Today we headed for our hidey-hole, we thought. When we arrived we were told, after loading on 700 gallons, two and one half tons of fuel for about .75 cents less per gallon than the last load, (a good thing) that if it got nasty we couldn't stay. Not what we were told when we called. We contacted Dowry Creek Marina, where we stayed this spring, and they said they had room but, if it is going to get bad we will anchor out in the creek with our Fortress 88 and Delta 55 Fastset in tandem. September Song will be better off away from a dock where she could bang against it and do real damage. If Hannah stays a category 1 we will stay on board, anything higher and we will take Half Note to the marina and stay on dry land. As you can see it was a beautiful day with a gorgeous lady on the water.

See you at Dowry Creek
September Song (headed for a new hidey-hole) out

Another beautiful day with a beautyful lady on the water

Life is good

All is well with the world

Notice the trip log. 3100 nm is 3565 statute miles. September song has a lot of miles under her hull. The little boat you see on the plotter is us headed into the Alligator River.
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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Slow boat to North Carolina

The trip today started out well until we hit the channel. This big guy was in front of us for the first several miles through the Norfolk bridges and then we passed him with little room to spare after the tug captain gave us the OK. The trip to the locks was fine, and then after exiting the lock we followed a barge pusher for it seemed like forever in the canal. The tug captain finally gave me the OK to pass, again in a tight situation. The rest of the day went well and the weather was great. All the delays put us in our anchorage a little late but the anchorage is another great one. We are about 60 miles into North Carolina and tomorrow we have a short trip to the Alligator River where we will stay at the Alligator River Marina, which is well protected so if Hannah comes our way as predicted we should be fine.

September Song (headed for our hurricane hole) out

Followed this big guy for a looong time at 4 knots
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No fun passing a barge in a narrow channel

Following him through an open bridge

No fun navigating in his wash

My beautiful line handler
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View from the fly bridge

When we came through in the spring the nests had babies in them. They are empty now, but they will be back next spring to rebuild their nest and start all over again.

Cypress trees lined the water way

Another beautiful sunset over our anchorage
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Monday, September 1, 2008

Norfolk VA

We left Cape Charles Sunday morning and headed to Norfolk, VA where we stayed for two days at our friends' yacht club. The trip through the harbor is always an experience. The U S Navy has a ton of ships of all types. Stephanie says it gives her goose bumps. Get too close and they will shoot at you. Security is tight and I am sure they know who you are and where you are at the whole time you are in their zone. Sunday night, our friends, Steen and Trudy, took us to a reception at the club for Anna Tunnicliffe, a gold medal winner in sailing at the 2008 Olympics. The Yacht Club sponsored her and she works at the club training young sailors. It was exciting to meet a gold medal winner and see the medal. After the reception they treated us to dinner at the club. It was a great night and we had fun catching up. Monday they gave us a car to use which was great. We got a lot done including a hair cut for me (it was a hair cut or dog tags) and lots of good eats for the next leg of our trip. Thanks, Steen and Trudy, for everything!
The next few days we will need to keep an eye on Hurricane/Tropical Storm Hannah, predicted to hit the East Coast.

September Song (with an eye on the weather) out

Our boating friends Steen and Trudy

Navy aircraft carriers

The George H. W. Bush Carrier in final construction

Navy ships of all shapes and sizes
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