Saturday, September 6, 2008

September 6, 2008.

We woke Friday to a beautiful morning. Hanna has been a little slower to arrive than previously expected. We were not complaining though, there was even a favorable breeze to go with the sunshine.

We hauled the anchor and headed due west for 12 miles with the wind moving us along at 7 1/2 knots. Part of this speed was also due to us just catching the end of the flood tide.

It was to be a 50 mile day of motoring and motor sailing. To say the wind was fickle is an understatement. Zero wind for miles and then 15 knots for 5 minutes then back to 3 knots. We finally ran out of the flood tide, ran through the slack tide and had to buck the falling tide for the last 8 miles. All in all not too bad a day, especially since there was no planning involved.

The newest forecasts were for conditions to deteriorate as the day went on. The sunny skies did yield to cloud cover and the wind started to steadily increase just as we were approaching the marina. Since the harbor patrol had forced George & Jackie to evacuate and leave their anchored boat unattended during hurricane Isabelle we decided to get into a marina and tie up in a slip. Usually Christy and I prefer to anchor out but found this to be the best compromise. Neither of us would be able to leave Veranda unattended. Then there would be a shootout, a siege, hostages, all during a hurricane…..totally unacceptable.

We were fortunate to be able to reserve the last slip available in the Gangplank Marina. We’re 4 slips away from a 3 story motel which should give us excellent protection from the worst of the winds. We’re also surrounded by larger power boats and houseboats.

The winds are supposed to be less that 50 MPH so instead of stripping the sails off I just added to their security. The mainsail lives inside a Doyle Stack Pac and should be fine but I opted to wrap an extra line around it barber pole style for added security. I wrapped the spinnaker halyard around the genoa so it is unable to self deploy. We removed all the crapola from the decks that might take flight during the blow. I wrapped a line around the solar panels to help keep them where they belong. We also tied off the blades on the wind generator to prevent it from attaining warp speeds.

So we’re sitting in a slip, tied to a floating dock, secure with our dock lines doubled. We’d still rather be out hanging from the anchor but it is what it is.

The youngest girl child who just graduated from Penn State is here in DC to continue her education. Last night Ashlee and her boyfriend Mark came down to meet us for dinner. A fine drizzle had started so all the indoor waterfront eateries were pretty much packed. We opted for Philips Flagship Restaurant and we were all glad that we did. The food was excellent while the service was only so-so. Our waitress was super personable and probably walks around thinking that she’s really good at her job but the truth is that she pretty much sucked. A trip to the bar for drinks was literally 15 minutes, clearing plates was such a chore that I thought they might be ours to keep. She stopped by the table several times to tell us she’d be right back. She just seemed kind of unfocused as she ran from table to table not accomplishing anything at any table.

So now it’s Saturday morning and the rains have started to fall in earnest. We haven’t seen winds over 15 knots so things are good. Hanna’s speed over ground has been building so while she was slow in getting here it looks as if she will be gone fairly quickly.

UPDATED at 1730 hours. The sun is out, the rain is gone and the breeze is just that….a breeze. Tomorrow we’ll go out into the anchorage and start to enjoy all that Washington has to offer, except the hookers and crack.

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