Thursday, September 13, 2018

Trip in Jeopardy

Hurricane Florence has put my fall sailing trip at risk. Right now I'm thinking it's a 90% chance it won't happen. Much depends on exactly where and how the hurricane hits.

I'm not going on a sailing vacation in disaster areas. If the towns along the ICW are still struggling with repairs and supplies, they won't need me there adding to the burden. If the waterways are choked with debris, marinas closed, and lift bridges out of order, I'm staying home.

However, if the damage is limited, I could manage. Even the occasional out of order bridge is not a deal breaker. In a pinch I could drop my mast and motor through them. It's possible that the worse part of the storm could be over sparsely inhabited marshlands. There's not much there to damage. I could easily poke my way through a 50 mile stretch of sketchy conditions. What I don't want to do is struggle with hundreds of miles of devastation.

Larger boats with crew have the option of heading out to sea and skipping sections of the ICW. On sailing forums the common recommendation is to sit out the storm up north. Once the storm danger is past the advice is to sail in the open ocean outside of the waterway. That's not a good option for a single handed 19 foot boat.

As I write this the storm path is still not nailed down. The reality of the situation is that I'll probably not know for sure what's what until sometime next week.



  1. Replies
    1. I'm trying not to get too excited one way or the other. It's hard though.

  2. You never can tell with the weather.

  3. As of today @ 4:30pm it looks like North and South Carolina's' Intercoastal Waterway is going to be blasted by hurricane force winds for the next two days. Low floating debris could be an issue for you and like you've said before operating marinas will be a problem with not being able to rent a slip or re-supply yourself.
    Maybe better to buy a couple cords of firewood and try again next year?

    I really feel for all the folks up there, they are scared because of the uncertainty of tomorrow and that they may lose everything in a few hours and can do nothing but wait and see.

    1. A big part of a trip like this is all the stops along the way. Looks like the storm surge will really hit some of the areas I was hoping to visit. It's still early to tell for sure, but it doesn't look good.

      One thing for certain, it's going to be a tough time for a lot of people. My thoughts and prayers are with them.