Friday, July 4, 2014

Awful Arthur? Angry Arthur? Annoying Arthur?

Hurricane Arthur getting ready to make landfall on the North Carolina coast as a Category 2
Okay, I'm seeing the irony here.  Really seeing the irony. Our boat insurance is invalid if we're south of the Georgia/Florida border during hurricane season, June 1 - November 1, because statistically that's where we are most likely to get big storms.  So we, and many many other US East Coast cruisers, make the trek north each summer in search of cooler weather and (hopefully) less storm risk.  We see how that turned out!

We've repeatedly said that we want to make the decision about where the boat was safest, and not rely on some guy sitting at at desk in the Midwest with actuarial tables, when we had the actual situation on the ground in front of us.  But for this summer it was a moot point, because we had planned to be in Oriental for some boat work and a chance to explore the Outer Banks, a place we hadn't been before.  And this would conveniently put us where the insurance company preferred; I don't mind doing what they want if it was what I wanted to do anyway.  But we hadn't really counted on Arthur coming along quite so soon.

We went through our standard drill to prepare the boat and packed our "bailout bag:"

  • passports and other documents
  • ship's papers
  • perscription meds
  • electronics and chargers (both 12V for the car and 110 for the motel)
  • flashlight
  • cash (in case power was out and credit cards wouldn't work)
  • computer and ipad
  • grandpa's fountain pen (a sentimental favorite)
  • toothbrush & clean t-shirt
  • small bottle of rum (this last earned me lots of snarky witty comments on Facebook, of course)

The day before, with the forecast worsening we decided to have the yard haul the boat onto dry land, and head for a motel, where we would meet up with friends who were also not staying on their boat for the storm.  And, give us a chance to luxuriate in endless hot water, one of our favorite simple pleasures of land-life.  The hotel was so well insulated that although they made us sign that we had been briefed on their hurricane evacuation procedures, we never even heard the wind during the night.  The eye passed about 20 miles from where the boat was stored, about 40 miles from the hotel.

I still need to back up and tell you about the rest of our trip north and a few good sea stories; about excess possessions, and having a car again.  We still need to get back to Oriental and make sure the boat did okay, although early news is that everything was fine, only about 3 feet of storm surge.  Our biggest worry was that large amounts of flooding, 6 feet or more, would float the boat right off the jackstands at the yard, to end up who knows where?  But for now, all is well, and Arthur was more "annoying" than "awful."  "Anticlimactic Arthur?"  Yeah, I can handle that!

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