1 October, 2015

Ola Muchachos.

It’s amazing what a good nights’ sleep will do for you.  When we got up in the morning, tropical Depression 11 which had turned into Tropical Storm Joaquin, had morphed into Hurricane Joaquin.  …….Sweet!  You know how the story ends, but we didn’t then.  Most of the models had the storm making landfall on the southeast coast of the U.S., and we were headed directly into its’ teeth.  You really don’t want to be at a dock during a hurricane, because the high water caused by storm surge often lifts docks off their moorings, and boats tied up to rise over the pilings which then hole the boats.  We scrambled to find a few “hurricane holes”-sheltered anchorages where we could put down the hook and ride out the storm.  We also called a marina in Solomon’s, where we were headed, and scheduled a haul out, just in case.  With more than a little trepidation, we cruised down the Chesapeake Bay to the Choptank River, where we spent a very windy night on the hook.  Confident with our anchor, we had a great nights’ sleep, with the wind howling overhead.  Our last leg down the Chesapeake was on 4’ seas with a 4 second interval.  Fortunately, the wind and waves were on our stern as we bashed along through the rain.  We contacted the “Sandy Hookers”, who informed us that they were at the end of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, and weren’t moving until the following week.  The forecasts were predicting Joaquin  to be tracking slightly to the East, and it looked like it might miss us.  We still had the Nor’easter to contend with, and the track of the hurricane was far from certain.  When we called Calvert’s Marina, where the Rendezvous was to be held, they told us that the docks were closed to transients because of the predicted high winds and tides.  We asked them if we might be able to pull in for a few hours to put on water and go grocery shopping with the “marina car”.  No problemo.  We docked and picked up food and water.  The wind was only 20 knots or so, so we asked if we could stay the night.  Permission granted.  The next morning, forecasts looked even more favorable, so we were granted another day.  With water and electricity at the dock, we had a very exciting day,doing laundry and boatchores.  As the day wore on, it looked more and more like the hurricane would miss us, and we were breathing sighs of relief.  The #&%#!! Clutch had been starting the “Ting, Ting, Ting” thing again, so I pulled it off again, and Scottie (who was on the scene to service the arriving fleet) sent it back to Texas.  Since our episode in Marathon last year, he had figured out why it had been repeatedly failing, and told us that a few well-placed shims would keep it from heading south again.  The problem was due to questionable engineering at Northern Lights (the manufacturer).  Since these puppies aren’t cheap, we’ll try to get a little love from Northern Lights on our replacements-I’ll keep you posted.  We had a visit from our pals, Kevin and Jess last night who drove down from their home on Kent Island.  They’ve been thinking Krogen thoughts for a few years, and will probably pull the trigger soon, now that their kids are out of the house.  We had some sips, salads with Newfoundland Halibut, and good conversation before they had to trek back home. Anyway, the water’s been high, the wind strong, but the rain has stopped on this Sunday evening.  Our responsibilities for the Rendezvous are starting to kick into gear (Suz is our webmistress and we are chairing the Rendezvous next year), so I’ll sign off for now.  After next weekend, we’ll drive back to Michigan for appointments, visits with friends, and to button up the house for winter.

-until next time.

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