Saturday, September 9, 2017


If you are following along, I probably do not need to tell you that our situation here improved significantly overnight. We were up early this morning expecting to shove off, but the 0500 track forecast moved the cone of probability completely out of South Carolina and even out of Savannah. Surge forecast is now below five feet, and wind speed forecast for Charleston harbor is below 55mph.

Nine lines on 18 different cleats.

After downing our first cup of coffee, we made the decision that we were better off remaining tied to the dock. Louise-the-boatswain added several more lines; we now have nine lines on nine different dock cleats and nine different boat cleats. (The possibility of one or more cleats letting go is very real, so tying two lines to the same cleat does not provide as much redundancy.) Now that it's past mid-day, we are committed to our decision.

Taping the covers on the instruments. Water getting into the instruments is worse than losing a cover.

Today's goal is to reduce windage and secure everything. I took down the flybridge windscreens, lowered the SSB antennas and removed their top sections, removed the plotters from the tender and the flybridge, and taped up the flybridge instruments. We took the bicycles off the deck and stowed them with the marina's golf carts on the floating dock.

Tender and scooters strapped down with extra lines. If you zoom in you can see the plotter has been removed from the dinghy.

By the end of the day all the outside furniture will be inside, and all outside lockers will be taped closed. I put extra lines over the tender and scooters to secure them to the deck. The big question for us was whether or not to remove the canvas over the flybridge.

Windscreens removed. The naked supports make it look like we just have invisible ones.

You may recall me saying, after having the repaired canvas re-installed, that it would not likely survive another removal and re-installation. If Vector was going to see hurricane-force winds, we'd remove it regardless, because of the stress it would place on the frame and the additional windage for the boat as a whole. That's not a concern with the current forecast. We decided to take our chances leaving it in place; I threw a line over the top and cinched it down to minimize the flapping and the stress on the center seam.

Hoping these extra lines holding the top down will do more good than harm.

Today we were able to turn off the air conditioners for the first time since arriving in Charleston two months ago, and we have all the windows open. Sometime tomorrow we will close the windows, and tape over the seams in the sliders.

Plotter removed and cables covered and secured. The canvas is back over the instruments, edges taped down.

Last night we went into town for a final evening ashore. With the scooters stowed and the car in a garage, we availed ourselves of the marina's courtesy shuttle. Due to the early closure, the last ride out was at 5pm, and so we had them drop us at Fleet Landing for a beer.

Fleet Landing is right next to the cruise pier, and we were both surprised to see passengers disembarking from Carnival Ecstasy after 5pm. Anyone who's seen a cruise operation knows that the passengers are hustled off the ship in the morning so that cabins can be serviced and the next round of passengers can board in the afternoon. It finally occurred to us that Carnival had canceled the following cruise, scheduled to depart for the Bahamas, and thus were highly incented to let the last batch of passengers stay aboard all day and keep buying $5 cocktails in souvenir glasses.

Odd to see passengers disembarking, suitcases in tow, so late in the day.

We walked over to Pearlz Oyster Bar for dinner, then walked across town to King Street. For a Friday evening, the city was empty. About one business in fifteen had already boarded and sandbagged for the storm; I suspect today more will do the same.

This building, under renovation, got ahead of the game with sandbags.

We are more or less confined to the boat now until the storm is past, sometime Tuesday morning. We'll walk over to Salty Mikes bar right here on the property for a beer later before coming back home for dinner. I expect most businesses to close tomorrow sometime. It's unclear whether or not the marina will lose power; we'll be switching to internal supplies tomorrow night.

Using the men's room last night was a challenge.

In anticipation of being upriver today, yesterday I activated our pre-paid Verizon hotspot so we could keep the cameras on-line. We'll be using that when the marina's Internet inevitably quits working. I expect to be able to post regular updates throughout the storm on our Twitter feed.

Now we wait. And grieve for Florida.


  1. Been interesting following your ever changing Irma plans. Fortunately, for you the hurricane has taken a westerly route. Chris and the Y-Not have not been as fortunate. Glad all of you put your safety first in your decisions.

  2. I am so glad things are looking better


  3. Don't let your guard down!



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