Sunday, September 10, 2017

Port Condition Yankee

At 1300 today the Captain of the Port set Port Condition Yankee. No vessels are allowed in, and any commercial vessels already here are ordered to leave by 8pm. We've been duly warned that drawbridges may lock down at winds of 25kt and that rescue aircraft will be grounded.

Vector, as ready as she gets.

We expect Port Condition Zulu to be set sometime tomorrow morning. At that point the port will be locked down and everyone will have to live with whatever position they're already in. The marina is closed today, but just ten minutes ago an 85' yacht came in and tied up to the outside of the Megadock. They are the only vessel tied to the outside of the dock.

Megayacht Macramé.

I spent the morning taping up locker doors, window seams, and the aft door. We brought the outside chairs into the salon, which involves taking the screen door out of its track. We're now as ready as we can be. After lunch it was high tide, and we walked ashore to have a look around.

Aft doors with all the leakage points taped. I'll tape around the right-side jamb tonight.

Windows get the same treatment.

We're just a day past full moon and so we have spring tides. Even today, without the effect of the storm, the lower parts of the parking lot are flooded. I'm able to touch the top of the pilings while standing on the dock, so we have perhaps six feet and change of headroom for surge. The surge forecast, thankfully, has dropped to 1-3 feet. Still, the parking lot will be fully flooded, and water may come in to the Rice Mill Building and the Sea Store. Rice Mill has about 8" of sandbags.

Parking lot flooded at high tide.

Not a lot of headroom on the dock pilings.

So far we've seen gusts to about 20kt, and it's probably blowing a steady 15kt. We're being pushed away from the dock, so getting off and on the boat is a challenge. Overnight winds will build into the 30s, and we expect a full dozen hours of storm-force winds tomorrow.

These lumps are the high ground in the parking lot. Not high enough.

Our biggest concern at this point is other boats who may be less well-prepared. Just downriver of us is a collection of rag-tag sailboats anchored in front of the Coast Guard station. We heard tell of one cutting loose last year and ping-ponging it's way down the marina fairway, gouging a half dozen expensive yachts in the process. We have two large fenders staged on deck in case we need to fend off.

Anchorage just downriver of us.

Right now we are digesting coverage of the situation in south Florida. The Keys have been without power since last night and all the local web cams are off-line, along with most of the cellular network. It may be a full day before we know what the damage looks like. And while the surge forecast has actually been dropping, most of SW Florida seems destined for catastrophic flooding.

Salon is packed. Here are the deck chairs, the outside rugs, and Angel's escape pod.

We've received many well-wishes in the comments and on social media and I am hard-pressed to answer each one. Thank you for your thoughts. We will be fine here, and our thoughts are now very much with our many friends in Florida. While many of them have already evacuated, their property, boats, and belongings are still in harm's way.

No beer until Tuesday. Maybe longer, since they did not sandbag the doors.


  1. Stay safe. You guys have analyzed this to death over and over, as you should. You will be just fine where you are.

  2. For those of us not on social media, we anxiously await news that you all are safe and Vector rode the storm intact. Fingers crossed!

  3. I'm on pins and needles waiting for your next post?


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