We survived our first hurricane onboard!
Okay, Hurricane Hermine may have been a tropical storm when it hit Charleston, we aren’t really sure what the official classification was, but either way we will call it a hurricane!
0800–Leave boat with lines doubled to take Vivienne to the doctor for her three year old well-visit at the beginning wind and rain. As we walked the 1/2 mile to our boat the winds were already kicking up so we decided to take the dogs to the doctor with us just in case. As Kai was out doing her business a big branch from a palmetto tree snapped off and spooked her. Welcome to the pre-storm. On our drive we saw where a big oak tree had already been split by lightning and wind, blocking half of a four-lane road. Okay, we will go to the doctor and come right back to the boat.
0900–Leave the doctor. The wind and rain had subsided somewhat so we decided to stop over at TJ’s parent’s house to see Romanian friends who were in town before heading back to the boat to ride out the real storm. As we were sitting in their living room around 1100 the winds really started to pick back up and were much stronger than they had previously been. At that point I started telling TJ we needed to leave soon so we weren’t walking the 1/2 mile back in winds that could blow Vivienne over but Vivienne decided she needed some “cheese” before we could leave so TJ had to make Mac and Cheese for her before we could go.
1210–Leave TJ’s parents’ house and head back to the boat. FINALLY! I’ll admit, I was pretty anxious to get back to our boat before the storm set in so I was happy to be leaving and going back to our home to make sure everything was in order before Hermine hit. Walking down the dock we could see the Stono River had white caps in it because the winds were coming right off the ocean and up the river. Joy. That meant the winds were on our stern. It also meant the winds were causing swells in the marina, making the boats “rock and roll,” as Vivienne says. Boats were bobbing and so were the docks as we made our way down to our boat. It surprised me to see how many people were milling about the docks not just checking lines and and that everything was tied down but standing around chatting.
1230–We got to work quickly throwing extra bungee cords around the SUPs, making sure the dinghy was as secure as possible to the boat, throwing out an extra fender here and there. Neighbors check on us to make sure we didn’t need any last minute help and when we said no thanks, they returned to what is known as a hurricane party on our dock between a few boats where a finger pier had been ripped off in the last big storm.
1300–Hurricane Hermine is here! After Hermine officially arrived our day went something like this:
1. Watch TV
2. Eat popcorn (Thanks, Kristi and Nick!) and watch the boats roll with the swells
3. Have a hurricane party on the docks between bands of wind and rain (so much fun!)
4. Help neighbors whose finger pier was breaking loose
5. Chat with neighbors on docks in big groups about horribly old finger piers and how cleats were about to rip off the docks
6. Run for cover when the heavy rains returned
7. Take a nice nap (Vivienne….and me….TJ stayed up)
8. Eat more popcorn and watch the docks twist and sway (one looked like a wet noodle)
9. Enjoy the ride
I really liked #3 the best. Due to the storm a lot of businesses and all the schools in the area were closed so everyone who lives on our dock was actually home for the storm; meaning we were finally able to really get to know our neighbors. In the middle of a storm. It was great. At one point we were standing by a big trawler that some men had to help secure to a piling because the cleat holding the bow was about to break off, getting a work out just trying to stand up on the twisting dock. Shortly after the winds and rain subsided for a while and everyone grabbed a beer, wine, etc. and sat on dock boxes chatting about anything and everything. During that time the dogs were off the boat sitting with us and Vivienne was sitting on the dock playing with her doll (in her life jacket, of course) while we chatted with neighbors. It was, in reality, quite fun!
Overall all we survived our first storm very well and I feel better about the next (unless it is a stronger storm then we have a plan to run our boat in a different direction, away from our dock). I also feel confident that if a storm comes when TJ isn’t home my neighbors would be right there to help me if something was amiss with the boat or they noticed I could do something better. One woman on the next dock over was on her trawler alone because her husband was away on business and several different times a few guys would go over to make sure she was okay and help her with little things.
We love our marina. Everyone takes care of everyone and it is really laid back. There wasn’t a point in stressing about this storm. All we could do was prepare to the best of our abilities and maintain a watchful eye throughout the storm. Stress and boats don’t mix so the best option was exactly what we did!
PS If you purchased a TE WHAKAPONO shirt, THANK YOU!! They should be delivered to me by September 21st if you selected that option at checkout. We were able to donate almost $300 to Harvey’s COTA fund for his liver transplant. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
~~All things are possible for those who believe. -Mark 9:23~~