Thursday, September 20, 2018


On the road early tomorrow morning.  Below is my tracking url.  Looking forward to seeing friends in St. Michaels in a couple weeks.

the Gulf Stream

It looks like Webb has gone ENE into the Gulf Stream where he'll get 2 kts, maybe even more, help from the current.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

ARC GLORIA on the waterfront

Columbian tall ship in town.  
Fifty years of training at sea.
This year's class: 51 women, 3 men.

Monday, September 17, 2018

bound for Chesapeake Bay and St. Michaels

Webb Chiles cast off this morning from Hilton Head, bound for Chesapeake Bay, St. Michaels and the Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival.

He had a favorable wind (top image) and off course the Gulf Stream (below) to carry him north.  You can follow his yellow brick track here..

I will scan the waters as I cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel later this week on my way to Cambridge to launch for the fall sail.  Maybe I will see the grey hull and white sails of the 24' Moore GANNET that Webb has sailed over 25,000 miles on his current circumnavigation.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

no one said goodbye / no translation needed

The past few days on Hatteras Island no one ever said goodbye.  Not the people at the hotel, the clerks at the grocery store, folks out for a walk on the beach, deputies, friends or waitresses in restaurants.  They did not say "see you later"  or "take care."  Instead, they all said the same thing.  "Be safe."  

Hurricane Florence threatened but did not damage Hatteras Island.  The first high tide with a storm surge, late morning Thursday, breached the dunes.  Not a problem in itself, but weakness in the dune line makes the narrow parts of the island vulnerable to following high tides with storm surges.  Fortunately for the island Florence moved on and the the surge decreased the following high tide.  

There may have been hurricane force gusts, but only briefly.  There were warnings about tornados.  Water spout were seen skipping from the sound to the ocean.  But there was no damage, no homes flooded, no injuries. 

Leaving the island this morning, we had to talk our way past a checkpoint, we had breakfast in the upper Outer Banks.  Heading back north, the waitress said "be safe."


I have been following the blog posts for MiRaVar, Lorenzo's sailing raid on the French coast of the Mediterranean.  Written in French and Italian, I've had to use google translate to read the entries.  The latest posts - photographs of sailing boats, beautiful water, smiling faces - need no translation. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

the boxer

A Hatteras native was explaining the problem to us yesterday.  Storms like this, the ones that hang off they coast, they just keep on hitting.  He squares up to my colleague and punches him solidly in the shoulder.  My co-worker looks a little bit stunned but before he could do anything the islander continues, saying the storm hits again, and again, and again, and again, getting louder with each "again" until he was almost shouting, accompany the word with another solid punch.

We had round one for the boxer named Florence this morning, high tide just before noon.  The dunes, man-made dunes, breached well over an hour before full tide.  Ocean water running down the streets as if they were rivers, pieces of wood, asphalt and streets signs being carried downstream. 

I wanted to get to Hatteras Village at the southern tip of the idea but the last stretch of Hwy 12 between Frisco and the village had multiple breaches in the dune line.  We could have made it there, but if the road gave way we wouldn't have make it back.  We'll save that little trip for later.

I have received many emails from friends checking in on me.  I am find, safe and dry.  Thank you.  We've got electricity and internet and ac.  The grocery store across the street is open.  This is easy.  

We'll see how we are doing after round 2, round 3 and round 4.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

X marks the spot

I guess I did not take the hint from yesterday as I checked into a boarded up Buxton motel a mile or two from Cape Hatteras.  The gentleman at the counter had to use a drill to remove the plywood sheet from over my hotel room door so I could get in, a first for me.  He also gave me a late bucket and several towels to collect rain water that blows in under the door, not a first for me.

The forecast for Hatteras has improved, which unfortunately means the forecast had gotten worse for areas to the south, mainly between Wilmington NC and the South Carolina line.  If the forecast holds true they may have a very difficult time over the next few days.

The above wind map is the forecast for 11 a.m. tomorrow with the eye of the hurricane just off Cape Fear/Wilmington.  My location is marked by the red "X" and indicates winds of about 35 mph, not at all uncommon for the Outer Banks.  I still need to get a look at rain and wave forecasts to get the full picture.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

take a hint

We did not make it to Hatteras Island.  A phone call let me know that the people who run the hotel I consider to be "safe," people who never evacuate the island, were in fact evacuating.

I hear that most of the island is empty.  I will find out for sure tomorrow when I sneak over for a day trip, returning to Nags Head in the evening.  Nags Head and the upper Outer Banks has evacuated too.  It is like a ghost town.

People who never evacuate are evacuating.  Maybe I should take a hint.