Saturday, September 6, 2008

Preparing for Hanna!!

Our First Tropical Storm
Today was spent preparing for Hanna. Tonight she will be unleashing sustained 35 kt/40 mph winds with gusts to 45 kt/52 mph. Yikes! We’re in a slip in Falmouth, MA on the south shore of Cape Cod. It’s a pretty protected harbor for waves, but the winds will still beat on us but to a lesser degree.

How do we prepare for a tropical storm? We had no idea! Luckily we were aided by the DeFever Cruisers Forum. An experienced member had posted on the forum a list of hurricane storm prep activities. That was incredibly useful. We had a few other questions that were answered by a call to fellow cruisers Steve and Di Koch who have a boat like ours based in Florida but are currently in Long Island Sound (and also preparing for the storm). A big decision was whether or not to take down the isinglass from the bridge—we decided to do it —putting it back up may be a BIG JOB. It kept us warm while cruising in cool northern winds and sheltered us from rain, but we may not even want it up when we reach southern climates. (We can always drive from the pilot house in inclement weather.) The big question is how the freezer will fare in the rain, unprotected by the isinglass. That’s a question for tonight, but also a question long term. We may need to find a different location for the freezer if we don’t re-install the isinglass.

Here are some of the things we did to prepare for Hanna…(you won't recognize Tide Hiker--she's Bare. Doubled the dock lines. Placed fenders to keep us away from hitting dock and the boat next to us.
Removed everything from the bridge and boat deck that could blow away. The bikes are sitting on the dock tied to pylons; the new kayak is stored in the marina shed; the lounging chairs and settee cushions and dinghy cover are stored in the forward stateroom. Everything else that could blow around is stored in the eyebrow (really, the eyebrow! – boat people like to speak in code - it’s the name for the storage area on the front of the bridge (that’s the sky scraper top of the boat that we drive from).
More…………..we taped down the instrument covers on the bridge and anything that could fly up, open, or allow water incursion. Our first moment of consternation was when we discovered that we didn’t have any of the right kind of tape aboard. We had duct tape which leaves tear-your-hair-out sticky residue and painter’s tape which would fly off when wet. Luckily, the West Marine across the street had ‘clean removal’ duct tape. We’re counting heavily on the ‘clean removal’ description because we bought the giant roll and used the whole thing! If it doesn’t live up to its promise, we’ll be counting on Roger and Lisa (our friends in Delaware) to once again come to our aid when we get there. (They removed much of the sticky residue from last winter’s escapade with shrink wrap tape which was used to seal doors and window—now that’s a good friend! )
More……………we removed pop-in screens from the portholes. And a bunch of other stuff.
Storm preparations were done by 3:00. So, we won't miss cocktail hour at 5:00. It took 6 hours with about a 10-minute lunch break. We decided to take a walk down the dock to check out everyone else’s preparations. It was evident that people had removed or tied down things that would fly around, but no one had taped anything – not hatches, not doors, not nothin’. Several still had biminy tops up and many had isinglass. The word ‘overkill’ came to mind as we compared our preparations to others’. We’ll see. At this point, we’re comfortable with our readiness, and hope for some sleep and that no one else breaks loose and careens into us. We’ll let you know tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment