Hurricane Irene, CYA

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Island Spirit, stripped down ready for
Hurricane Irene

WE SURVIVED….and our boat, ISLAND SPIRIT, survived at our home dock, with nearly zero damages! This is the second hurricane she rode out in this slip. We feel so fortunate, yet we are deeply worried about our friends in the Long Island and New England areas as IRENE is headed directly towards them.

Our push home from Block Island, RI, started on Tuesday, Aug 23rd, arriving in Cape May, NJ Wednesday, Aug 24th. We took a lay day Thursday, Aug 25th as a front was passing, and then in the calm before the storm we ran 100 miles from CMNJ to Rock Hall, MD getting into our home dock Aug 26 at 1600hrs! That was a record run of 13hrs and 30 minutes from dock to dock with speeds of 7.2+ knots all the way. Big thanks to Bobby W. our route planner who uses Noble Tech software which calculates route and boat speed to project the best run time. That is why we left CMNJ at 2am and ran the canal in the dark, which is a challenge with the railroad bridge and no lights. Then we entered the Delaware Bay at 3am and 13.5 hrs later, we were home! Underway during the run for home, we removed the jib and staysail and extra gear. We hit the dock and in 4 hours we had the boat totally stripped of all topside gear.

Saturday, we got up at 5AM, removed the 10′ dinghy, outboard, fuel tank and all related gear. Taking the dinghy to land, we tied it to the largest tree we could find on high land, ready to be used a support boat if needed. We added the motor to the dinghy on land and filled up the fuel tank and spare tank with gas. By 8am, Sat Aug 27th, we were packed and moving off the boat into our car. We went out for breakfast and then we returned to the boat for one final inspection of the 14 different dock lines we had tied to the boat. The winds were picking up and we had done all we could to protect Island Spirit; it was time to leave. It felt so sad to leave her, and to let her fend for herself as she would be fighting for her life against the ENE winds of 65 knots. So, off to the Comfort Inn Suites in Chestertown, MD, where we enjoyed a nice afternoon at the Mexican Restaurant, an afternoon at the Harbor Shack and then we wrapped up the night at Oconner’s Irish Pub. When we returned to the Comfort INN, we had about 1 hour to move into our room until the power went out. We used our cell phones and flashlights to get around and then we called it a night, knowing that we would be up early to check on the damages.

Sunday, Aug 28th, Cap’n Blaine and Jeff headed in at daybreak for our first reports of damages. We had received a comforting text from Dave H. that all was fine, no damages were taken on Island Spirit and the marina was holding together. We packed up the rooms and re-loaded the car so we could move back onto the boat. The winds were still blowing 40 knots with gust to 50, but with West winds, these were directly on the our bow. The boat was so well protected that we moved back on and made eggs and ham wraps for 5 for breakfast.

At the present time, Sun 12 noon, the storm is abating and the winds are now down to 20-30 knots. This storm has one word that I use to describe her….E P I C….that is what it has been, truly epic in size, intensity, duration and power. We are fortunate to have fared so well, we hope everyone is as lucky!

Here are photos to show the progression.

Cape May, NJ Thursday, lay day waiting for frontal passage
We kept having this PIRATE Cap’n Blaine with us everywhere…!!!! Thank Goodness we did, the extra watch really makes it nice. Thank you, Blaine!
CMNJ 2011, Celebration night
We always celebrate our return from New England at Utsch’s Marina.

Flat Calm Delaware Bay, we ran at 3AM, making it up the bay in a record 6.5 hours!
The Conrail Railroad Bridge in the C&D Canal
Prep for hurricane begins as we enter the Chesapeake Bay.
Sails off and main sail wrapped before we hit the home dock.

Cap’n Blaine Parks arrived in Block Island, RI…for a visit…and…
I will NOT let him off the boat until we reach Rock Hall, MD!
All sails, dodger, bimini, cushions, lines, and halyards stored below.
Island Spirit with the full enclosure canvas gone.
The Bimini roof canvas gone…and the frame secured with heavy lines.
The dodger windshield was removed and the frame folded down.
The stack pack and main sail were wrapped tight and reduced to minimum windage.

Electronics were covered and taped with duct tape.

The helm electronics were covered and tied.
The helm seat was taped down, as well as the lockers.

The mast base was taped and sealed to prevent any large leaks

The hawse pipe and chain openings were taped and sealed.

This is how she looked all stripped down….

Success….Team Island Spirit Arrives back in Rock Hall, MD!
The Run Home from Acadia Maine 2011 was completed on Aug 26th at 1600hrs,
18 hours before Hurricane Irene was due to hit !

Thank you Cap’n Blaine for connecting with us in Block Island, RI and remaining on board as we pressed on to home.
Tomorrow, Monday, we will run Blaine to the BWI airport when he will jump a flight to home….

This is what Island Spirit looks like fully rigged
Canvas, enclosure, sails, sunshade, bikes in blue bags
Compare this to the stripped version! We have some work to rebuild…
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0 Replies to “Hurricane Irene, CYA”

  1. Good to hear you had no damage. Xperience made it through with no damage also. If you talk to Blaine tell him we are docked right next to Charbonneau at Northwest Creek marina just outside of New Bern, NC. Charbonneau had no damage also.

    S/V Xperience

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