Sunday, October 9, 2016

Post Hurricane Matthew

Here is how Thistle looked when we left her on her own Thursday, October 6th. We had removed the foresails, dodger, bimini, and solar panels. We wrapped the mainsail and put extra lashings on the liferaft and dinghy motor. We also removed as many lines as possible and secured the roller furlers with lines and zip-ties.

Since we had arrived here in St. Augustine on Wednesday night, we had to do all this work Thursday after it had already started raining. What a miserable, wet day that was. And everything we stored down below was wet.

We spent Thursday and Friday night at a nearby hotel. It was on high ground, but just behind it, the streets were flooded with the storm surge by Friday midday. Some homes had three feet of water inside.

About 5pm Friday night the power went out and never did come back on, but the hotel staff gamely carried on, producing hot coffee somehow, and food on a regular basis. The wind continued to roar around the building all night, changing directions as the hurricane passed.

At 8am Saturday morning we were able to walk to the marina and down to the boat. We found everything just as we had left it; nothing had let loose, no docklines had parted, and the mainsail cover had no damage. None of the portlights had leaked, but the forward hatch must have leaked a bit because one pillow was wet.

Our web of lines on the starboard quarter had held against the strongest winds and the only damage came from this nail...
on the port quarter. You can see our blue hull paint on this dock lines where we rubbed against that piling. We heard that the surge was about 6'; taking the whole dock almost to the top of the pilings. Thankfully Matthew was offshore further than predicted and the surge wasn't 8'. The whole marina would have been lost if it had been that high.

Here's a map of St. Augustine showing where we were and the other marinas where damage occured. What luck that we ended up in a marina on the Sebastian River on the inland side of town. And that the winds weren't quite as high as predicted.

The adventure continues!
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