Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Preparing for Hurricane Matthew

Boy have plans been changed!  Al has an eye appointment next week in Miami so we had planned to take a nice and easy cruise south through areas we have already experienced and stop on this Sunday, 10/9 in Southport, NC.  I spent all kinds of time plotting our course, picking nice anchorages and making reservations for a cheap car rental and good, safe marina for my stay while Al flew to Miami.  Then we were at Top Rack Marina Friday 9/20 and first "caught wind" about a storm coming.  It seemed a long way off so we moved south on Saturday along the Virginia Cut and happened to follow a boat we didn't know who also stopped at the same Marina as we did (Coinjack Marina).  So I went to meet them and was thrilled to find the couple went to UConn and the woman spent her career as a pediatric PT!  What are the chances?!  So we have new friends Gene and Ginny on Free to B!  We had a lovely day to cruise on Sunday and crossed the (usually nasty) Albermarle Sound and this is what it looked like as we entered the large body of water.
Couldn't have been more calm and lovely.  While cruising on Sunday we became more aware of the impending storm by checking out our favorite weather sites and slowly became more concerned of its course.  But our weather was great and it seemed a long way off.  So we cruised to a lovely anchorage and settled in for a gorgeous sunset.

This is why we love to anchor in such peaceful places!  And the red sky did bring another perfect cruising day on Monday 10/3.  So onward we went south searching many options for anchorages and settled on the one we thought to be great. Also as we cruised, I spent lots of time looking at Matthew, and we decided that going on to Southport was ill advised so we changed our destination to New Bern, NC.  After calling all the marinas in that area, we learned that they would evacuate all boats out of the marinas and send them out on anchor if the storm came in at Category 2 or higher level. That was a scary bit of news.  So again we changed our minds and with suggestions from other boaters we made a reservation at River Dunes in Oriental, NC as they promised to not turn boats out into the storm. River Dunes is close enough to New Bern to allow Al to access an airport when the storm clears out.  So just before we headed into our anchoraage I checked the weather for Tuesday (today) one last time and found the wind prediction was changed and Monday night into Tuesday would be more windy.   So once again, our minds changed and we simply cruised the last 10 miles into the marina and tied up for the duration!  
The entry way into River Dunes is very protected and leads into a man made basin.  Such a beautiful day and a beautiful resort type marina, our haven for this pending storm! 

Our new home for at least 11-12 days, not bad eh?

Today we walked early around the periphery of the marina/resort grounds.  You can see our boat in the middle of this picture if you enlarge it or use a magnifying glass. 

This place is first class material.  This is the main building which includes the office, several rooms where we can relax and chat with friends and above, a classy restaurant.  If there wasn't a storm coming, life would be grand about now! So today we learned that if the storm is at hurricane level we cannot stay on the boat.  So we have rented a three bedroom house here on the grounds of the resort  with friends from California Lady and Free to B.  One more issue handled.  Here are pictures of our home away from boat homes: 

So you can see, we will be in a secure house in a lovely area and now need to batten down the hatches literally to prep the boat for the lashing she will endure.  We are surrounded by experienced people and good friends (making new ones daily) so we should be safe.  The next blog will be after the storm, wish us good luck and safe harbor! 


  1. Not a bad place to be stranded! You poor thing you. Keeping my fingers crossed Matthew keeps away from you. Stay safe my friend.

  2. Was thinking of you guys this past weekend and had to check the blog- Assume you are doing alright as the storm pasted. Keep us updated!