So what happened to Cadence? I got very lucky. As you can see below, Cadence is still upright on stands. I am not exactly sure what happened but I think, the boat to port washed up from the dock as the storm came in and jammed in against her side. The boat to starboard fell off her stands as the water retreated and pinned Cadence from the other side.
I was told by Joel, my contractor, that he found with only two stands and put six additional ones back. There is damage but I think (hope) it's superficial.
The second near escape, is my old boat fka Messing About, now Genesis. She was on the dock but as you can in this shot washed up on to the deck 4-5 feet above and stuck there with a dock tied to her starbaoard and a boat tied to her port.
Five minutes after I took this shot, I heard an allmighty crash and turned round to see that Genesis had slid back and was now floating with dock and other boat still attached. She seemed fine. Hopefully the damage is repairable. She's a good old boat.
The last lucky escape is even more extraordinary. On Saturday, I helped my friend Ed move his boat up river to Brown's. This marina is not as far up the creek as Morgan and pretty open to the elements. Ed was not able to get his boat hauled out, so we tied and sprung her well (we hoped).
The photo below shows Brown's Boatyard today. Al the boats in the front part of yard and all the boats in slips were washed away. Except one that is. Ed's boat which you can still tied up to the slip.
Bloody miracle. Ed claims it was my knot-tying.
Apparently I missed the irony in my friend Ed's email. When he said my knots were good as his boat was tied to the dock what he didn't mention was that the dock was not actually tied to anything else.
His boat ended up in Morgan Marina. Still, he's optimistic that she will be OK.
I spent a lot of last night and this morning trying to find out what had happened at Morgan Marina, where my boat, Cadence was hauled out and on the hard. Given her location, I assumed she would be safe.
Morgan is up Cheesequake Creek, a small river off the Southwest of Raritan Bay. The marina is about half a mile from the Bay past two bridges: One, the Rte 35 road bridge where Rte 35 acts as a seawall except under the bridge. The other is a low rail road bridge. To the East is a very large wetland, presumably plenty of place for the water to go. The South is Garden State Parkway. To the immediate North are Brown's and Lockwoods' marinas and yards.
There is a dock holding 50-80 boats and a large yard about 4 feet about the water level with 100 or so boats on jackstands. I have kept my boat here for several years and know the folks who work there well. Nice bunch of hard-working people.
All morning I heard mixed information: The dock had washed away but boats on stands were OK, my boat was in "decent shape" (a statement that is relative), but nothing specific. None of this prepared me for what I saw.
As I drove up, on the left hand side of the road were several boats and this iron dock, several hundred yards across wetland beyond Lockwoods Boatworks.
The entrance to the yard was blocked by half a dozen yachts. To the left and right as far as I could see where yachts off their stands, tangled up like this.
Once you entered the yard, boat were everywhere, rolled, smashed up, tied up in each other's rigging. Boats had washed down from the other yards or washed up from the destroed dock. It was chaos.
These two shots were taken by fellow RYC clubmember, Alan Uminski this morning.
You can see the full extent of what happened here. Watch in Slideshow mode. It may me weep.
Yesterday, there 30-40 boats standing there. Great boats like Sinn Fein, multiple winner of Newport-Bermuda; great boats I crewed on like Bellefaster; great boats like Why Knot,a daysailer clubmate George inherited from his uncle and took loving care of so that he could take his family sailing; great boats like Forbidden, Slice, Poppy, For Sail, Mad Cow and Magic who would race multiple times a week come rain or shine
Boats are inanimate objects and it's so much more important that their crews and owners are safe but boats have souls. We lost a lot of souls last night.
Just received this from club-mate Bob Wardlow. My heart is breaking:
Very Bad News... at 6:00pm the intense waves and storm surge
from Sandy, breached our yard. All the boats in the yard were knocked
off their stands and floated heading toward the west end of the
yard. From there the boats were continuously smashed against the yard
buildings until the lcoker and ice building gave way colapsing and
washing onto the nearby beach. The water was up to the floor of the
cupola as of 8:00pm. For the rest of the night I was unable to see more
than the outline of the cupola. At this point I don't know how much of
the docks have survived. There were a couple of trailered boats that
were still standing but I can only image how much damage they sustained
by the other boats crashing into them with each oncoming wave. I
estimate we had 5 to 6 feet of water in the yard with 6 foot waves
crushing the boats.
The club house is intact except for one door that was ripped off it's
hinges. It was quickly put back in place and tied shut. The stairway
from the deck to the yard is mostly gone. I think the main deck is still
solid although the mass of boats, fence, yard building was continuously
crushed against the retaining wall the is the foundation of the deck.
At this point there is nothing you can do. There is no power at the club
and under this state of emergency and per our Vice Commodore DO NOT
COME DOWN TO THE CLUB. We will see what tomorrow brings. Right now if
you have a boat in the yard you will need to notify your insurance
company to put in a claim.
Thankfully no one was injured during the storm.
Because of the power outages it was difficult to get this information
out to you. I will continue to try my best to keep you informed.
I downloaded the GRIBs for Sandy. This tells the story of how long we will be in the middle of this thing. Combined with an especially high tide later tonight, things will get ugly along the shore. At 0800 today the water was over the bulkhead at RYC in Perth Amboy. Very concerned about the next 4+ high tides.
Maybe I am being paranoid but in the last 36 hours the sharp end of Sandy's estimated landfall has shifted North from Delaware to the Northern Jersey Shore. According to this Storm Surge projection, Raritan Bay (clumsily-circled in dark blue by me) will see 9-12' storm surges. Thankfully my boat is up the creek at Morgan Marina and hopefully out of reach.
When I left RYC yesterday, there were still a handful of boats on their moorings. I fear the worse for them. I also fear for the 40 or so boats in the yard at RYC. They are very exposed.
Great article on Sandy and why we can expect to see more of these in years to come. Oh goody! The short story with Sandy, is that the cold front is keeping Sandy offshore longer. As the Ocean is warmer than normal (Global Warming at work) the storm gains power and sucks up more warm moisture. Next 24 hours will be key.