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.
I downloaded Saiflow's models for the next 24 hours for New Jersey. Here is a sequence starting from early am through tomorrow evening. They are models so take them with a grain of salt.
The wind velocity is ugly but may not be above a Category 1(I hope less). The really scary thing about this storm is how slow it's moving. It's big, fat and lumbering. The worrying thing is how wave height and speed will build over that period. The longer the wind blows at high speed, the bigger the seas and the more viloent the waves. Even today there are high winds predicted offshore this afternoon. The concern about the damage this storm could do along the shore should not be underestimated.
With Hurricane Irene looking uglier by the minute, our club, Raritan Yacht Club is in a flurry of of storm prep activity. The Fleet Captain and Rear Commodore have issued some helpful information and directives.The club is going to be full-on over the next few days getting ready in case we get slammed. The club is at the West end of Raritan Bay and the mooring field is very exposed.
At the end of the day, no amount of preparation can save your boat if things get really ugly. It's about minimizing risk as best you can.
We feel especially vulnerable as Cadence is moored in the most precarious spot at the Western edge of the mooring field with the rest of the fleet above us and a nasty railroad bridge below us. If the winds and water come in from the East (most likely), all it will take is one boat to break its mooring and we are at big risk of being struck or worse yet pulled off our mooring. This has happened in the past to other boats and it makes me very nervous. If our mooring goes, the risk is Cadence will get hammered against a big iron bridge.
If the wind is out of West, it could push a lot of water out of the Bay and my concern here is grounding.
We decided to haul her. Hauling-out is no guarantee but from everything I have read, it seems like the best way to lower our risk.
There is a yard close by and we have a spot booked. They will charge us around $500, which is well worth it in my view. Better yet, I called Boat US Insurance to check on our policy. They were very helpful and said that per our policy, they will cover 50% of the haul-out cost.
The best outcome is that Irene peters out and we wasted $250. Frankly for $250 we can sleep a little better.
PS: I also just got an email from Boat US that said I could get a discount on my GEICO car insurance. I called GEICO and they were able to reduce my policy by $280. That more than pays for the other 50% of the haul-out.
As sailors, we are more aware than many Americans of the need for accurate weather forecasting. That’s why reports that funding for the NOAA is one of the items on Congress’s budget chopping block is disturbing.