Mosey On and crew are still holed up in Port Washington….We came here to await the passage of an expected “gale” offshore before proceeding on down the Jersey shore toward Norfolk. Then we heard about Tropical Low Joaquin (soon to become a hurricane) and quickly came to the realization that we might have to wait a bit longer, perhaps a couple of days, before resuming our cruise south. We spent three nights on a town mooring out in the harbor, but the arrival of the leading edge of The Gale (these things apparently don’t warrant names) made the third night a bit too rambunctious and I stood “anchor watch” all night until we could assess our options in the light of day. [“Anchor Watch” is a slight misnomer…You can’t see the anchor well dug (hopefully) into the sea bottom. But you can see what happens if it loses its grip or the line to the mooring ball parts and you start drifting with wind or current. The bang or crunch of a collision with something in the wee hours of darkness should not be your first clue…]. The winds, rain, and chop in the harbor were not abating, so we called a local marina to see if they had space for us to tie up in a slip. It might still blow, but I hoped to get some sleep!
The morning also brought the chilling news that Joaquin might well be aimed right at us. Memories of Hurricane Sandy are still fresh on folks minds here. In truth, the weather gurus could find no consensus of where he might make landfall…so there was nowhere to run until we knew more. Port Washington is a very well protected harbor on the west end of Long Island just above New York at the head of the East River. If Joaquin came to New York, we were sheltered from storm surge, but not the wind. So to start our preparations for both the fast approaching gale…and the possibility of Joaquin, we set about securing Mosey On to the dock with every stout line we had aboard, wrapping the critical points with chafe protection, and securing anything that might blow or add to Mosey’s considerable inherent windage. We made lists of additional tasks to accomplish (like duct-taping doors, windows and hatches) if and when we had a more definitive indication of Joaquin’s track toward us. Then The Gale arrived. More than a hairy description for a windy day on the water, a gale is defined as sustained winds or frequent gusts of 34-47 knots (about 39 to 54 miles per hour). Marry that up with bands of rain squalls…Hairy enough!
Mosey On and crew had come into the Marina on Wednesday, on Friday morning we learned that Joaquin had taken a turn out to sea and away from U.S. waters. That was certainly great news. But The Gale continues unabated. It’s Saturday night and the latest advisories call for it to continue in these waters at least through tomorrow night. I don’t know if this is just one terribly persistent gale…or a string pummeling us one after another. I do know that I have never experienced such unrelenting wind and squalls for so many days in a row! But we are safe…and I’ll get at least some sleep tonight (you become somewhat accustomed to the howling)….
Moseyin’ On …when all this blows over