Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Skull Creek: business as usual

        Being out of blueberries and tonic, I biked to a supermarket and liquor store this morning and found both to be open and expecting to remain so.  At the liquor store I bought a spare bottle of Laphroaig, not knowing when or where I might be able to buy another.  
        The liquor store was busier than usual for 10 a.m. with others stocking up on essential supplies.  The supermarket was about normal.  There was no unusual traffic on the parkway leading to the only bridge off the island.  
        Just before the evacuation order was to go into effect at noon, South Carolina’s governor, whose name I obviously don’t know, rescinded the order for the three southern most coastal counties, including Beaufort, which includes Hilton Head Island.  The was unusually reasonable for a politician.  All of the sources I have been viewing, including this morning’s GRIB, showed that Florence will be someone else’s storm and have little or no affect on Hilton Head Island.  I know some sailors in North Carolina whom unfortunately the storm will affect.  From the forecast having your own boat may be useful.  I wish them a safe storm passage.
        Among those who will experience Florence at near landfall is Steve Earley.  As others were going out of the Outer Banks, he was going in.  As you may remember Steve is a photographer with a Norfolk, Virginia newspaper and is frequently sent to photograph hurricanes first hand.  I have no idea how many he has gone through.  He is on Hatteras Island for Florence.  I hope and trust that he will maintain his winning streak.
        This morning I talked to Fred, the Skull Creek Marina dock master who lives on board his sailboat in the next finger from GANNET.  He has been in this area for a long time and has survived five hurricanes, two at this marina, one of which had 95 knot winds, all remaining tied to the dock rather than anchoring out.  The issue is now hypothetical, but his experience is worth considering.
        I am now looking at the forecast winds after Florence seeking a way north.  There may be three days of favorable south wind early next week that would enable me to get at least as far as Beaufort, North Carolina before a northerly change.  Assuming Beaufort, North Carolina is still there.
        I don’t see myself leaving before Monday at the earliest, if then.