Saturday, September 24, 2022

Hilton Head Island: 50' waves; Ian and me

You may have seen this footage taken by a saildrone in hurricane Fiona a couple of days ago in waves reportedly of 50' and winds of more than 100 mph.


I am impressed that the drone was so well designed and constructed that it could survive such conditions, though they don't look as bad as I expected.  Cameras always seem to reduce waves.

The images are not unfamiliar to me.  I have been in hurricane force winds at least eight times.  Hurricane force starts at 64 knots.  I think I have been once in winds close to 100 knots.  They did not last long and I did not expect to survive if they did.  I have been in at least 30' waves, probably higher.  I don't think anyone is good at judging the heights of such waves from a sailboat in them and I try to err on the low side.

Of hurricanes I expect to be visited by the remnants of one next Thursday or Friday.  

The low I wrote about two days ago has now been named Ian and is expected to be at hurricane strength when it reaches Florida Tuesday or Wednesday.  This far ahead its track is uncertain.  Some models show the center passing out to sea east of Hilton Head.  Some inland over Georgia.  At this point all show it weakening by the time it is this far north, having lost strength over land.  Thank you, Florida.

In any event I have checked my provisions.  I like to have enough to be self-sufficient for two months.  So yesterday I increased essential supplies by biking to a supermarket and buying another canister of oatmeal--one lasts roughly thirty days--and two bottles of Laphroaig at a nearby liquor store.  A friend has observed that two bottles of Laphroaig are not enough for two months.  I agree, but that is all they had.

I also ordered more trail mix from Amazon which will arrive tomorrow.  I already have many other supplies on hand, having stocked before last year's hurricane season.

In case of the arrival of a major storm, I will bring several things up from GANNET.  The JetBoil stoves--I have two.  Gas canisters for them.  The four 5 gallon water jerry cans.  What food is on board.  A small portable solar panel.  Solar lights.  And whatever else catches my eye and mind.

Twenty gallons of fresh water will last me two months.  I would also fill the bathtub and the various sinks.  And presumably there would still be water in the condo swimming pool to use for washing.  I expect I would be the only one here and could even bathe in the swimming pool.

There is a lot of glass on the side of our unit facing Skull Creek.  As the developer knew that view is what this place is about.  I would move cushions into either the utility room or my walk-in closet and live there until the storm passed.

If this building remains standing, I'll be good for two months, by which time I expect some relief will be underway.  If GANNET survives intact, I will, of course, be good indefinitely and able to sail to some place undamaged.

I don't expect Ian to cause great distress.  But with global warming rapid intensification has become common and you know what I think about preparation and planning.

1 comment:

Shawn Stanley said...

Webb, sounds like a good plan. I am in MD but I will be on 'vacation' in NH and CT when Ian blows thru. My property is 4' above sea level. I hope Ian moves off as you predict. I will be powerless to keep an eye on things, but hey are just things. Tie up the boats and hope they are there when we return.