1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: Here comes - er, there goes Sandy...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Here comes - er, there goes Sandy...

After much internal debate (and a complete review of every weather and wind site on the net), I decided my best and safest bet was to hang out here in Port Dover and let Sandy do her stuff while I watched from a safe distance - like a couple of hundred miles distance. Interestingly enough, the two day's prior weather was fairly benign - I could have made Buffalo without a lot of hassle, but the question would have been - can I get a safe place on the western end of the Erie Canal to weather the storm. Oh yea, the other question was - do I really want to be 75 to 100 miles closer? The answer to both questions it turns out, was not easily to finding a dock, and no to being closer. Turns out the Erie Canal was entirely shut down, so a dock in the canal wasn't possible.
So here I am, tied up in the commercial docks - the fish tugs that are usually here are off to the west, fishing out of Port Stanley and Erieau. I've got power to run my heater and computer, I've got an internet connection, propane to run my other heater, lots of lines tying me to the dock and I'm reasonably close to downtown, Tim Horton's coffee and other amenities. And I'm currently sipping a nice red wine, so all is good.
Best of all, I have new friends here, LiveBlog follower Brian and his wife Louise, Liam, Hillary, George (whose dock I'm using with his kind permission)...it's funny, but the worst of times - bad weather, boat breakdowns, etc., have almost every time brought out some new adventure for me, led me to new friends and neat places. This time is no different. My only concern has been that Sandy would trash the Erie Canal and make it impossible for me to go south this year, at least on my boat.
Winds were predicted to go to 40, and perhaps 50 knots last night, out of the north. That is 46 to 58 miles per hour for you landlubbers. Lots of rain. We got the lots of rain and winds made it to 45, so fairly accurate forecast for this location.
Fortunately, I'm at the northern side of the harbour where the protection is best, and I'm well tied up, with lots more line at the ready should it be needed, which it wasn't.
btw, this is not Gypsy Wind's first hurricane, since I've owned her, it's the third. The first was Isabel, in Annapolis. Second was Irene, in Virginia, and now, Sandy here in Ontario. Notice please, all those names are female...which leads me back to the point of my last post, lol!
Here's a photo of Gypsy Wind at the docks....

Notice, she's nicely tied up, no winds or waves about her.....about how it was in fact all night long.

And here's one of the forecast just about prior to Sandy going ashore as of Monday at about 6 pm Eastern time....
So what's next you ask? I contacted the Erie Canal today, and the canal will be back in operation sometime in the next week after they have gotten water levels re-established. They drained major parts of the canal to prevent any flooding from the storm and to protect the dams and other infrastructure. Now they have to put the plug back in and wait for the canal to fill.
So I'm out of here on Thursday - winds will be out of the west, perfect for this trip. I'd leave tomorrow, but I have work that needs to be done and there's no rush, since the canal won't be open until next week now.
Oh - one more piece of good news...I have several friends who are on their boats heading south as well - all are fine and their boats are safe. 
I do believe I'll pour myself a glass of wine and have a wee celebration!