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Old 10-05-2016, 06:49 AM   #1
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Weather...to go or not to go

Been planning for our 'maiden voyage' for a couple of months now....spent several nights at the dock at home and our first night on the hook at a nearby creek to 'practice'. Plan is to leave in the morning, spend 2 nights on the hook on the way to the Annapolis boat show, spend a week at a local marina while we take a week long course on cruising and diesel maintenance, then take 2 - 5 nights back home. We are really excited, but with Matthew possibly coming this way, not sure if we should go

We should be able to make it to the marina before the hurricane or any impact of it comes, but is it crazy to go? What factors do you consider when planning? I'm sure we will run into this a lot in the future so curious to hear some advice. Thanks!
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:52 AM   #2
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I would opt to stay at home.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:11 AM   #3
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New boat.
New to boating (I'm assuming this based on doing a 'cruising and diesel maint' course but could be wrong) or new to 'this type' of boating.
New Marina.
Imminent Hurricane.

I'd stay home (no brainer, really) - maybe spend a night (weather permitting of course) more in the close-by creek you stayed in last night then get her home and tied up snug before any weather from Matthew arrives. Heading out boating when a huricane (in my case cyclone) is due is crazy. Who knows - it might fizzle out earlier than anticipated and you can then head off - albeit late, but you're boating, so who cares?
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:15 AM   #4
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Wait till tomorrow to make the decision?....the Northeast's forecast is changing dramatically.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:28 AM   #5
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I second Shufti's motion. The forecast is deteriorating, you and your boat are new to each other, marinas and other boaters will be scrambling to complete hurricane preparations, etc., etc.

Every time I have gotten in trouble during a trip away from my home port, it was when I allowed myself to get pushed up against a deadline, and then started making choices driven by the schedule rather than by circumstances in or around the boat. Be a prudent mariner, and sail another day.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:06 AM   #6
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actually for the Annapolis area the forecast is improving, marine forecast has winds less than 15 knots for at least 5 days.

it's a gamble to go, but if the destination marina is just as secure as the home one...should be no big deal.

even at its worst, the forecast for that area was only for 45 knot winds or so for less than a 12 hour event.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:19 AM   #7
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psneeld wrote, "it's a gamble to go, but if . . . should be no big deal."

"But, if, and should." if it's really urgent that you get where you're going, and if nothing unexpected happens, it should be a lot of fun. Man, have I ever heard all of that before!

Not sure which direction the OP is approaching Annapolis, so it's true that the weather may be delightful. Good luck with that! Back to hurricane prep here in Jacksonville Beach, FL.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:20 AM   #8
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Are you talking about leaving tomorrow morning and getting to Annapolis Saturday 10/8 (2 nights by my math) for the sailboat show, or heading up next week to catch the powerboat show?


Tomorrow's forecast for the start of your trip is already rough:
Thu - NE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT WITH GUSTS TO 20 KT. WAVES 2 FT. PATCHY
FOG. VSBY 1 TO 3 NM.

Thu night - NE WINDS 10 TO 15 KT WITH GUSTS TO 20 KT. WAVES 2 FT. A
CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
I am guessing your stops would be Solomons Island and then West/Rhode River.


I would only consider leaving a home port with impending weather if you're headed for a better protected area. Annapolis does have protected marinas and hurricane holes, HOWEVER they will be packed full during the boat show as locals scramble to get boats pulled or moved to marinas with better protection not to mention the yacht vendors trying to move the new boats from temporary floating docks to a more secure mooring. Boaters will be quick to fill up the protected hurricane holes and you won't have any local knowledge or contacts to help you out. I would suggest talking to neighbors (sounds like your have your own dock, if you are at a marina ask your neighbors there) how the area has fared in past storms. I would place a lot of value to their advice and what you see other boaters doing to be prepared. I assume you are in Ophelia, VA/Northern Neck area. We are relatively close in Solomons Island and are just doubling up lines and keeping a close eye. The most damage done in recent storms in the middle bay was Isabel due to a very high surge rather than winds (boats breaking dock lines due to the high levels and going into/over docks as well as boats floating off of lifts or in some cases even stands in boatyards). It is my understanding that Sandy did more damage to the lower bay, especially on the eastern shore but I'm not as familiar with that damage.


Sorry for the rambling response, the short answer is to stay put.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:47 AM   #9
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Not what I wanted to hear, but appreciate all the advice! We have been boating the Chesapeake on a center console that can handle 4 ft waves and outrun storms but we are older and hope to be wiser as we learn to enjoy the cruising lifestyle at 6knots someday, if not this week!

We are coming from Ophelia (own dock) and planning to stay at the Annapolis City Marina (new to us). It would be crazy with the boat show, but yes, it should also be more protected than further south, at our home.

We will plan to see how it tracks and take it a day at a time....maybe, if Matthew turns further east tomorrow, one model says it might miss the bay altogether, then Friday does look better...

Friday E wind 5 to 10 kt. A chance of showers. Seas 1 ft or less.
Friday NightE wind around 9 kt. A chance of showers. Seas around 1 ft.

...at least my concerns (for now) are nothing compared to those on Matthews path. Thanks again!
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:59 AM   #10
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The models are literally all over the map. I would have no hesitation to traveling in the Bay provided you have a safe harbor available at end of each day.

No matter which model ends up most accurate, if any!!, there will be no effects in the Bay for at least three days.

By the time the weekend rolls around, the thing may be heading nowhere near the Bay.
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:02 AM   #11
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It's bloody tough having a new boat and not being able to use her due to weather (well - whatever reason). My boat took 6 months from initiially finding her on a hardstand to finallly being in the water. I spent probably 4 full hours over this time sitting in the flybridge making 'brmmm brmmm' noises

I hope the weather gods are kind to you!
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:25 AM   #12
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Stay put! Our seafaring brothers and sisters before us did not have all the weather tools available to us and many paid the price. Everything appears new to you and the path of this monster is shifting all the time.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:52 AM   #13
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I would not leave the dock when an unpredictable storm is approaching. Make your home dock safer just in case.

"when in doubt dont go out"
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:24 AM   #14
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The 11 am update has changed things quite a bit for the Chessy Bay area.
It calls for Mat to take a starboard turn.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:24 PM   #15
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You just can't trust this storm. Stay put. If you do decide to go, don't take wifey with you. Frighten her once and your cruising days could be done with.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:24 PM   #16
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Cruisers have to make weather decisions like this all the time...they are rarely at a "home dock".

There is plenty of time and cushion to do the planned trip with the major swing in the predicted track. 2 days ago, I too would have recommended stay.....heck...I have been hauled for 10 days and due back in tomorrow. I at first contemplated staying on land but that reduces the option to where I am and how good is that?

The advantage of being out is flexibility....when it finally decides on a path, you move to avoid it or the best protection around.

If the starting conditions are good enough to go and the part now is nowhere near the Chesapeake, go for it. If it turns, then head home or to maybe an even safer harbor than home.

I am going back in tomorrow and even if it turns back towards Jersey, I probably will wait till Saturday morning to make my final go-no go or where to go decision. But I will be in the water to have that flexibility.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:59 PM   #17
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Lot of good advice here. Remember as Captain, you are ultimately responsible to make the decision to go or no go. You are responsible for the lives of those on your boat. I stayed in Oak Harbor WA for a week to sit out the weather.
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearkeley View Post
We should be able to make it to the marina before the hurricane or any impact of it comes, but is it crazy to go? What factors do you consider when planning? I'm sure we will run into this a lot in the future so curious to hear some advice. Thanks!
Yes, it's crazy to go IMHO. One of the most important things for a boat captain or airplane pilot to learn is patience. I've made mistakes in both roles to let my schedule override my judgment. If you have to ask if it's crazy, it almost always is.

There's a saying among pilots: There are old pilots and bold pilots, but very few old bold pilots.

Boating is more forgiving than flying, but it's supposed to be fun. Why push your luck?

just my $.02.

Paul
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:03 PM   #19
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So in a few hours the storm forecast has changed dramatically. Doesn't that make you confidant in the accuracy of its predicted path??
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:05 PM   #20
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Weather...to go or not to go

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmason View Post
you just can't trust this storm. Stay put. If you do decide to go, don't take wifey with you. Frighten her once and your cruising days could be done with.
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