2012-10-27 Waiting for Sandy

October 27, 2010

Sandy’s projected track

We are in Deltaville, VA where the Rappahannock and Piankatank Rivers meet the Chesapeake Bay, waiting for the onset of Hurricane Sandy which is due to pass this way in the next 48-72 hours. After examining our options and much deliberation and discussion, we have decided to head out to ride out the storm at anchor. We are now tucked into Fishing Bay, which offers good protection for winds from all directions except South. Why, you might ask, would anyone leave a lovely marina and head out into a hurricane? Well, let me try to explain.

Deltaville Marina has fixed docks, not floating docks. That means the docks are at a fixed height and in the event of a tidal surge, common with a hurricane, boats may actually be lifted ABOVE the docks. This provides plenty of opportunity for damage. For the past 48 hours, the boatyard has been lifting boats out of the water as both boats and docks are thereby safer. However, given our size, we are too large to be lifted out at Deltaville or any other nearby marina. Our best alternative at Deltaville was to go into the slip for the 75-ton travel lift.

Most of the boats at the marina have been hauled out

While it’s a large enough slip to accommodate us and would allow us to be tied up securely, it also has the potential to cause damage to the boat. Unlike the standard wood docks, this slip has steel bays on either side, only a few feet above the normal high tide level. With a large storm surge, the risk is that our hull could come into contact with those metal sides and the boat would not likely win! In addition, the risk from flying debris is much greater where there are lots more boats, buildings, and other potential flying missiles.

On the other hand, being at anchor avoids many of those risks. Presuming the anchor is properly set and adequate preparations are made, the risk to the boat is lower than being in a marina. Although it will likely be a bit nerve wracking and potentially uncomfortable for a while, we elected to take this option. We chose Fishing Bay, a nearby anchorage because it is deep, large, and reasonably protected from the north, which is where the winds are initially expected. We spent all day yesterday preparing the boat.

Flybrige settee – cushions removed, hatches taped and table cover secured

This included removing everything possible that might blow or sustain damage from the tender deck and flybridge such as the tender cover and bimini top, all dive equipment normally stored in a zippered deck box, all cushions, life vests, lines, fenders, etc.

It was just a couple miles to the anchorage but the winds are already starting to pick up. Nothing serious yet, just a hint of what’s to come at 10-15 knots. We are secured with over 200 feet of anchor chain out with one other boat, a Swan 57 sailboat, here with us. For now we are relaxing and waiting, but when the fun begins, we’ll be standing anchor watches, making sure we’re not moving! I’ll try to provide an update when the worst is over, but we’ll have to see if we have internet coverage throughout! So don’t be alarmed if you don’t hear from us for a while.

Of you’d like to see where we are you can go to www.marinetraffic.com and enter the vessel name Shear Madness. A special thanks to all those at Deltaville with local knowledge and our boating friends and other Nordhavn owners for their advice and expertise in helping us through this decision. Click here to send us an email or leave your comment below!

  1. #1 by cci405 on October 29, 2012 - 10:22 am

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you guys. Hope to hear some good news soon. Cathy


  2. #2 by Michael Cook on October 28, 2012 - 9:02 pm

    All the very best of luck, I expect you made the right decision Don’t forget to freshen the nip from time to time during the event and avoid chaffing. Out thought and prayers are with you.


  3. #3 by julie sannicandro on October 28, 2012 - 6:01 pm

    In NYC with Eva, Vi and Eileen celebrating my birthday weekend they gave me. Saw a play this afternoon, all flights cancelled at least until Tuesday more like Wednesday we might be able to get home. Staying in Times Square. Will be praying for you all for safety and peace.


    Sent from my iPhone


  4. #4 by Terry in Sarasota on October 28, 2012 - 12:32 pm

    My prayers will be with you.

    Good thing you’re aboard a Nordhavn!

    Looking forward to some photos and video.


  5. #5 by Budinsky, Erwin & Uli on October 28, 2012 - 11:17 am

    Dear Friends, we wish you and SHEAR MADNESS “immer eine Handbreit Wasser unter’m Kiel”. (old German sailors wisdom).That means “always a hand wide water below the ship’s keel”.
    Good luck
    Erwin und Uli


  6. #6 by Craig, Fran on October 28, 2012 - 10:15 am

    I admire you your bravery! I am just worried returning from Brussels right after the storm on Wednesday! Best of Luck! And luck is “the residue of design”, so you will do well!


    Sent from my iPad


  7. #7 by Lucy Church on October 28, 2012 - 9:32 am

    I will be thinking about you and hoping all is well.

    Lucy C. Church 5114 Forsgate Place Fairfax VA 22030-4507 703-385-3475 lucyc703@Verizon.net

    Sent from my iPad


  8. #8 by Liz Rollins on October 28, 2012 - 9:13 am

    Hey guys! Thinking of you this morning when I received the following Sandy update from my sister. She lives just outside of Baltimore. The following is a news update from her county government. We’re praying for your safety!!

    Much Love,

    Liz & Brown & kids (South Carolina)


  9. #9 by Kathy Clark on October 28, 2012 - 8:57 am

    It appears that WordPress now allows you to REPLY to a blog update email and post a comment to the site. Hurray!



  10. #10 by MacDonald-Miller, Dee (US) on October 28, 2012 - 7:23 am

    Good luck and remember you always have a safe anchor here after the storm-


  11. #11 by Mary Ray on October 27, 2012 - 9:24 pm

    We will be thinking of you and will keep you in our prayers. Do keep all of us posted if you can.
    Scott and Mary Ray


  12. #12 by Paul Kent on October 27, 2012 - 9:20 pm

    Kathy, I had been thinking about you two as the hurricane was heading north. Please do keep us updated, ok?

    Batten down the hatches!

    Best regards,


    Paul E. Kent, PhD Senior Vice President Nathan Associates Inc.

    Sent from my iPhone


  13. #13 by Richard Tupper on October 27, 2012 - 8:25 pm

    You did the right thing moving. You are much better off not at the dock. Hope this turns out to be just a regular Northeaster for us. Looks like a three day event.. As soon as we can get back in the water let us know if you need anything and we will be glad to help. Was hoping to have you over for crabs and football tomorrow but we knew you would be busy with Sandy heading our way.




    • #14 by Kathy Clark on October 28, 2012 - 9:00 am

      Richard – Crabs would have been nice. Hopefully we’ll be able to watch football if we don’t lose Sat TV connection. But we’ll head back to Deltaville when this is over and hope to catch up then!


  14. #15 by aschwanda@aol.com on October 27, 2012 - 7:50 pm

    We were to do a short cruise for our anniversary. We boarded the ship yesterday at port canaveral…at five the Captain came on and said that we woud not be sailing because of the winds and waves…By seven word went out that if we were off by nine we would get a voucher for a full refund…We had dinner and were off! Fortunately we live so close tha tit was not a huge inconvenience but many had come long distances for the cruise…One group were there for a wedding in the Bahamas with all the guests and attendants…felt sad for them and don’t know what they ended up doing…I know that my own bed looked way better than rocking through 17 foot seas…


  15. #16 by Andrew Chapman on October 27, 2012 - 6:27 pm

    Good to know — I’ll be keeping an eye on the surge there. All my best for a safe “ride,” and looking forward to the all-clear report!


  16. #17 by Andrew Chapman on October 27, 2012 - 6:23 pm

    Good to know you’re there — I’ll be keeping an eye on the news for the surge. All my best wishes, and looking forward to the “all clear” report!


  17. #18 by Simon Cash on October 27, 2012 - 5:27 pm

    hi to you both, hope all goes well over the next few days. will be thinking of you. am currently in the Antarctic at McMurdo Station so will email later when back home to see how things have gone.


  18. #19 by Dan Young on October 27, 2012 - 5:05 pm

    Good luck with Sandy. Looks as though her landfall is moving north somewhat. Two hooks down, even a small one, might be prove useful.



  19. #20 by Denver Area Evacuation Center on October 27, 2012 - 4:41 pm

    Good luck and stay safe!


  20. #21 by jamngrny on October 27, 2012 - 4:23 pm

    You were on my mind when I heard about this storm, knowing you were still in the area. Button down the hatches and hold on tight. May get a bit weary up here too. Look forward to reading about your adventure.



  21. #22 by Fran and Paul on October 27, 2012 - 4:19 pm

    Wasn’t there another option — to anchor two miles out and get a lift to a hotel? Oh, you’re right, not much excitement in that.
    Well, Kathy and Bradley, hold on tight to the camera, and we landlubbers will hold our breath for the illustrated blog post of the century. GOOD LUCK!


  22. #23 by Anonymous on October 27, 2012 - 4:19 pm

    You were on my mind when I heard about this storm, knowing you were still in the area. Button down the hatches and hold on tight. May get a bit weary up here too. Look forward to reading about your adventure.


  23. #24 by Fred K on October 27, 2012 - 4:18 pm

    Sounds scary. Good luck. I hesitate to mention this, but some video of the next couple of days would be very interesting. Most of us will never experience anything like this. Again, good luck.


    • #25 by Kathy Clark on October 27, 2012 - 4:21 pm

      Yep, will take video when I can – when the excitement starts!


  24. #26 by Anonymous on October 27, 2012 - 4:18 pm

    If you wanted to haul out, just north of you is Pleasure Cove Marina

    They hauled my boat Thursday. They can haul upto 100 feet I believe in a heated hurricane proof storage facility, largest in mid-atlantic. Might be well worth the run to avoid this serious mess

    Charlie Hodge


    • #27 by Kathy Clark on October 27, 2012 - 5:26 pm

      Charlie – it’s not the length that’s the problem, it’s the weight. Pleasure Cove has a 100-ton lift, but we weigh 120 tons, so need a 200-ton lift. On the positive side, the weight is an asset when at anchor in a hurricane!


  25. #28 by Mike La Martina on October 27, 2012 - 3:55 pm

    Good Luck


  26. #29 by Cindy on October 27, 2012 - 3:54 pm

    Good luck guys! We’ve been thinking of you and wondering what your plans were. It will be exciting but I’m sure you’ll be fine. I’ll look forward to the stories on the other side of the storm.


  27. #30 by Bob Lohrmann on October 27, 2012 - 3:50 pm

    Good luck!! Be safe.

    Bob Lohrmann Boblohrmann@yahoo.com


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