2012-10-30 It Was a Dark and Stormy and Windy and Cold Night

October 30, 2012

Sustained winds from the WSW of 40+ KNOTS (45+ MPH) with gusts in the 50’s

As expected, we had the worst of the storm last night. The winds did shift towards the West-Southwest, the direction where we have a bit less protection. We saw sustained winds in the 45-50 knot range with the highest gust a mere 57 knots (65 MPH). Of course, the strong winds waited until after dark! While all was well aboard Shear Madness, there was some excitement. Our neighbor in the anchorage called us on the radio just before midnight to report that his anchor was dragging and he was getting dangerously close to a dock onshore. We were discussing what, if anything, we could do to assist him when he fortunately called back to say he had it under control and had reset his anchor. We were greatly relieved as we hated to leave him on his own, but in order to assist, we would have had to pull up our anchor and go dangerously close to shore ourselves. Fortunately, it was not a decision we had to make.

Strong wind, cold temps, low pressure, and note how out position changed with the winds shift to the South

Shear Madness rode out the storm very well. Bradley stayed up on anchor watch until the early morning hours while I got a little (not much really) sleep. By 2am the winds had begun to ease and the worst appeared to be over. So we just monitored the wind and our position from the TV in our cabin. Anytime the wind speed is 50% higher than the temperature in Fahrenheit, it will be a little exciting and you hope you don’t have to go out. We had temps of 35F and winds of 55 knots! We saw the Weather Channel reporters continually talking about the barometric pressure – the lowest I observed was 974.

This morning the winds are in the 20’s and we are safe and comfortable. The winds are expected to continue to blow from the South-Southwest so we debated whether to move to somewhere more comfortable. However, though we feel some motion, we really are not uncomfortable and the thought of bringing up 120 meters of muddy anchor chain in 35 degree weather with moderate winds is not that appealing. We’d rather wait until things settle a bit and enjoy our coffee and breakfast.

Snubber line held, some nice chop in the water, but winds have eased

One note – you may have heard about the disastrous fate of the HMS Bounty Replica that was underway around Cape Hatteras. One statement from that story was a quote from their Facebook page Rest assured that the Bounty is safe and in very capable hands. Bounty’s current voyage is a calculated decision … NOT AT ALL … irresponsible or with a lack of foresight as some have suggested. The fact of the matter is … A SHIP IS SAFER AT SEA THAN IN PORT!”
While we made the decision that we would be safer at anchor than at a dock, we would never had thought we’d be better off UNDERWAY in a hurricane near Cape Hatteras, known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic! We have a serious anchor, plenty of chain, were not that far from shore, and had two big diesel engines we could use in an emergency. We never, ever considered the possibility of going out to sea!

Thanks to all of you for your concern, your support, and your comments. We can now check off our bucket list “Ride out a hurricane on a boat at anchor”. Our biggest concern now is how difficult it will be to get our anchor up! It will be pretty well dug in.

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  2. #2 by Mary Ray on October 31, 2012 - 8:51 pm

    Thank you for the update. You were much in our thoughts and prayers.All’s well that ends well at this point. Scott and Mary Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2012 13:45:52 +0000 To: maryray28@hotmail.com


  3. #3 by Earle Williams on October 31, 2012 - 12:06 pm

    Kathy and Bradley, I’m sure glad it worked out well for you. I still prefer solid ground, but I wouldn’t want to run into it if I were on a boat. Stay safe. Earle

    On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 9:46 AM, Shear Madness


  4. #4 by Anonymous on October 31, 2012 - 8:18 am

    Kathy I am happy you are all safe.


  5. #5 by James Sigman on October 30, 2012 - 5:15 pm

    Glad you guys are safe!     Jim


  6. #6 by Fred K on October 30, 2012 - 4:38 pm

    Nicely done. Your decisions were the right ones. Not underway at sea, close to shore, good ground tackle, away from the dock etc. A very educational experience for the rest of us. Good luck for the next few days.


  7. #7 by Joe Viar on October 30, 2012 - 4:24 pm

    Have you guys ever considered bull fighting as your next adventure? Joe Viar


  8. #8 by jackhughes@starpower.net on October 30, 2012 - 2:09 pm

    WOW!!! it was MOST exciting being onshore in DC with 70 MPH winds, can’t imagine being on the water. GLAD you guys are safe!!!


  9. #9 by Anonymous on October 30, 2012 - 1:43 pm

    Glad to hear all is well… We were thinking about you guys!


  10. #10 by Anonymous on October 30, 2012 - 1:13 pm

    So glad that you made it through safely!


  11. #11 by Gene Blanchard on October 30, 2012 - 12:32 pm


    It’s good to hear that you weathered the terrible storm safely.

    I remember riding out a hurricane in 1954 aboard a destroyer anchored in Chesapeake Bay. Much of the Atlantic Fleet was there, and we, too, had to be concerned about dragging anchor – or other nearby ships dragging anchor. I’m sure, though, that I was more comfortable aboard the ship than you were aboard Shear Madness.



  12. #12 by Lucy Church on October 30, 2012 - 12:04 pm

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

    Sent from my iPad


  13. #13 by Anonymous on October 30, 2012 - 11:31 am

    Glad to hear all is well. Thank you so much for the update. Listening to the wind last night I thought of you both. You are very brave!!! Sandy B.


  14. #14 by Fitzsimmons, Tracy on October 30, 2012 - 11:24 am

    Kathy, All of us here at Shenandoah are so glad that you and Bradley – and Shear Madness — are safe!!! Campus is okay — lots of tress down, lots of leaks, no electricity — but no structural damage or injuries. Take care, Tracy


  15. #15 by marie dufour on October 30, 2012 - 10:54 am

    Get your deckwash ready! I’m sure you have more water than needed to wash the mud… need a few buckets? Well done! dominomarie

    On Tue, Oct 30, 2012 at 9:45 AM, Shear Madness


  16. #16 by Anonymous on October 30, 2012 - 10:34 am

    very good news, Kathy & Bradley, you really handled that well. What could you have possibly done for your neighbour – I wouldn’t fancy trying to get a line to him from the big boat and getting into a tender would be out of the question? anyway, he reset – thank goodness for that. it certainly will be interesting to see what comes up with the anchor – it must have set in deep … very best to you both. Colin & Janet Ingram


  17. #17 by Lynn and Loretta Johnson on October 30, 2012 - 10:30 am

    Glad to see you guys weathered the storm ok! We pulled our boat last Friday just to be on the safe side. Sit tight and enjoy your breakfast.


  18. #18 by dschapman19 on October 30, 2012 - 9:48 am


    a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; }

    /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */

    Been following your emails throughout the storm, but really didn’t know what to say, but I am glad that you, Bradley and Shear Madness are all doing fine.  Good decision to anchor!    

    st1\:* { BEHAVIOR: url(#ieooui) }

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  19. #19 by dancinmem@comcast.net on October 30, 2012 - 9:46 am

    “RELIEF IS SPELLED…………………”



  20. #20 by Cyndi on October 30, 2012 - 9:45 am

    Glad to hear all is well and that you had an “adventure”. Old neighborhood made it through Sandy w/much less damage than the derecho.


  21. #21 by Anonymous on October 30, 2012 - 9:38 am

    Kathy and Bradley,
    Thank God, we are relieved you are fine! Remarkably Fox Lake was apparently unscathed. We don’t have a single branch on our property and never lost power. Winds stayed consistently in the low 40 mph range all night. Have not yet gotten outside to see if there is any major tree damage in the neighborhood. Good luck with the anchor. Jim, Diane, Stella, and Sophia


  22. #22 by Anonymous on October 30, 2012 - 9:34 am

    Jordan just rested. He likes the new ringtone for you –“Ridin’ The Storm Out” Ringtone to your Cell


  23. #23 by Anonymous on October 30, 2012 - 9:21 am

    Thanks for sending the emails. I was vicariously sharing in your adventures and rooting for Shear Madness. Hope you’ll write a book some day. I’m so glad you’re safe and sound, and I’m sure you’ll figure out the best way to get the anchor up. Best wishes for safe and happy sailing.


  24. #24 by Bruce Schwanda on October 30, 2012 - 9:18 am

    Sounds like it was an exciting night and a good decision to got to anchor. Glad you did not have to try to assist the other boat….may well have ended up with two boats in trouble. Still cannot believe what the HMS Bounty replica was doing out there!


  25. #25 by Jennifer Lamb on October 30, 2012 - 9:17 am

    Are you sure you’re still havin fun? Stay safe. Miss seeing you.



  26. #26 by Cyndy Morreale on October 30, 2012 - 9:04 am

    I can not tell you how many times I googled Fishing Bay hurricane updates yersterday… didn’t find anything out about you but it does look like a lovely area under more wonderful conditions. I’m so glad your safe … I knew your decision was a good one, at anchor in a protected bay but you two Rock … seriously ! I always wondered what made people want to put themselves in these crazy conditions … by choice … but I am majorly impressed and proud to have you for friends and role models! Hope today brings some much needed rest and calm waters!!


  27. #27 by Anonymous on October 30, 2012 - 9:03 am

    very thankful


  28. #28 by Anonymous on October 30, 2012 - 8:58 am

    Thanks for the update – glad to year you had a relatively ‘quiet’ night. Good luck with the anchor!


  29. #29 by Chuck Mudd on October 30, 2012 - 8:56 am

    Glad that you made it safely through the storm Kathy. Chuck Mudd

    Charles B. Mudd, Jr. Mudd & Associates, Ltd. 1215 Stuart Robeson Drive McLean, VA 22101

    chuckmudd@gmail.com 703-582-4097


  30. #30 by Anonymous on October 30, 2012 - 8:56 am

    So glad you’re safe! We’ve actually had some snow here this morning! Tommy Herndon


  31. #31 by Doug Wendt and Family on October 30, 2012 - 8:56 am

    Thanks for the update, Kathy and Bradley. And thank you also for the explanations and insights. We were just discussing the differences between a boat in port, one in a harbor and one in the open ocean and your comments brought clarity to everything. Glad that you all weathered the storm well, and that your neighbor did as well!


  32. #32 by Debbie Heiniger on October 30, 2012 - 8:49 am

    OK Kathy and Bradley, you are my new heroes. You have earned some serious mariner stripes and so glad you are safe and snug. I love Nordhavns!


  33. #33 by Luxurious111@aol.com on October 30, 2012 - 8:48 am

    Was just wondering when we were getting an updat from you. Sooo glad you are safe! Deb

    Sent from my iPad


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