During our storm preparations on Saturday afternoon we were visited by two very kind, local gentlemen who resided on the banks of Wilton Creek. They each offered us use of their docks to dinghy ashore and offered to drive us to the grocery store if needed. “Just come up and knock if you need anything,” they had said. Once Rode Trip was stripped and ready we took advantage of this opportunity to explore. We picked up Matt and Jess with the dinghy and headed ashore. We didn’t need any groceries but we sure did want to stretch our legs before being confined to the boat for the next several days. We docked the dinghy and climbed the path uphill behind one of the gentleman’s homes. Walking around to the front of the house we found ourselves at the end of a cul-de-sac. We began our walk on a paved street that was strewn with leaves and acorns and lined with modest homes. It was a lovely fall afternoon, bit overcast, but a nice temperature for a stroll and we admired the foliage. The roadway weaved through a development. At the end we found a private boat ramp and dock.
After our walk we continued exploring via dinghy and headed up river. Earlier that day two barges had passed and we wanted to see just how far up they were anchored to ride out the storm. We also wanted to know our odds that the barges would come floating back downstream should things get hairy. The barges were secured just around the bend.
Farther up river a few other homes, docks, and then the end of the line. If we had kayaked we might have continued onward but trees and stumps were not a good match for our outboard. We did scan the grass for oysters but found none. We found the perfect dock to sit and admire the view. And just as the sun was setting and raindrops started to fall we headed back to our boats.
On Saturday night, the media had deemed Sandy “Frankenstorm” because of the various weather systems that were converging. Rode Trip and Serendipity were as ready as we could be so why not celebrate our first named storm with a hurricane party! Jess made fabulous spaghetti and homemade garlic bread. In honor of the storm we created the Frankenstorm drink; dark rum and milk. I hear some of you saying “Eeewww!” but it was actually tasty and resembled the storm, not quite sure what to expect but knew it had the potential to pack a whollop. After our drink experimenting we continued the evening with hurricanes and a loooonnng game of Settlers of Catan. It was an entertaining night!
On Sunday morning when we awoke…ok, ok on Sunday afternoon when we awoke the rain had already started. All day long a cold drizzle continued. During high tide the nearby docks were submerged in water. We wondered what a storm surge might do to the creek.
Rain continued into Monday and the winds increased. Winds were 25-30mph throughout the day, gusty. This being day 2 of stuck on a boat, Brian and I were searching for things to do. We thought briefly about being productive…and then settled into a pattern of reading, watching a movie, eating, reading, watching a movie, and every now and then poking our heads out the hatch to see what was happening outside.
It was dark inside Rode Trip because our portholes were blocked by our kayaks up above on the walkways. The boat was dripping with condensation. UGH!! Everything was WET! The v-berth was a disaster; wet walls, dripping portholes, wet sheets, flickering lights due to wet switches. We ran the engine twice daily for about half an hour to keep our batteries charged because the solar panel wasn’t getting any rays through the gloom. We moved ourselves into the cabin for the duration of the storm changing over the settee into bunks at night for sleeping. We had been using the forced hot air heater in the engine room however this combination of down time and cold weather was the perfect opportunity to fire-up the Newport diesel stove. Success!
Monday evening we were feeling a bit cozier with our stove burning. The winds shifted earlier than expected and we knew our anchor was holding fast. We actually slept well that night and well into Tuesday morning.
Tuesday the rain tapered to drizzle. It was still very cold, 45-degrees. After breakfast we got dressed and put on our foul weather gear to head up on deck to put the sails back into place. We wanted to be ready to leave Wilton Creek the following day. Matt and Jess were also putting Serendipity back together. They stopped by and we took a break for afternoon tea; Thai tea and biscuits. We all warmed up by the stove and were thrilled to be talking to other people!
We were so very thankful to have been in touch with our family and friends throughout the storm. Thank you all for thinking of us! We were relieved that everyone was safe and sound in PA, NJ, NY, NH, and VA. Hurricane Sandy was uneventful for us, also a relief!