…Is one that doesn’t break anything, doesn’t kill anyone, and doesn’t drag our anchor.
Isaias, for us, was one such hurricane.
We perceived the danger early enough in the weather system to get to a secure gunkhole and prepare, so we did.
Onset Harbor has the odd and wonderful characteristics of being both spacious and protected. The east side of Wickets Island is less than half-full of moorings, with a mud bottom that is fairly flat. The perfect place to put out aaaallllll the chain and still have lots of room in case anything goes wrong.
Isaias had his start, like most pissed-off summertime low pressure systems, by dragging his ass up the Gulf Stream and putting some serious hurt on Cape Fear, of course!
Have you ever seen the statistics on documented hurricanes hitting the continental United States? That’s where most of those pissed off motherfuckers go to party: Cape Hatteras or Cape Fear and more specifically, Southport, North Carolina.
That’s where Isaias hit the dirt trail and got addicted to mud. That asshole and his tornado buddies left a trail of flooding and mobile-home carnage eighty miles wide all the way up the coasts of Virginia, Chesapeake Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and the Jersey Shore before spinning off inland for a date with a Canadian mud slide.
What we got was the outskirts of town, the suburbs of annihilation, the infuriated, rag-tag remnants of the johnny-come-lately dregs of mass destruction otherwise known as T.S. Isaias.
The cell in the bottom right-hand corner of that image above hit us full-on, and it started like this!
The four other boats in the anchorage were all very well behaved (meaning far from us and each other) with the single exception of a local pro fisher. He actually tried, and failed, to singlehandly anchor his 30 ton charter fishing boat for about two and a half hours before the final storm cell hit. He was a one man keystone-cop debacle.
From his pilothouse down a ladder around a turn down another ladder to his foredeck to drop his tiny little anchor with its 6 feet of chain before he was blown too far from where he’d started, then back up to back down on it so hard that he ripped it right out of the mud. Then it was back down to haul it in, back up, back down, back up, back down…in a storm like a dumb-fuck. He provided hours of non-stop entertainment before he dumped enough rode overboard that his anchor finally set.
He ended up not quite perfectly upwind of us. This was not nearly as fun to watch, him being a dip-shit with inadequate gear upwind with an oncoming storm and all.
We had a fucking blast.
…And why was that? Because we anchored at 20:1 with nothing but chain and watched Isaias like a hawk as he sloshed his way up the Eastern Seaboard.
When it was all said and done Hurricane Isaias took his pound of flesh from this weary country and blew out in the Northern Territories where the caribou could use the rain and we…
We went sailing!