Saturday, November 16, 2019
Apparently posting beach pictures when it’s cold and snowy back home has cursed us–or maybe some of our friends did!!! The shorts and sandals are packed away. There has been no beach strolling. Yesterday a big weather system hung out on the coast sending rain down on us all day. The tides are very high and there is a bit of flooding in the streets. The App “windy” says its averaging 23 mph right here, right now. We are getting forecasts of “storm force gusts” to 49 knots at the buoy 30 miles offshore from us. The seas are 10-14 feet along our coastal waters. Tonight the seas will increase to more dangerous levels up to 17-25 feet! Yikes! There is a small craft warning—duh. You can see the top of the waves “blowing” in the above picture!
Thanks you to those who have been looking at the weather here and are worrying. We are good. We decided to stay put here in Surf City after the first gale went through several days ago. We did not want to be caught without a Marina to stay in as everyone was looking for a protected spot. We are safe and sound.
Although Topsail Island Marina is only two blocks from the ocean, it is on backwaters with no inlet to the ocean. We are protected from the wind somewhat by a wall and by a big ugly boat next to us. We are on floating docks. We are warm. The only thing suffering is our credit card bill 🤔 What can you do but wine, dine and shop!!!
We are very thankful for a strong internet connection!
Yesterday we drove to the South end of the island to visit the Missle and More Museum. Darn, closed for the season. The actual museum building was the missile assembly plant. We have learned that prior to WWII, the only way to access Topsail Island was by boat. The grumpy man at the bar had said his grandfather used to come here to fish. There were only a few structures on the island at this time, used for shelter for fishing trips and summer vacations.
At the beginning of the war, the Army built an anti-aircraft training base at nearby Holly Ridge and took possession of this island. They installed a floating bridge across the ICW where the present bridge is located. They built training facilities and support buildings in what is now the Surf City business district.
After the war, the Navy took possession of the island and began a joint project known as Operation Bumblebee which was a guided Missle development program. Over 200 missles were test fired. The old launch pad is a patio for a motel! The mysterious towers ?? They were tracking towers. Out of 8, 7 remain. The testing program ended in 1948; the roads and bridge were left intact and so began the development of the island. We really wished we could have viewed the museum–maybe in February when we come back.
What is with the wind? It just kicked up here a bit more. The boat is bouncing a bit and the wind is howling. I know we had several delays on our cruise due to high wind forecasts. I also recall it being quite strong last summer in Bayfield, WI, where our sailboat is located. Yes, sailors are suppose to like wind! So, a bit of research indicates, yes, orbiting satellites are finding wind and waves are becoming stronger each year. The changes are tiny but show a trend. National Geographic says in the past 20 years winds have picked up an average of 5%. Extremely strong winds caused by storms have increased even faster, jumping 10% over 20 years. 😉 I believe National Geographic … You probably aren’t that interested but I’m just saying……..
Later on Saturday
When you are asked if you have your hurricane bag packed, the wind is Big!! We did a little bit more touring, shopping and stopping at the beach to check the waves. My oh my, the ocean is mad. We don’t have a wind gauge (on the to get list) but we guess it’s blowing a steady 30 with gusts up to…..not sure, BIG. The beautiful grass estuary behind us is under water due to high tide and wind. We saw some canal homes where the docks were almost under water. There is a bit of street flooding–glad to have a big truck. What can I say, it’s crazy here.
Truth be told, I did search for a hotel but there is nothing available close by and we really don’t want to stick the Marina owners (who are wonderful) with looking after yet another boat. I also think the Captain would like to stay with his ship but would be willing to leave for me…probably more for Coconut. This is a very small Marina with only about a dozen boats. Most are occupied by people trying to move south but hunkered down by this wind. Dee and Burt (Marina operators) are going out and checking on the boats– several are unoccupied. We were told to monitor channel 16 on our VHF radio to report anything happening to boats by us. Joe was just out with them helping to get the big, ‘wind block’ boat next to us tied up better. Their fenders are flat against the dock.
Coconut is not liking life. I wish I had a picture of her face when she went out the door into the really big wind. Joe has been carrying her on the dock.
The Coast Guard just came on the radio saying that all swing or lift bridges in North Carolina are closed to marine traffic. Hmmm, I sure hope no one is out there moving around on a boat!
The worst part for us is listening to the wind howl. Fortunately the boat isn’t bouncing very much. The sea grasses behind us are becoming visible so the tide is going down some. Stay tuned.
A few angry ocean shots:
Read a book. Going to bed. Still blowing like crazy.
Woke to higher wind. Very Blustery…
Still gale force. Isn’t going to let up until tonight. We will not be pulling the boat tomorrow morning. Will have to postpone it for at least a day. Making plans to be “off island” for the day.
Fitting quote for our situation:
I have never seen a nation more quick at finding joy in a sad situation than the Irish at a funeral. 🍀
We are trying to make the best of it!!