Tropical Storm Fay - Prepare, Wait and Watch

We have had several calls regarding Tropical Storm (TS) Fay. We are well and the main storm will pass well to the east of us. TS Fay will be a wind and rain event for us. We prepared Mary Rose for Category I hurricane force winds but it looks like the sustained winds will be well below those levels. Here is an abbreviated list of tasks performed as we prepared.

1. Remove stay sail and store below to reduce windage.
2. Securely wrap head sail and secure sheets.
3. Remove sunshade canvass to reduce windage.
4. Add extra dock lines in a "spider web" fashion to reduce and absorb shock from wind gusts.
5. Remove extra project tools and supplies from Marry Rose to prevent damage from them being tossed to the cabin sole.
6. Cover and duct tape air conditioner in forward hatch to help keep blowing rain out.
7. Place extra bumpers on dockside of Mary Rose to prevent damage should dock lines stretch and allow her to rub the dock.
8. Dog all hatches and port lights tightly to prevent water penetration.

This covers most of the major tasks as we prepared for this tropical storm.

There is a noticeable difference in tropical storm winds and winds of the same speed and direction from our regular weather system. Tropical storm winds seem heavier. They are moisture laden and they are sustained. Normal system wind velocity is more widely varied and tend to oscillate directionally. Tropical storm winds do have gusts but they do not dip to lower velocity levels. They are sustained and they slowly clock directionally from right to left when the eye of the storm are to the east.

Mary Rose is rocking pretty good right now and we are seeing sustained winds in the 15-20 mph range with gusts of 30-35. Certainly we have had much more severe wind conditions with passing squalls but these conditions will continue to increase over the next several hours and then slowly dissipate to normal conditions over the next 24-36 hours. Fay has slowed down considerably and will soon deposit several inches of rain. We are glad that we installed a new primary bilge pump and also a high output secondary bilge pump. These two pumps give us an output capacity of close to 5,000 gallons per hour. We also have a manual bilge pump in the event there is a 12 volt DC power failure. Both 12 volt DC pumps have visual and audible alarms which will give us an early indication if the water tight integrity of the boat is compromised in any way.

The most intense impact from this storm is on the east coast of Florida. The Admiral and I are very familiar with the east coast locations that are being reported on as we sailed the entire length of the east coast of Florida just 8 months ago. The Weather Channel is reporting from Lake Worth, Florida. We remember Lake Worth as it was perhaps the most beautiful and peaceful anchorage on our east coast trip. You would never get that impression from the images that the Weather Channel is showing.

The power of mother earth is remarkable and it is an awesome experience to witness the phenomena safely.

So check back for TS Fay updates as we Sit, Wait, and Watch. Just as the birds are doing in the photo.