Spending the next couple of days preparing for Hurricane Matthew to show up. This weekend should be interesting, my first hurricane.
The picture above is Windytv’s prediction of Saturday morning. As with most people in Jacksonville been spending the last couple of days watching the weather. As a sailor, I use a number wind prediction tools. By far the best is the paid service (they have a free version as well) Predict Wind ( www.predictwind.com ) which has a bunch of neat features such as forecasts in graph and map form, the ability to put in your starting place, time your departure and final location and the system will provide GPS waypoints for setting a route based on the best winds, and the ability to find the best time to leave for a trip on a boat based on weather. Another system I use is Wind Finder ( www.windfinder.com ). I only have the free service for Wind Finder, so it only shows me the basics but does allow me to get a second opinion to Predict Wind. Another cool tool is WindyTV ( www.windyty.com ). This is a Google earth based tool which allows you to look at wind predictions globally. It uses a couple of different models and also shows surf, water temps, and currents.
Hurricane Matthew Preparation
So in preparation for Hurricane Matthew I’ve removed all the sales from the boat. The jib was going away anyways in December as part of the redesign of the sail plan so I removed all lines and hardware associated with that sail (I was surprised at how much free space this cleared up on the foredeck, now there’s a nice little place to sit with a 45 degree backrest on the bow). The main sail is now stored down below under the dining room table (I’m finding out how little space there is for bulky stuff on a sailboat). I also cleared the deck of anything that can get blown around or catch the wind (BBQ, seat cushions, boat hooks, etc. ).
Tonight when I get home I’ll add a couple of stern lines to the pilings at the end of the finger dock (v. the lines already tied to the dock)and another spring line from mid ship to the dock near the stern. Most of the winds will be coming from the north/northwest, so this will give me three lines to the northwest. I’ve got some rubber hose sections stored below as spares from the water system in the boat; I’ll split these in half and place them on the lines where they meet railing or chocks to serve as chafe protection. After I purchased the boat, I also bought all new fenders ( the balloon-like things that go between the dock and the boat) and dock lines (oversized) so feel confident in the ground equipment. I also have 200′ of 1/2″ anchor rhode (rope) that is brand new; I’m keeping this in reserve to adjust to things as they happen. Can quickly turn that into a spiderweb around the boat.
Palani is located in a double slip with no other boats. We’re surrounded on three sides by docks, and the wind will be pushing us into the docks, so I feel real confident that if the docks stay put, we won’t go anywhere.
Charging up the GoPro in case there is a chance to get interesting videos of Hurricane Matthew, stocked up on food and water, and the hatches have been battened, so we’re as ready as possible…