Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I survived

Made it thought the night fine. Power and cell service are out tho and are supposed to say out for at least 4 days. Im having to steal Internet from a hotel thats a couple blocks away. Flooding made it to half a block from my apartment, two blocks away the flooding was deep enough to get to car windows. The storm itself didn't seem too bad where we were but the storm surge combined with the high tide was bad enough to flood a good area of the city. Cops seemed to be very well prepared and were able to keep everything orderly. I'll try to keep in touch but updates won't be too often with the power situation.

Monday, October 29, 2012

From a block away from my apartment

First off, I am fine, don't worry. The power just went out, the flooding has started and is past avenue c heading quickly to avenue b (where I live). Water and gas still work though so that's good. It's not really raining badly. Cell service is spotty so I'll check in as I can. We stocked up on books, movies, non perishable food, candles and most importantly wine so at least we'll have a good time as the world ends outside.


Winds picking up

So they're saying there have been 50+ mph gusts of wind in manhattan and Brooklyn recently. Spots in Jersey and coney island are starting to flood. And the worst hasn't even gotten here yet

Starting to get windy

Things are starting to pick up, still not raining all that hard but the wind has definitely been building!


Calm before the storm

New York city is very quiet right now. The subways are shut down, stores are closed, school and work has been cancelled. Everyone seems to just be waiting for the storm to hit. As of right now its only lightly raining and the wind is starting to pick up but when I went for a run by the east river this morning the storm surge was already coming over the breakwater and flooding some of the piers and running paths. I'll keep you all updated as the storm picks up.

- Patrick (Guest Blogger!)

All Good Here in Bermuda

We had some pretty strong winds last night, but nothing higher than about 35 knots where the boat is moored.  Still seeing 30 knots as I type, but things are definitely trending down here.

Now our attention shifts for the most part towards friends and family on the East Coast.

Our son Patrick remains in NYC.  Most likely dealing with a bit of a hangover after celebrating the Giants victory in the Worlds Series!!  Maybe we can get him to do some guest blogging here for us!!

Hurricane Sandy is a real problem for the Northeast
  • It is intensifying as it approaches land.  Winds are 85 sustained and were forecast to be 75.
  • Its pressure is 944mb, which is lower than the infamous hurricane of 1938
  • It is the second largest hurricane ever by size (tropical storm winds span 900+ miles)
Flooding seems to be the biggest issue and is our major concern for Patrick.

Maps Show Quarter Million New Yorkers Reside Below Potential Storm Surge Level
This map shows lower Manhattan, parts of New Jersey, and Brooklyn. The blue area identifies the land zone within five vertical feet of the average high tide line, toward the upper end of the range of surge heights NOAA is predicting for the immediate area. Based on 2010 Census information and Climate Central's map analysis, almost a quarter million (233,000) people live in this zone for all of New York City. That's 28 percent (65,000 people) more than live within the four-foot zone — the line we would be talking about if the sea hadn’t risen a foot over the last hundred years. About two-thirds of that rise appears to come from global warming.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Patrick - Get Out of New York City!!

Clearly you are not listening to your parents!!  You have plenty of friends in NY and CT that would be happy to put you up for a day or two.  In fact, they could probably use an extra set of hands during the storm!!

Check the map below.  How close are you to one of the mandatory evacuation zones??  Pretty close I'd guess.

After 7PM, you are stuck!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

LIving on the Edge

09:00PM EST - 10/27/2012

Things can change but as of now, we are right on the edge of Sandy's tropical storm force winds.  Bermuda is seeing 30-35 in several locations.  We have been averaging about 15 knots for the past few hours.

Can you believe the size of this storm???  Tropical storm force winds extend aprox 400 miles from the center of this storm!!  Glad we came to Bermuda early!!

Patrick - get out of Manhattan!!  Go stay with your Godmother Maureen or Mike & Meg!!

Everyone else - stay safe!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Preparations for Sandy Continue

Deb and I have been working hard to push the track of Sandy (East) West away from Bermuda.  To some degree that effort has paid off.  But, despite the fact that the center of Hurricane Sandy is forecast to pass 431nm to our West, we are being told to expect winds in the 40-45 knot range for 24 hours (Sunday/Monday) with gusts in excess of 60 knots!!

We are lucky to have an Etchells friend (Tim Patton) here in Bermuda that runs a marine business.  Part of that business is maintaining a collection of moorings around Bermuda.  He has set us up with a mooring in a protected cove that is normally intended for an 80' boat!!  My guess is that should be just fine.

A growing concern that we have is that we may have been too successful in our efforts to push Sandy to the West.  It now looks like we may have sent her right into the Northeast, and towards both our son Patrick (in Manhattan) and many friends spread between Maryland and Maine.  Be safe guys!!

Hopefully, the size and strength of this storm will not turn out to match the hype of the forecasts, but many are calling Sandy "one for the ages" with a unique combination of weather coming together at just the wrong time in just the wrong places.

Quoting RitaEvac:
It can be easily stated that should the forecast track and models “spectacular” low pressure verify, a storm of rare intensity and tremendous impacts will be felt along the NE and mid-Atlantic coast. Given the forecasted perpendicular strike on the coast, onshore winds will push the Atlantic Ocean inland along the New Jersey and New York coast including New York City. Due to the high blocking over Greenland, the fetch of wind will extend nearly across the entire Atlantic Ocean and this will result in massive wave action aimed at the NE US coast. Lunar tides are also near peak with the full moon on Monday and this combined with the wave run-up and long duration of onshore winds (20-30 hours at 60-80mph) will result in potentially record breaking storm surge values. The potential is there for coastal inundation of sea water never before experienced in the NE US including New York City, but this depends heavily on the exact track of the center of Sandy.

Strong winds will batter much of the mid Atlantic and NE for not hours but days as Sandy moves NW to WNW and slows. These winds will last anywhere from 20-30 hours at 60-80mph with higher gust resulting in widespread power outages and downed trees. Strong winds will spread well inland from the coast into Canada and the OH valley.

Rainfall will be extensive as tropical moisture is brought northward with Sandy and pushed against a stalled front nearly along the higher terrain of the Appalachian mountains. Flooding rainfall due to the high rainfall rates and slow storm motion is likely and it is possible some rivers will reach record crests.

Impacts over the open Atlantic will be severe with a massive area of sustained winds of 60-70mph over hundreds of miles. Wave heights will build into the 20-30 foot range and I would not be surprised to see heights build toward 40-45 feet. Visibilities will be reduced to near zero in blowing sea spray and heavy rainfall.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sandy will not go unnoticed!!

This storm is huge! 

One way or another, we here on Bermuda are going to feel her impact.  Deb and I are making plans to go back to the docks at RBYC (Royal Bermuda Yacht Club) on Friday.

Updated forecasts show her strengthening and moving west relative to initial forecasts.  Sort of bad news/good news for us. 

Given the fact she was aiming right at Bermuda yesterday, I'll take the good with the bad and celebrate the fact that for now it appears we may avoid a direct impact.


Here we go again!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hurricane Advice/Feedback

Background:  In 2003 on the way home from New Zealand, Morpheus was in Hawaii when a large hurricane was heading directly for the islands.  Our friend, Mike Wallach, was aboard and he and I spent the night on the boat while Deb and the kids slept in a rented Ford Explorer!

Less than 100 miles from the islands, this hurricane decided to take a left hand turn and we never saw winds over 30 knots.  Mike and I sat on the boat watching movies all night, while Deb and the kids "enjoyed" their night in the car.

For whatever reason, we decided that we were "protected" by having Deb's brother Dan's foul weather gear onboard.  (He had forgotten it after helping us sail the NZ to Tahiti leg of our trip.)

Since that time, I have complained to Dan that he took his gear back and left us unprotected.

Here is Mike's take on that situation....

I notice from your latest post that the hurricane turned away.  
As I suspected. 

I tried to explain this to you last year - We have been misreading the significance of Dan's Foulies. They are only a good luck charms after the winds start. Normally they function as a Hurricane magnet and pulls the storms to the Morpheus.  If they are on board - I suggest you leave them as decoy on the other side of the island.  - mw


Friday, October 19, 2012

Significant Milestone (Nautical)

It appears that at some point during our passage to Bermuda, Morpheus crossed the 50,000 nautical miles sailed line.  That's a bunch of miles sailed with a tremendous collection of friends and family over the past ten years!!

Ten years, 50,000 miles and she's still going strong!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Post Hurricane: USA 51850 vs. USA 17

Hurricane Rafael has gone!  We are fine.  No issues, just lots of work to put things back where they belong.  We have plenty of time for that, so perhaps we'll take the day off!

On the otherhand, Oracle USA 17 had less wind than we did and yet they seem to have some major new issues to deal with and perhaps not quite as much time...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Yesterday's Contest

My brother Bob had the answer in about 5 minutes!

The weights are hung on the bottom of my fenders to keep them from squeezing up and out of the gap between the boat and the concrete pier that we are tied to.

Hope they work!!


PS>  In New Zealand, they just fill coffee cans with concrete and stick and eye bolt in the top as it cures.  Then they hang the coffee cans from fenders.  We didn't have time to go through the construction process here.

6pm - Hurricane Rafael Update

Rafael is definitely nearby.  Things beginning to ramp up.  But still below my expectations.  No complaints by the way!

Update details
  • Number of puffs over 30 = 1
  • Huge Seas - 0
  • Thunder = 0
  • Lightning = 0
  • Rain = lots and lots
  • It's getting dark.
So, in keeping with our hurricane traditions.  Deb and I are about to watch a movie onboard!


Still waiting

Just over twenty knots now and shifting to the NE. theoretically this means the system has arrived and beginning to push through. 

Still not bad, but the intensity is starting to build. 

More to come

Jim Gregory 


So far nothing much to report. 

Hurricane Rafael has yet to make an impression upon us, and we have run out of lines and ideas. 

At this point all of our lines to the dock are doubled, and we have four lines out to three moorings to hold us off the dock during the storm. 

The worst is supposed to arrive between nine and ten tonight. Right along with high tide!!

Stand by for updates...

Jim Gregory 

Monday, October 15, 2012

I Can See The Future!!

And it isn't pretty!!!

By the way, speaking of the future.  How many of you knew that yesterday was the day that Marty McFly arrived in the future??  (Thank you Kaitlyn!)


Contest Time

Why did I go out and buy four ten pound weights today!?

First one with the right answer earns a free drink the next time we are together!!

Send in your responses via the comments below!!

Good luck!!

Jim Gregory 

Moving to Hamilton

Our situation improves, although we are not comfortable with the forecast by any means. 

Bermuda is now outside of the area forecast to suffer Tropical Storm force winds.  However, the local marine forecast continues to include a prediction of possible gusts to 65 knots.  That's a ton of breeze!!

Tuesday -Winds east-southeasterly 30 to 40 knots gusts to 55 knots, not as strong in the morning, veering northerly by evening and possibly 40 to 50 knots with gusts to 65 knots, decreasing northwesterly 25 to 35 knots gusts to 45 knots late evening, then west-northwesterly 20 to 30 knots gusts to 40 knots late night...  Widespread rain and showers, risk of thunder with poor to very poor visibility.

So, its off to Hamilton for us now (Monday AM) and a hope that we will be able to get a berth at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.  RBYC is nicely positioned in the lee of some relatively large hills and buildings that should block the worst of the winds nicely.

That's the plan for now.  Let's see how it turns out!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"Now get this honky, you go tell Rafael that I ain't taking no jive from no Western Union messenger.

I'm sick and tired of these things chasing us around the world!  First Hawaii, then Newport, RI, then Bermuda, and now...Bermuda again!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

What is it with us and hurricanes???

Jim Gregory 

Morpheus does know her way to Bermuda!

6AM Bermuda Local Time (5AM EST)

Good News!

For the 4th time in the last 12 months, Morpheus and crew have arrived in Bermuda.

Our last day was spent under power (and under rain!)

We have now "arrived" outside St. Georges Harbor only to be asked to "standby" for almost 2 hours while we wait for the local ocean research vessel Atlantic Explorer (due at 7am) to enter the harbor in front of us.

I think the truth is that the local customs office regular hours begin at 8am and the authorities prefer not to wake someone early.

In any case, we are happy to be here and look forward to checking in, and then finding a really good anchoring spot in the harbor.

From what we hear Sunday night may be far more exciting than any part of the trip down. Something about gusts to 55 knots??? More on that later....

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Why am I so gullible?

Deb here. The trip so far has been OK... not the 5 - 10 I was promised, but, I, of course, being an old hand at this, added 5 knots to everything and decided that was OK. Well, I shoulda' added another 5. We have averaged about 18-22 knots so far,puffs up to 29.9, which actually hasn't been too bad because we've been sailing with the jib up most of the way which really stabilizes the boat. The down side is you have to get used to barreling along at 11 knots of boat speed, in the pitch dark, knowing that if we get a BIG puff we are going to round up. "Buda take the wheel."

Seas are actually pretty good for the Atlantic. Not too choppy. Ita is getting her sea legs back. Unfortunately we have been on port tack most of the trip, and Starboard (the low one almost in the water) is her "side" of the boat. She has been a little reluctant to do her business, but, everything works out eventually. Jim is such a trooper!

Thanks again to Everyone at home who helped/are helping us with this passage. Thanks to Guy's wife for letting him join us! He's a trooper. Always up and replaces me 10 min early!! WooHoo! Gibb Kane whos doing our weather! Tory Kane who let me use her kitchen to cook. And Kim Comfort, Comfort Food, who provisioned part of the trip. We've been eating like kings! Guy wants the recipe for the Big Soup!

This is too long, so gotta cut off there. 130 miles to go, and a few squalls.

Love and Best to you all!


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15 knots from 69M

Last night at about 3am, we had a big shift all at once form 45 to 65 and the wind dropped off. Then a few hours later, it was back to 18-19 from 45 again.

Now at 9am we have started to see it fade and shift right again.

We must be just short of the transition and I am thinking we may never see the light air that all forecasts have continued to say is just ahead of us!!

In any case, this is a nice break before the 20+ fills in again this evening and takes us the rest of the way in!

138 miles to go...


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

250 miles to go!

Greetings from onboard busy Morpheus. It's been a pretty windy trip. Nothing like last year, but 20-25 most of the way and enough to keep our attention!

All goes well onboard, everyone is healthy, happy, and well fed (thanks Deb!).

Looks like good sailing a very early Sat AM arrival. Could be stormy around Bermuda but we'll have to see.


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