So, here we are, the end of June, now land people in Delray Beach, FL. We hear of a possible tropical low forming off the Florida coast that is likely to track up the SE US and pass close to or, make landfall in eastern North Carolina! Anhinga is in a marina, not even a mile from the Beaufort inlet, where the winds and tides really plow into the boats at the docks during normal weather. With a tropical storm or perhaps a hurricane headed there, we knew we needed to move the boat. So, Tuesday, back into the car, up I-95 again for another 13 hour trip, and to the slip.
Checking the charts for a likely hurricane hole, Wednesday we moved Anhinga about 20 miles north to Southwest Creek off the South River, off the Neuse River, off the Pamlico Sound. Anchor down in the early evening, we sat smack dab in the middle of the creek, with about 1-2 feet of water below us and 100 feet of chain sunk in the mud. We were alone in the creek -- we saw only 3 other boats in the entire stretch of the South River as we came through. Thursday we prepared the boat, took down the canvas, tied everything down that we could think of that would fly, and waited. In the afternoon, the rain began to fall, and winds started to pick up a bit.
Our cell coverage was spotty; our internet access was very limited. We had radio and heard that the bands were starting to come ashore at Atlantic Beach and Morehead City. The waiting was difficult. Finally, around 8:30pm there was more wind. By 10pm we were seeing winds in the 20-35 knot range. Checking the winds every half hour, we saw our highest winds about an hour later, just under 50 knots. By this time the storm had come ashore at Shackleford Banks as a Category 2 hurricane, clocking 101mph there (or about 80 knots). Our spot in Southwest Creek was protecting us from the fiercest winds. The eye of the storm passed right over us. The winds dropped to nothing, and we took some deep breaths. Were we done with the worst? No!!! In about an hour, we got the backside of the eye, which was worse than the front. The winds were not any higher, but the direction had changed and the water in the creek got steeper, giving us a little more of a bumpy ride. John figured we would be fine and went to sleep. Patti stayed up till about 3am, just to be sure that we were ok.
The rain fell all night. The deck got a great washdown. Next morning, all was clear and beautiful. And, we had not moved an inch!! It took a while to get moving, putting the boat back together. We stayed over on Friday night, July 4th (our independence day from the hurricane) and left on Saturday the 5th to return to Beaufort.
Southwest Creek: 34d55.082’N 76d33.013’W