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Swing Set

Aug 28, 201210:16 AM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Still Waiting on Isaac

Just an update on our current situation: We've gotten lots of well meaning advice from many friends concerned about us with soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac breathing down our necks. The forecast for Isaac keeps getting better for us, and we are keeping a watch on each update from the National Weather Service and other weather applications that we have.

The first advice, which was to "stay put," has been the best so far. Thank you Greg and Mike. We are in an open area (not too open), where the boat can swing in a circle, essential because the wind will be shifting direction as the storm passes. There are creeks in the area that would provide wind protection, but not only are they narrow, the trees would interfere with our wind generators. The most important thing is that flash flood warnings have been issued for Choctaw County, which is where we are. You don't want to be anchored in a creek during a flash flood.

We also considered our quality of life while we have been waiting, which will most likely turn out to be a week or more. We are away from the bank, where we would have a better chance to avoid snakes and alligators. Today looks like it may be the first day we won't be out on a raft enjoying the water.

We also are not in the narrow channel of the Tenn-Tom, where we would need to put out a stern anchor to keep from swinging into the path of traffic on the river. High wind and waves to the stern of our boat may sink it, not a good idea to prevent the boat from swinging with her bow into the wind.

We could have high-tailed it back to Demopolis, an attractive idea since we had so much fun there, but it's 90 miles north of here, a 180-mile round trip, and still not too many open anchorages up there. Where we anchored on the trip down in Foscue Creek would be good, but I like the idea of avoiding man-made objects during high wind, and it's still a creek. We've seen enough peeled-off metal roofs on docks along our trip to know that sheet metal is just one of the items that can become a missile when the wind kicks up. We are going to have 24- to 25-MPH winds today; we are accustomed to more, but if we don't feel safe, we'll still head upriver. It's a plan B.

One friend advised to lock through and suggested an anchorage about 10 miles down the river, but for the reasons stated above, locking through is out of the question. It eliminates too many options. I don't think storm surge will be an issue this far north, but tide would be. We can eliminate a factor in the equation by staying above the lock and dam.

Another well intentioned email from a new friend suggested that we could leave our boat somewhere and be evacuated by them. I think this suggestion was bent more toward the prospect of a good party than it was for our safety. Dave, you are a nut.

Really, though, anyone who knows us from our Meramec River days also knows that we'll stay with the ship, but really don't think we'll have to go down with it. Had Isaac kept to the original track that it was predicting a couple of days ago, we probably would have made our way back up the river. But, now, the track is predicted to go further north than St. Louis. Are we to beat feet back up the river to Iowa to get out of the way?

This will be our first experience with a hurricane, and there will be many more to come. If I post something on Friday morning, you'll know we came out OK.

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