Moody weather at Isle of Hope

When The hurricane season started in June of 2017, our sailing season ended for the year.  That’s the way it has been for the last five years. It’s a prudent way to behave but probably not totally necessary with the accuracy of modern hurricane forecasting. Nevertheless we decided it was the right time to attend to neglected boat chores.

We planned to spend the summer at Isle of Hope marina in Savannah, Ga. A wonderful place, full of good people, beautiful surroundings and hatched a  plan to work through the summer and pull the boat out of the water at the end of summer for the beginning of our integration back to a more normal life back in Portland, Or.

When we left Portland, five years ago, the teak was beautifully varnished, hull waxed and polished and no repairs needed. The intent was to find quiet anchorages along the way to clean, wax and re-varnish as needed. A naive plan that didn’t account for the fact the quiet anchorages usually have way more fun things to do than varnish teak or wax a hull.

In Savannah we vowed to correct  five years of neglect.  And for the most part we did, despite 90 degrees and 90% humidity.

Many weeks before  the end of summer we made arrangements at a nearby marina to store the boat for the better part of a year.  The week before our scheduled haul date the National Weather Service forecast a hurricane (Irma) to hit Savannah that exact day.  Great timing.

Sail Harbor before Irma

Frantically, we started to reschedule everything, plane tickets, motel rooms, haul dates, rental car;  right along with the rest of Savannah.

In the end, we secured the boat on land,  got chased (evacuated out of the motel) when it was forced to close,  rescheduled flights from Savannah to Atlanta and turned in our rental 250 miles from where we intended; a PITA but it worked out and Irma ended up veering off from Savannah and not causing destruction there.  


But let’s go back about a week when we were on the boat at the Isle of Hope Marine (that has no haul-out facilities). We’d been at this marina for about three months.

Isle of Hope Marina

It’s a spectacular place, right along the ICW (the Intra-coastal Waterway) with dolphins, manatee, alligators, large fish, and beautiful views. Plus; once a month the marina put on a free party with live music and hotdogs. It was a fun place.

At the marine we made a few quirky friends that added to the southern ambiance.  There was a whole new culture here to become accustom, not uncomfortable, because Portland has its share of quirky people too, but different. 

One night, a large thunderstorm swept through the area. This was not uncommon, almost nightly, but most of the storms tracked a mile or two north of us. This storm came right overhead.  One bolt lit the cabin filled with light, a boom, unlike normal thunder rocked the boat and the lights went out and electricity stopped. A few minutes later the power came back  but  we found a bunch of electronic equipment had failed.

Our nearest neighbor ended up with near $30,000 worth of damage due to that lightning strike while we lost close to $3000. A heck of a way to close out our stay in Savannah.

In the Spring of 2018 we head back to Savannah for a month-long boat trip to Annapolis, Ma.  Where we will probably sell the boat.