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September 07, 2006

Ernesto puts Omega on the Beach!

Our trip west down the Long Island Sound was uneventful with stops at the Thimble Islands, Port Jefferson, and Huntington Harbor where we ducked in during a violent thunderstorm with very heavy rains. It was uneventful in that we had no problems but navigating in very low visibility under those conditions is not fun. We made the trip from there to the Statue of Liberty in one day with a fast ride down the East River with the falling tide. It continued to rain off and on and we decided to go around the west side of Staten Island rather than through the Verizanno Narrows and across the open bight to Sandy Hook. It is about 2 hours longer but we avoided the higher waves and wind that was forecasted for the open water. We dropped the hook at Atlantic Highlands on Sunday August 27th and used the next several days to visit with friends Lynne and Brian Higgins in Rumson and do boat chores and provisioning.
We picked up our Enterprise car on the 31st and headed west towards Brecksville, Ohio for a Labor Day weekend visit with my son Rich and his family. The weather forecast showed some storm conditions left over from Ernesto headed towards Atlantic Highlands but it didnít look too bad so I decided to save some money on marina docking fees and leave Omega on the hook while we were gone. BIG MISTAKE!
While we were having a nice family visit the storm hit and winds were reported as high as 60 knots. I monitored the NOAA station data for Sandy Hook and it showed average winds of 30+ knots and gusts over 40. By Sunday AM Omega had broken her anchor line and was up on the Atlantic Highlands beach! We were not alone and I later learned that 21 or so boats broke from anchors or moorings and were grounded or sunk! In reality we were lucky that we didnít loose the boat completely.
We are freeloading on friends Lynne and Brian who have been wonderful with their support and help Ė both while we were still in Cleveland and since we got back on Tuesday. We are now in the process of cleaning up the mess and dealing with the insurance company on the claim. It will be a big bill for them with the extensive damage to the boat and dinghy and probably means that we will not be on Omega again this fall before we leave for Australia and New Zealand in October. I will provide additional updates as the plot unfolds.

Posted by Dick at 05:37 PM