Signs of a change in the weather came last evening for the rally fleet. While many of the crews enjoyed a private pizza night upstairs at the Hampton Yacht Club, the nearly full moon peeked out from behind the last of the clouds from Sandy and the storm headed off to the north.
Dawn arrived this morning brilliant and clear, and people are walking the docks in sunglasses (imagine that!). It remains chilly and breezy, but it appears that the weather is back to normal and the fleet is resuming preparations for heading south, rather than hunkering down.
Meanwhile, Miles Poor reported in from Annapolis this morning, where Habits of Heatlh, Karina, Moonshadow and Myananda have been waiting out the weather. "We're planning on leaving first thing tomorrow morning," Miles said, noting that though the weather has cleared up there as well, they'll wait a bit for the debris in the water to disperse. "We should start arriving after midnight on Friday morning, and keep trickling in through the early hours. See you guys Friday!"
ARC Bahamas yacht Susie Q remains hunkered down in Rock Hall, on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake just north of Annapolis. Richard Graver took all the sails and canvas off the boat to prepare for the storm, and is heading back today to get her ready for sea again. They also plan to leave tomorrow morning and sail through the night - which should provide a nice moon if not chilly temps - and arrive early Friday morning.
Kia Orana is in Solomons and getting under way soon, as is Calleva, a last-minute entry in this year's event. Hammertime II, who is furthest afield and hunkered down in Haverstraw NY, checked in with the Rally Office this morning.
"We survived," said Hammertime's owner Pasquale. "But boats around us, the marina around us, everything is wrecked. The coastal areas are strewn with debris and the town of Haverstraw is a total disaster area. The National Guard is out in force and it's a real mess here," Pasquale continued. "Our plan is to leave NY on Saturday, if we can, and sail by day, anchoring at night to try and avoid the debris."
Today's program in Hampton continues with the seminar program originally scheduled for Monday. Julie Palm led off the day with her provisioning seminar. Rick Palm is currently running his Water & Fuel Provisioning lecture, followed by longtime 1500 vet Davis Murray's Fishing chat. This afternoon Julie Palm, Mia Karlsson and Ilene Lipsitz will lead the women in the fleet in the Ladies Roundtable discussion. Tonight we'll celebrate Halloween in the Dockside Ballroom, with an informal drinks reception at 6.