Most of the rally boats in Hampton are hunkered down and trying to stay dry today as Hurricane Sandy inches closer to the Chesapeake. While it's not raining heavily - yet - the wind is up a bit and the sky remains grey and overcast. Monday looks to bring the worst of the weather according to local predictions, and both the state of Virginia and the City of Hampton have declared states of emergency in order to mobilize local shelters and get people thinking about storm management. Yesterday the local Wal-Mart was sold out of gallon jugs of water, so it seems as if the locals at least are taking the weather seriously.
Besides the nuisance the storm is causing both the rally staff and the fleet here in Hampton, it's the cause of slightly more concern to those boats not yet arrived here. Susie Q, one of the ARC Bahamas yachts, is holed up in her home port of Rock Hall, Maryland, just north of Annapolis on the Chesapeake. Susie Q is a rally veteran, and her owner Richard was hoping to make it down to Hampton in time for some of the festivities, though it looks as if she'll be delayed until Friday.
Bill Ewing, on the J-42 Althea, sent us this email this morning to the Rally Office:
"We are well secured up in the C & D Canal and will continue to go over the safety checklist, but we think we are well prepared for the inspection and the event. Thanks for your reply and we'll stay in touch!"
They are also waiting for the weather to clear before making the run down the Bay for Hampton.
Mark Buckley and his crew also got in touch this morning, writing from Irish Rover on the Chesapeake, saying "we will be delayed one day from our scheduled departure from Annapolis. We now plan on leaving first light on Thursday morning, arriving in Hampton at some point Friday. See you then!
Pierre Robitaille on the Jeanneau 42 Tati - which is already in Hampton - has gotten in touch about his canceled flight. While his boat is safely here with the fleet, Pierre is stuck back home, unable to return until air service resumes following the brunt of the storm.
Pasquale and Rob on Hammertime II are possibly furthest afield, waiting out the weather in Haverstraw, NY, about 30 miles north of New York City.
"We are hunkered down in Haverstraw," writes Pasquale. "As soon as the worst of the storm passes we plan to set sail form here direct to Virginia. That may not be until the 2nd if current forecasts hold true."
Both the yachts in Hampton and the Rally Office wish those yachts still en route to Hampton fair winds and following seas. Stay tuned to the rally website and our Facebook page for updates on the program in Hampton and how the rest of the fleet is getting along!