Recollections of my September visits to Block Island are mostly rose-colored, but in 2008 I spent several days there fearing the force and path of Hurricane Kyle. I am not in Block Island presently, but I have been thinking about that trip quite a bit today.
Much like this week, there were several days of spectacular, late summer weather. In the forecasts however, were the rumblings of a storm one thousand miles to the south. The weather remained golden, but by the fourth day, the forecast grew dimmer and there were slight signs of the approaching storm.
Walking around in Old Harbor, the roar of the surf could be heard smashing ashore. There was still sunshine and mild breezes, but the seas were building. I walked out on the breakwater admiring the surf, but in typical Soundbounder fashion, I went too far. Somewhere beyond the halfway point, I was hit hard by the spray and drenched thoroughly. Is it any wonder my camera has condensation issues?
By evening, the winds arrived and blew for two straight days, reaching a high of 62 mph at 4 AM on the second night. Kyle passed Block Island several hundred miles to the east, eventually reaching landfall in Nova Scotia. Funny, I still regard that vacation as one of my best ever.
I've been thinking about that trip today as Hurricane Earl approaches, and this time it doesn't seem so fun. I have removed Carina's dodger, along with her mainsail to reduce windage. I also added some chafing protection to her mooring lines. Hurricanes can obviously change direction, but at this moment, the path appears to be further east. That means the strongest winds will be from the east and north, which gives Carina better protection in her mooring field. I am off the boat, and will not return until Saturday. Still, I can't help but worry and wonder what else I should have done.
Yes, I look back at Hurricane Kyle with rose-colored glasses, but Hurricane Earle remains an open book.