Solomon’s Island and Hurricane Ian

We left Rock Hall on the morning of Wednesday September 28th around 8 am. The winds were 15 – 17 out in the Bay and we were sailing along quite nicely as we skirted under the Bay Bridge. I never tire of being in awe of the bridge as we head under it. Once we were through the wind died down and we were forced to motor sail and then just motor the rest of the way to our destination. Initially, we though we would head to South Creek to anchor, however we were concerned with the timing of Ian making it’s way up the coast and getting stuck at anchor for several days with high winds. We opted instead to head all the way to Solomon’s Island, about 50 miles. We were pushing to make it to Solomon’s before dark. We pulled into Solomon’s about 4:30 or so and we are staying at Solomon’s Island Yacht Club. Butch was waiting for us at the dock to help us in. Butch told us they were having a wing dinner tonight at the yacht club and we were free to join them. The wings were delicious!

Solomon’s Island Yacht Club is one of the oldest yacht clubs in the Chesapeake Bay and was founded in 1937. They welcome transients and members of other yacht clubs. SIYC also boasts the largest collection of yacht club burgees (flags) in the world. They are working on being recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records. Since Mark and I are members of Lake City Yacht Club and we happen to have a LCYC burgee on our boat, we exchanged our LCYC burgee for their SIYC burgee so that we could contribute to their collection. They didn’t have a Lake City Yacht Club burgee yet. It is a yachting tradition to exchange burgees when visiting other yacht clubs.

We enjoyed the dinner, the company and the sunset before we headed to the boat for the evening.

The next day we awoke to the anticipation of Hurricane Ian making landfall in Florida. We occupied ourselves by changing the engine oil and checking the transmission oil and some general boat clean up. Toward evening, we headed over to Ed and Evelyn’s boat parked right next to us for a dinner of salmon and potatoes and to watch the news reports of Hurricane Ian as it made landfall and we were getting our first reports from the storm damage.

We have some good friends Lawrie and Sue Yearsley who are friends from Pepin Marina. Lawrie and Sue sold their Pepin boat and house in Minnesota and moved to Florida to live aboard their boat they purchased down there. They were living aboard their boat at Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda, FL. They had their boat hauled out of the water in anticipation of Hurricane Ian. Normally a boat yard would tie down a boat in preparation for a hurricane, however Sue told me they ran out of Hurricane straps to tie down their boat. We learned that their boat was on her side from the hurricane and likely damaged beyond repair. Lawrie and Sue had evacuated to Fort Lauderdale, FL with her 96 year old mother who had an apartment in Fort Myers, FL. They are currently all homeless living in a hotel in Fort Lauderdale. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lawrie and Sue.

I also ran across a photo on Facebook that someone had posted of the storm damage in the Fort Myers area. I was surprised to see a boat that we knew among the damage. I can’t remember the people’s names but we remembered the boat as one that we met at Dunkirk Yacht Club on Lake Erie last summer. We remembered the boat because of it’s unique name and the story that the owners told us about the name of the boat. The boat’s name is Burnt Out, from California. They owners told us how their home in California was burned to the ground in the California wildfires and they took the insurance money from their home and decided to buy a boat and do the Great Loop. The irony that now their boat home is destroyed as well seems like a cruel joke.

We are hearing the reports that Hurricane Ian is coming across Florida and will likely regain strength off the east side of Florida and make a second landfall somewhere along the east coast. The winds and rain from Ian will make their way up to the Chesapeake Bay area and impact our weather over the next several days.

Friday is my birthday! We celebrated by first going to breakfast at the Lotus Cafe just a short walk from the boat. Then our mutual friend Tom from O”Tug who lives in the Solomon area is taking us on a personal tour of the Naval Air Museum located at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. Tom was a Navy commander for 35+ years and was stationed at the Patuxent River Navel Air Station before he retired. This air station is also home to the Navy Test Pilot School as well. Tom was a wealth of information about the planes, the air station and stories from his time in the Navy. We enjoyed getting a first hand tour of the planes they had there. Here is a sampling:

Here is a Sikorsky UH-3A Sea King. This is the same type of helicopter as Marine One.

This is a Curtis A-1 Triad. It’s the Navy’s first airplane, purchased July 2, 1911.

And here is Mark about to take off from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier. (hahahaha)

We got a call from the marina while we were touring the Naval museum that the storm surge from Hurricane Ian is coming around 6 pm. The storm surge in this area is expected to be 2 – 3 feet but will also happen at the time of high tide. They raised the walkways on the dock that go to the floating dock on either side of the main dock. The main dock we are on is a fixed dock, not floating so we were a bit concerned that the water would be over the docks and we may need to adjust our lines for the higher tide. All was well with the boats when we checked, so we topped off my great birthday day with a nice dinner at The Pier.

The next day was windy, cold, rainy and blustery. Today is the Harvest of the Solomon’s celebration in town. It’s their fall version of Taste of Solomon’s. All the restaurants in the area are participating in a tasting menu. So we put on our foul weather gear and walked from restaurant to restaurant sampling the tasting menu’s that each was offering.

The next day Hurricane Ian is dissapating, however it has formed a new low pressure system off the coast of Maryland/Delaware and it’s now a Nor’easter. What is a nor’easter you ask? Simply put, it’s a gale storm off the New England or Mid-Atlantic coast with winds blowing from the northeast. Looks like we will be here for several more days. Today we entertained ourselves with a brunch for Mark and I and Ed and Evelyn aboard Painkiller, followed by making Chocolate Chip cookies and then heading up to the yacht club to watch football and play Mexican Train.

Still pretty nasty outside and I tried my best Jim Cantore photo to demonstrate the heavy winds. It works….right??!?

The next day we never left the boat. Too cold and blustery. We lounged, watched some Netflix and cooked some dinner. We had Ed and Evelyn over for Tortilla soup, Steak and Baked Potatoes! Nice warm comfort food! They guys even did the dishes.

One day soon we will leave the Solomon’s…

2 Comments on “Solomon’s Island and Hurricane Ian

  1. Yikes I’m exhausted reading this all…I’m glad your safe and taking no chances!! Here’s to safe sails ahead!

    Sent from my iPhone Carole Bloom



  2. Been thinking about you and happy to hear you are safe and enjoying your time out there!
    Shelley & Al


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