Making landfall when cruising is usually cause for celebration, but on the East Coast and in the Philippines, hurricane and typhoon landfalls are looking lethal.
Fortunately, Hurricane Florence was winding down from a Category 4 to a Category 2 Hurricane before coming ashore at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. The storm is still packing 90-mile-an-hour wind, and, combined with six- to 11-foot storm surge and the possibility of up to 40 inches of rain, could prove devastating to many inland communities and boats on the hard secured inside the low barrier islands and along the Intracoastal Waterway.
Many may remember Wrightsville Beach as the second home of Westsail Yachts, where many Westsail 32s have been launched, with many being finished on site by the owners. Westsail Yachts was started in 1971 and quickly became so popular that they needed a second location on the East Coast to keep up with demand. The North Carolina coast from Morehead City down to Wrightsville Beach is also the common jumping-off point for many cruisers making the offshore passage to the Caribbean — usually after November 1, when hurricane season is ‘officially’ over and insurance policies kick in.
Back in the the Pacific, winds along the coast of Mexico have been benign but, right now, Typhoon Ompong (or Mangkhut) in the Philippines is looking dangerous, with winds in excess of 140 mph hitting the Northern Island of Luzon.
The Eastern Seaboard and the Philippines are bearing the brunt of these storms on opposite sides of the globe, but with similar threatening impacts.
In Hawaii, Tropical Storm Olivia has come and gone, though Oahu remains under a flash-flood warning until noon today.