Skip to content

Goodnight, Irene

A couple anchored their big Hunter Maybe Tomorrow off Norfolk, Virginia, on Friday night when conditions on Chesapeake Bay worsened. They and their cat were rescued when the boat washed ashore Saturday morning.

© Bill Tiernan

As millions on the East Coast start this week without power, the effects of Hurricane Irene are still being felt and most likely will be for weeks to come. The much-anticipated hurricane came ashore in North Carolina on Saturday, and by early Sunday morning, had weakened to a tropical storm. As of last night, Irene was stripped of her tropical storm status.

News outlets, which had been waiting with bated breath for the widespread devastation Irene would bring, seemed almost disappointed that the destruction wasn’t worse. As if 27 confirmed dead (a number which is expected to rise), 11,000 cancelled flights, millions of people evacuated, deadly flooding, and much worse was hardly worth covering.

According to Thierry Danz, several boats broke loose from their moorings in New Bedford, Massachusetts, with at least one sinking.

© Thierry Danz

The bright side of the coin, though, is that it could have been so much worse and many East Coast residents are considering themselves lucky. It will take some time to fully calculate the losses incurred due to Irene, but some sources are already estimating they will top out around $7 billion. Undoubtedly, part of that number will include an untold number of boats that were damaged or that washed up along the entire coast. Our thoughts are with our East Coast brothers and sisters as they recover in the wake of Irene.


Leave a Comment

Although most passage-makers in this year’s Pacific Puddle Jump rally rated their crossing to French Polynesia as easier than expected, every offshore sailor gets occasional reminders that merely a few minutes of inattention or bad luck can lead to a ‘game-ending’ disaster.