The irony of Hurricane Sandy for our friends on s/v Eclipse is that it arrived a week after they re-rigged their 42’ Leopard.
Michelle, Geoff, Jerome and Miles Hufford returned to Stuart, Florida, after we parted ways in the Rio Dulce, Guatemala, in May 2012. The boys wanted to go back to public school in August and so the family completed the journey begun two years ago. They had stripped Eclipse of its mainsail, jib, trampolines and other gear that could be flung around by a hurricane and spent a storm-free summer in Stuart until — Wouldn’t you know it? — the freakish Sandy drove up from the southeastern Caribbean. Called a superstorm due to its merger with two seasonal fronts, it’s a 1000-mile wide monster that’s expected to strike the Northeast later this week. By the time it blew through Stuart, its winds were packing 50 knots.
On the local storm front in Atlanta, Georgia, where we’re staying a few days, winter arrived this morning with gray, overcast skies and a 20-degree drop in temperature. We stayed indoors most of the day with our friends, the Jenkinses, and passed the time doing homework (Danielle and Sam), making Halloween cake decorations (Karen) and watching football (Dan, Mikayla and Mike).
About midway through the afternoon, the effects of Sandy struck. A neighbor called Karen and kindly offered to turn on the heat in the mountain cabin that she and Dan own in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Sandy’s chill had moved across the area and threatened to freeze the water pipes.
The rapid change in the weather hit me as we passed from Florida into Georgia earlier in the week. As our distance from saltwater grew, my sinuses detected the difference and promptly began clanging, wheezing and pounding. Hello, winter.
For the next seven months, the Lezovi will be cruising by land through the U.S.A. and Europe. S/V Happy Times lies safely at Mario’s Marina, Rio Dulce, Guatemala, awaiting our return in May 2013.