19 Years Ago – Life at Sea – Part IV

September 21st, 2008 by xformed

About noon on this day 19 years ago, we were abeam Miami and the weather was exceptionally excellent, as it is behind a major storm. The sky brilliantly blue, the sea darker, and the waves very small.

Hugo was now a Category 4, about 240 miles SE of Charelston, SC, our homeport. Hugo was about 340 miles NE of us. The CO and I decided to turn north and begin to follow the storm. At that location, when we decided, our track to the sea buoy off Charleston was 000oT, due north.

The journey home then began with a wide turn in the sea traffic, and we slowed, taking one engine offline. Having once before followed a strom home to homeport (Guillermo in the Pacific in 1979), I knew it was not wise to run right up behind it and assume you knew here it was headed.

Hugo had increased dramatically in strength, having pulled in the energy off the hot water of the Gulf Stream, as it had crossed in in the night, and had now set it’s sights on the low country Carolina area. It was heading that direction at about 19 mph. The exact landfall was still a question.

We went about our duties, minus a heavy dose of specific Navy related tasks. We were just mariners on the way home, with the thoughts and fears about our family and friends in the path of the storm.

The ships in Charelston had sortied, heading to the NE, “crossing the T” of the storm. I later heard more details, which I will discuss in this story chonologically.

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