Here at Picton Castle headquarters in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada, we’ve been monitoring Hurricane Teddy for many days now. This brute is approaching Nova Scotia from the direction of Bermuda, due south – meaning headed north for us. Back in June, we wrote a Captain’s Log about the prediction that the 2020 hurricane season would be a very active one (https://www.picton-castle.com/captains_log/record-breaking-atlantic-hurricane-season-for-2020/). That has indeed been the case and we’ve been keeping a close eye on the weather and possible effects we might feel in our part of the world.
There are a number of different resources we use in order to monitor hurricanes and tropical storms. In addition to the National Hurricane Center in the USA and the Canadian Hurricane Centre, we often look at passagweather.com and windy.com. We are in frequent conversation with colleagues and associates, both locally and far afield, with whom we discuss the weather and the risk specific to where Picton Castle is. Local knowledge of swell and wind effects is very interesting to us right now.
We have also been in communication with our small but mighty gang aboard the ship. We have put them in the picture and gone through the list of tasks together that must be done to prepare. After we moved Picton Castle at the wharf just over a week ago, we got her tied very securely to the wharf, then added chafe gear to her mooring lines. We’ve since checked those lines again to be sure they’re secure. We’ve also checked the lines on the Primo, the old fishing vessel across the wharf from Picton Castle, replacing them or repositioning them as necessary.
With both ships at our wharf tied up securely, we hauled all of our small boats but one out of the water. The Dory Shop has been kind to let us haul our boats at the beach there. We’ve left one motorboat in the water that we can use as a rescue boat as necessary, and will reassess later today and into tomorrow whether we need to haul it out as well. Picton Castle currently has no sails bent on and minimal running rigging aloft. We have removed any extraneous running rigging and what is left has been nipped. We have cleared our wharf of any small items that the wind might pick up and blow around, making sure everything that remains is stowed securely. And we will be looking out for things that might float away if the seas come over the wharf, which could happen with the big tides we are seeing now.
Although Teddy is a hurricane at the time I’m writing this log (Monday afternoon), forecasts are predicting that by the time it reaches land in Nova Scotia, Teddy will be a post-tropical storm. When it makes that transition, the wind field will expand, so even though Teddy is now forecast to make landfall on the Eastern Shore (the coastline northeast of Halifax, between Halifax and Canso), we will still get a lot of wind and rain here. We’re expecting the wind and rain to begin on Tuesday morning, then be at its strongest Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning. The wind direction is forecast to be northerly, which for us in Lunenburg is actually a better scenario. Wind will be coming across the land and down to the harbour, rather than up Lunenburg Bay, which should help to minimize the wind waves we feel at our berth. A large southeast swell and surge from the storm is forecast and Lunenburg is a bit exposed to the southeast.
Lunenburg prepares for an event like this as a community on the waterfront, so we’ve been helping other local boat owners get their boats ready as well. By the end of today, we should be as prepared as we can be for Teddy’s visit.