Hiding from Earl

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Sat 4 Sep 2010 22:34
In position 39:02.82N, 76:33.70W
Earl has gone. Headed north into Canada threatening the USA east coast areas of Cape Cod and New England before passing over Nova Scotia. At it's maximum strength it was the most powerful storm to threaten the USA east coast for many years and it could all have been so very different.
For most Earl proved to be a major 'non event', albeit said with a great deal of relief, although North Carolina declared a State of Emergency and evacuated residents from Hattaras and Bogue Sound. For cruisers it was a time of checking weather updates as regularly as possible. Earls progress could be tracked all the way from its formation in the tropical waters of the Atlantic before turning north-westwards very nearly clobbering the British Virgin Islands, narrowly missing the Bahamas before lining itself up for a good run at the East Coast USA.
Giving such an entity a name, apart from reference purposes, gives it a real identity. We can all relate to something which has been given a name. The storm that passed overhead whilst we were in Block Island Sound recently had no name. It was just a big o'l low pressure system that blew at us sometimes at 40 knots, which is still a serious amount of wind, poured copious amounts of rain onto the decks and changed blue skies into grey for far longer than we liked to see - about 4 days to be precise but it had no name, no identity that people could associate with. No questions posed like 'Where were you when Earl passed by? - Well we were in such and such a creek up the Diddlydoo river - where were you?' 
Yet they were both storms of much intensity except one had a well defined and limited power base that was never going to cause any real problems. Whereas Earl had the potential should Mother Nature so decree to merely deviate a few degrees to the left and leave a band of widespread chaos, destruction and death behind it.  Instead Earl stayed pretty much on the track where the forecasters predicted it would stay and weakened when they said it would weaken. Despite becoming a Category 4 hurricane (5 being the worst) during its passage over the warm tropical waters mercifully few people were seriously affected by its passing except no doubt to create a few more babies during all the power outages along the coast! But my goodness we all, figuratively speaking, ran for the hills for a few days just in case.
Some images of the sunset as Earl approached.......
and......The 'Admiral's' lousy Scrabble hand whilst we waited for the storm that never came! She LOST by the way!!!