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Letters: Fall Snowbirds Arriving Later in Oriental
Matthew's Impact
November 1, 2016

etween the counter at the Provision Company and the long window facing Hodges Street window, manager Pat Stockwell has a good vantage point on the flow of boaters who drop an anchor or tie up in Oriental. This being the fall, town is seeing an influx of cruisers heading south for the winter. But a bit later than usual. Pat offered an explanation:

For whatever reason the Annapolis boat shows act as a “Starting gun.” Usually the flock gets going when the sail show ends. The past few years we see people leave the week before to be out ahead of the crowd. And then (if the weather is nice) some will wait a week to be behind the crush. The biggest crowds seem to be the 2 to 3 weeks following both shows. But we see steady traffic up to Thanksgiving day. And stragglers into Dec. The years of Irene and Sandy backed people up. Sandy especially as folks were North and way West, stuck waiting for cleanup. This year from what I’ve heard and read, Matthew has made a mess further South(in SC, Ga and northern FL). Particularly to marinas. So I’m not sure why some are in a hurry to travel as it’s not necessarily an advantage to get going. This weekend marked the end of this years week two. Remember before Matthew the weather was not cooperating to our North. For a time both the Dismal Swamp and VA Cut were closed due to flooding. The swamp still is. Not that many of these folks want to go out and around. Some folks have insurance restrictions on how far South they can be by Nov 1. Others just rally if the weather is warm, as it has been. Some press on full steam if it’s warm, hurrying south to get a good spot(?). Then you have folks that break or bend stuff between the Chesapeake and here. They end up in our boatyards or calling one of our local independents. They have all been busy as usual.

And that sparked some Letters to the Editor:

To the Editor:

Speaking for myself, Matthew delayed me 10 days in New England while he decided what he was doing. Coming through Chesapeake the last couple of days I saw at least 10 or 12 boats where I would normally have expected to see two or three at this time of year, so I think the flow is still coming.

Hugh Macnaughton
S/V Ariel


Pat’s letter about the migration of those headed south was quite interesting & perceptive.

We have found that not only has this Oct. been extremely busy, but we are now getting many calls and emails from
those on their way south who want to set up repairs in advance of their arrival.

This year folks are doing their best to make reservations for service. Get ready local businesses, sailors are coming our way.

Gil & Laura
Hodges Street Sail Repair

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