Date: 15 October 2022. Before and After Hurricane Ian
(parts 1 and 2)
aboard a boat in a hurricane prone area means weather watching is a
given. Fortunately Hurricane Ian missed me. There are changes
however that I will make going into the future. Though Seaweed did
receive some damage, it was minimal. I was very lucky. This page contains
Before Hurricane Ian Arrived (part 1) and
After Hurricane Ian (part 2).
Date: 4 October 2022. Before Hurricane Ian
Arrived (part 1)
I were extremely fortunate in that Hurricane Ian turned east before
it reached us. Locals here are grateful we are not dealing with the
dreadful aftermath that storm wrought just 85 miles south of here.
Preparing for Hurricane Ian took place over nearly a week. Some
plans were executed well. Alas I did make avoidable mistakes too.
SEAWEED ↓ and I are based on the coast
north of John's Pass in St. Petersburg, FL.
Hurricane Ian made LANDFALL
at Cayo Costa.
at Cayo Costa, approximately 85 miles south of
Of course those of
us in the region were carefully watching as the storm moved
This graphic was prevalent in the local doom and
Please note that this displays the TROPICAL STORM FORCE WIND SPEED
Like many I follow
Mike's Weather Page aka
http://spaghettimodels.com along with
Wunderground (Weather Underground)
Mike's Weather Page the tropical storm force wind speed
probabilities graphic was prominently displayed. In that
section I noticed there were links for two other graphics just
above the tropical winds visual. Those were for a 50-knot
winds probability image, and a third for hurricane force wind
probabilities. These were far less scary as they showed a
smaller area of potentially catastrophic hurricane force
tropic storm force
wind speed probabilities
50-knot wind speed probabilities
wind speed probabilities
tropical storm winds were forecast for much of Florida,
the specific area with predicted hurricane winds was far
On the east
coast my friend Irene decided to move her boat to a more protected
anchorage. Of course with the stress of storm preparations,
*Murphy's Law reared his ugly head.
If something can go wrong, it will.
Folks naturally assume
that lifting an anchor with a windlass will be problem-free. This is
not necessarily what happens in real life.
Sometimes hauling in an anchor is a not simply
pushing a button and watching the chain come up.
Being able to deal with the unexpected is one sign of an
experienced boater. Seeing a mast complete with rigging appear
from the bottom is definitely not what one wishes for when
planning to relocate for an impending hurricane. Fortunately, a
long pier was nearby. Irene motored to the dock in order to
untangle her chain from the mast.
If you ever wondered what
you would not want to see when raising your anchor...
Boaters will come out to help when trouble occurs.
The good thing
about chain is that it is strong. It is also a
the transom to remove when wrapped three times around a mast.
Finally the chain was freed from the mast.
By the time the chain was untangled, the tide had turned. Irene
opted to move to a nearby river to ride out the storm. Due to the
falling tide she decided to wait until the next day to bring her
there. I told you about that place in the
In the meantime, I chose to not go to
an ATM for money on Saturday. Instead I waited until Monday. This
was a mistake. With the storm heading my way, a mandatory evacuation
order was in place. And there was zero money in the ATMs. I checked
several without success. Argh!!!
That morning I had gotten into a discussion with Baby
who wanted me to immediately evacuate. As the storm was then down by
Cuba, that was not going to happen. The last time I was under a
mandatory evacuation notice I had a TERRIBLE experience. I am old,
and I don't forget. I told you about that dreadful time in the
Hurricane Irma Saga
series. I do not sugar coat my experience so... well,
you've been warned.
In the midst of all this, with my
stress levels rising ever higher I was
blessed. I had stopped by the post office, and there was a box
Presents are always nice, and the items Pam sent
were especially appreciated. Check out the goodies I was fortunate
enough to receive...
Constant Comment is my "treat" tea. Usually I drink
Lipton Bold or black, however when I want something special I
turn to Constant Comment for the most part. It is delicious. I
cannot wait to try the sweet and spicy tea too. Thank you Pam.
I was absolutely delighted
by my new autumn dish towel. My old one has been getting dingy.
It is at least ten years old, and well, this one is so bright
and cheerful. →
The weather has turned.
It is cooler. Fall has arrived. This is my favorite time of
Sweets are always welcome.
As I decorate for the seasons with
dishtowels, this gift is just perfect. I am ready for autumn
The timing on the box's arrival was ideal. While dealing
with storm preparations which included securing a half dozen
nearby boats for the hurricane, arguing with people
encouraging me to Get Out, then not being able to get cash,
well, I was not having a good week. I confess that I was
overcome with relief and joy at that wonderful box. It was
just the thing to lift my spirits. Thanks again to you Pam.
You are such a thoughtful person. Thank you!!!
Preparing for Hurricane Ian was accomplished over nearly a week. The neighbors worked
together to get the boats secured. Still, all of us were
watching as the storm approached. Had Ian not turned east, I would
As Ian was not going to make landfall
near here, I felt comfortable staying on the beach. High tides were
forecast and my friend Anisha invited Skipper and I to stay in her second story
apartment next door should the water rise. She is incredibly kind.
Anisha is a lovely
neighbor. She has made friends with the night herons. Striker hangs
out (and on) Anisha!
Striker ↑ is a
juvenile night heron.
The conclusion will be posted in a couple days. Thank you for
Date: 10 October 2022. After
Hurricane Ian (part 2)
Watching Hurricane Ian
as he headed north off the coast of Florida was nerve-wracking.
Securing Seaweed with every line in my lockers was a given.
Additionally all my fenders were deployed. Safety gear stored is
stupid. EVERYTHING gets utilized when a storm is bearing down.
Hurricane Ian was no different from others I have experienced over
the years. Fortunately I "dodged a bullet" when the hurricane turned
inland south of me.
my years of experience I missed a couple of things.
One of those mistakes left Seaweed with minor damage. Argh!!!
This is a chart provided by the Navy Hurricane hunters planes.
A fellow on this canal has a dad who was a navigator
on one of the Navy hurricane hunter planes. How cool is that?!?
Wunderground had the best graphic for the storm of any I could
find. Frankly I prefer the dots showing the exact location of the
storm eye. I loved that Wunderground had their dots denote the wind
speed and storm strength too.
One thing that concerned those of us here on the beach was the storm
that was predicted. We were all watching as the Ian approached land.
As during Hurricane Irma, we experienced extremely low tides.
Fortunately the weather was calm
(no waves) thus the boats at my friend Cheryl's property though sitting on the
bottom suffered no damage.
S/V Island Time
Multiple lines secured the
vessels to the dock and pilings.
Like at Cheryl's place the tide was low here too. The water receded at the seawall by the mangroves.
Of course I was anxious
to check on ↓
SEAWEED. Once the winds had abated, I went
to see the boats. Fortunately my wind generator blades are visible
to the far left of this picture:
All the boats were floating, which was a good thing.
Due to the low
tide I was delayed returning home by a couple of long hours waiting for the
water to rise. I could not safely get aboard my boat. Still, being
here where I could see and check on my girl immediately was such a
relief. I cannot imagine ever dealing with officials forbidding me
to return for HOURS. Hurricane Irma taught me that! Why yes, I am
Details on that can be found in the
Hurricane Irma Saga
Irene of course stayed aboard her
boat at anchor. After the storm she did have a visitor check on her.
Note that Irene has her dinghy secured to her home by TWO lines.
Smart boaters never use a single line to tie a tender to the main
In the meantime I spotted this
picture from a live camera on Flagler Beach. A friend had fled
there. He is a surfer so I looked for him.
While waiting to
return to Seaweed, I spent the time checking on friends far and
near. I was relieved that S/V Grace had cruised up the east coast,
and thus was out of the epicenter of Hurricane Ian. Unfortunately
many fine boating areas suffered severe damage.
Finally the tide
had come in enough that I could return. Thank goodness!!! It felt so good to be
finally home where I belong.
Skipper immediately fell asleep...
Look at my first visitor after returning home:
Seeing the manatee, first one, then two more was wonderful.
It was such a relief to be home.
What made this particularly delightful is that I love manatees. They
are interesting to watch.
As you can tell the water is rather
murky. It is not the green I have come to enjoy.
There are two manatees in this
The manatees did not seem to mind the
condition of the water. They know the mangroves and regularly come
by to munch on the leaves.
Interrupting for a proud grandma moment...
My Original Grand had to create a
poster about an endangered animal. She chose the manatee. Here is
She is in fifth grade now. Where does the time go???
I love that her handwriting is neat too.
But I digress...
Of all the boats on the canal
only one received any damage. That would be my Seaweed!
worst part about the damage is that the reason is entirely my fault.
Although I had added every line in my locker and put out all my
fenders too, I had failed to secure one set of fenders.
Thus, as the boat moved around those two fenders slipped out of
place and my boat scraped against the boat next to me. Argh.
Utilizing two of the eyebolts
already in the perfect spot
made a world of difference in keeping the fenders where they
needed to be.
Years ago I had installed eyebolts around the overhangs on Seaweed. Originally they were used to
hang Christmas lights. I deliberately chose to have the part that
protrudes inside and under the overhang.
reason I chose to have the "eye" under the overhang is to prevent injury. Just
as one protects toddlers from harm by keeping sharp pointed objects
covered, the same principle is applied aboard Seaweed.
If I slip
due to an unexpected event (a wave rocks the boat) I do not
want to hurt myself. The eyebolts can not harm me due to the
simple swap of installing them "backwards" to what one might
The damage to Seaweed was entirely my fault. I have eyebolts
same would have prevented this. Alas, I simply
did not think to utilize them.
One is always smarter after the lesson. Well, I have
learned. From now on I will ensure my fenders are secured so they
can protect my Seaweed.
Although I immediately spotted the damage when I got
home, seeing the manatee behind my boat made my world perfect. It
seemed as if the manatee was welcoming me home. Though I tried to
get a picture of that first manatee, within minutes two more
arrived. Life is indeed good.
In the meantime, Skipper
snoozed on her pillow.
Skipper continued to rest
while I took off the spare
lines and returned Seaweed to her ready
to move status.
When I was growing up aboard our 40'er, Daddy was adamant that we be
able to get underway in less than 15 minutes. I have maintained that
practice. In practicality, this means that I try to keep everything
put away enough so that nothing will fall over if I get waked.
The manatees were great, and finally my Buddy
Now, finally, all is well with my world.
a storm in impending, waiting to get money out of an ATM is not
smart. Also, it took more than a week after the storm before I
was able to find an ATM with cash.
#2) I should have utilized
my eyebolts to secure the finders in place.
#3) There's no place like home.
I thank you for reading.
What in particular did you learn from a storm after the
And, is there anything you will do differently next time?
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