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Date: 15 October 2022. Before and After Hurricane Ian (parts 1 and 2)

janice142


Living 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 both
Before Hurricane Ian Arrived (part 1)  and After Hurricane Ian  (part 2).
 

The Hurricane Ian story was published in two parts. They are:

If you prefer everything on one page, this is the link you want:
Before and After Hurricane Ian (parts 1 and 2) ← This one


Date: 4 October 2022. Before Hurricane Ian Arrived (part 1)
 

Skipper and 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.

The hurricane's LANDFALL was at Cayo Costa, approximately 85 miles south of   ME.
 

Of course those of us in the region were carefully watching as the storm moved northward.


This graphic was prevalent in the local doom and gloom broadcasts:
Please note that this displays the TROPICAL STORM FORCE WIND SPEED PROBABILITIES.


 

 

Like many I follow  Mike's Weather Page aka http://spaghettimodels.com along with Wunderground (Weather Underground)

 

On 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 damage.

 
tropic storm force
wind speed probabilities

50-knot wind speed probabilities
hurricane force
wind speed probabilities

 

Though tropical storm winds were forecast for much of Florida,
the specific area with predicted hurricane winds was far smaller.

 

 


 

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.

*Murphy's Law: 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 pain in
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 boat over there. I told you about that place in the
Beryl Lessons article.


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 for me!!!
 

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 the year.
 

 
Sweets are always welcome.


 

As I decorate for the seasons with dishtowels, this gift is just perfect. I am ready for autumn now.

 


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 have evacuated.


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 reading.
 


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.
 

With all 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
surge 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 Alchemy

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 outside
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 still bitter.


Details on that can be found in the Hurricane Irma Saga series.
 

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 vessel.
 

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 picture:

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 her project:

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!



 

The 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 would have
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.
 

The primary 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 normally do.

 


The damage to Seaweed was entirely my fault. I have eyebolts and using
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.


Memory Lane: 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 appeared too.

Now, finally, all is well with my world.

 

 

Lessons Learned:
 

#1) When 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 event?
And, is there anything you will do differently next time?
 

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2022

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