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Date: 6 June 2016. Report on Colin (a tropical storm)


The blue arrow shows TROPICAL STORM COLIN at coordinates 29.3N and 84.7W on 6 June 2016.

Seaweed is at the RED ARROW.

For my friends, here is the latest on Tropical Storm Colin: It has been blowing like crazy, raining sideways and flooding too. High tide was at 1300 (1 p.m.) and water was over most of the docks on this canal. It rose about 2' over the normal high tides. What has been worst of all though is the wind gusts.

It blows, quickly, and then abates momentarily only to build again. Keeping a sure foot is critical. The boat is in constant motion and it is easy to get off balance. That is one reason I have so many places to hold on aboard Seaweed.


Remember: "One hand for the boat, one hand for yourself"

Few experienced mariners have accidents and that is due to the care they use. Today I've been on and off Seaweed many times. I have waited for the boat to swing back toward the dock. I step carefully. There is always one hand holding a secure post.

I fear falling because I've seen other people do it too. Inevitably the event (splash) takes place so quickly the reason why is lost. Later analysis usually points to complacency due to the fact that we have done it "a thousand times" without issue. That inattention when combined with a momentary distraction can result in an accident.

Travis is comfortable on this Hatteras Yachtfish50. The side decks are wide. The handrail is sturdy.

Getting off the boat next to me, I m on to the stanchion until safely on the dock. Later the owner hung his swim ladder over the side. It made getting back on that boat from the dock much easier. The steps made a big difference for me because I am petite.

Normally getting on and off that boat is relatively easy. The higher than normal tides meant one more complication. Fortunately we had a solution right at hand. The ladder was very easy for me to navigate up and down.

We do not have big waves in this canal so that is not an issue. So far the only real problem Tropical Storm Colin has brought is gusty winds.



Boarding Seaweed I have a handhold that is easy to grab. I described this simple project in the Windlass Debris becomes Handhold article.


This morning a friend sent a text saying "Can't get into or out of my neighborhood. Deepest water in roads that I have ever seen." He ended up pulling into McDonald's for shelter.

Now I wouldn't mind having a cup of iced coffee from McDonald's. I might just make one for myself here in a little while. After all, I've got coffee and ice cubes. Life is good afloat. During stormy conditions I do not sleep much.

Seaweed is tucked in behind a bigger boat. Except when the wind grabbed her bow and played SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE, all was well. I added another line to prevent that from happening again.

Earlier today added a line to the pier next to me. That would enable me to
keep my boat off the sailboat I am rafted to. Also it gives me another line of safety.



I have pumped out Algae twice. To the bottom of the seat my rowboat holds 50 gallons of water. Both times the water was close to the bottom of the seat.

The fenders along the outside add a layer of floatation. I do not worry about her sinking.

Algae is an old dink built in 1972. She serves me well. She's comfortable and with a trolling motor just about perfect.


The leaks still leak. I thought I would successfully find and fix them all. Like other boat owners I was wildly optimistic.  The rain was relentless and blowing sideways. Every spot that could get water, did. Once things dry out I will deal with that. For now, my planters are serving a purpose: catching drips.

For the time being I have "self watering" plants provided it rains often enough.

And there is a new discovery. Water is leaking around the anchor locker door onto my mattress. Not Fun! That leak I have to fix ASAP.

The anchor locker door is that square teak framed piece right behind Skipper's head on the forward bulkhead.

Skipper does not seem to mind rain and wind. Thunder is another matter entirely. She is afraid of thunder.

The rain was blowing in the windlass on deck. That water was running against the forward cabin bulkhead into the anchor locker. Then it came out the locker door and onto my bunk. Fortunately I caught it before the mattress was totally drenched.

I have the Schucker portlights. They drip. That is because the rubber gasket around the screens is so stiff it does not squish any more. (The gasket keeps the screen in place.) Thirty-plus years ago it kept out rain but not now. Gaskets are on the list again and closer to the top too.

In the meantime I have DRIP TRAYS deployed:


When it was not raining torrentially the priority level for buying gaskets decreased. It has increased now.

The gasket is visible just below my turtle at the bottom of the portlight window.
It has two pairs of rings (raised rubber) that are supposed to seal the portlight.


My friend Rita made this turtle sun-catcher for my portlight. She's amazing. Rita owns Washed Ashore [washed.ashore.157@gmail.com] so if you'd like something special for your portlight or window contact her. I love the turtle and all the others I've bought from her.

Seaweed is home and she is also a treasure box of happiness. Coming back at night is a treat. I keep a light on in my cabin and when I look at my boat the turtle looks as if it is swimming by. Life is wonderful and these special treats make it so.


Having been anchored during a couple of Tropical Storms (Beryl and Isaac) I can say that when the wind kicks I would much rather be tucked into a safe harbor than riding it out at anchor. Details about Beryl can be found in the
Beryl Lessons article.

The worst is supposed to be tonight at 0200. Of Course!!!

Last night I listened to the VHF Wx (weather) station. Waves in the Gulf of Mexico were predicted at 14-18 feet. That is scary. I hope my friends on Rollin' Stone are safe and sound. Heck, I hope everybody is.

That is it from St. Pete. I wanted to let you know all is well here. Seaweed is safe and so too are Skipper and I. She is snoozing right now and I will be shortly.

Are you going to be impacted by Colin and what preparations did you do?
What did Colin do in your area?

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