The good news is that we are on the West coast of Florida, just south of Tampa Bay. The storm is coming through the Atlantic and looks like it will hit Florida somewhere between Ft. Lauderdale and Jacksonville on the east coast. That is a huge area and where it hits will make all of the difference to us. If it hits south of us, it could go across the state and do damage to our area. The part that drives everyone crazy is the not knowing. If it goes a bit north, it could then turn further north and not impact us much at all.
Kim and I have been in a wait and see mode for the past few days. We checked into having SHIFT hauled out with the lift and putting it on stands on the hard ground. The problem is they are full with reservations here at the marina, so we can't do that. If it was going to be a direct hit from a Gulf of Mexico storm, we would look at other options for getting put on the "hard". After consulting with many other local boaters that have much more experience in dealing with these storms, we have decided to stay here in this very protected marina. We will strip all of the canvas off of the boat and reduce things that can be impacted by the wind. We will also add many more lines to anchor points around our slip. The boats on both sides of us have been placed on the hard, so that gives us more room to run lines. We completed that work today. We will take the canvas off tomorrow. We also placed the dingy upside down on the foredeck and lashed it down. We have made countless other things that have been pointed out to us.
When the time comes, we will leave the boat and go in a direction of safety. We will not stay on the boat unless it looks like the impact will be minimal.
For the most part we have stayed calm and discussed our options and made decisions. The thought of our boat getting damaged or worse is crushing. All we can do is do our best to protect her and then hope and pray that it will all work out.
I expect my next entry will be right after the storm and I will report the status of us and SHIFT. Thanks for reading.
|Just a sunset shot to end this post on a positive note. Venice, Florida|