Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Aftermath of Wilma

Aftermath of Wilma
Originally uploaded by S/V Raft.
Wilma is our first hurricane. We were concerned, but actually happy to be experiencing our first one in such great circumstances. RAFT is on the hard, at Riverside Marina, her mast down, and securing held up by 8 jack stands, a cement block, all chained and roped together. Her location was about 1/4 mile from the Indian River, backing onto a treed areas, quite protected from North winds. Our primary concern was the sailboat directly west of us, unfortunately no one seemed to be looking after her, so Ross went around and checked, and added new jackstands, and the marina added chain. Her mast was still up with sails....Bev thought seriously about boarding her and adding some ropes to reduce the windage but didn't. At this point, the predictions were that Wilma would pass south of Fort Pierce, putting us on the less dangerous side, and the primary winds from the east...that should cause our neighbour to fall away from us, if it fell at all.

Sunday, we vacated RAFT, went to Bill's house, with ample food and drink, BBQ and flashlights. We took over our water jugs and filled them up so we would have lots of water. That evening felt like Christmas Eve, not being able to sleep Sunday night, knowing something is coming...By morning we were hearing the reports on the radio (Bill's house didn't have Cable connected so the TV's didn't work) 0630 eye at Fort Myers, 0930 we lose power 1100 eye south of Fort Pierce winds 60-70 mph, lots of rain 1300-1400 backside of the eyewall The worst weather was the second half of the storm when the backside of the eyewall passed over us. Took everyone around here by surprise including the weather guys. Winds topped 100 knots and swung around to the west. The house we were staying at was fine. There was a transformer fire across the road, and a window broken on a neighbours house.

1700 winds down, rain passed, and we just had to go over to Riverside to see how RAFT and Cilcia (Dave's boat) fared. We just had to know if they were still standing. And they were. There were about 6 boats down in the marina but not RAFT or the boat next door. Satisfied, we returned to Bill's. Driving around Fort Pierce, we knew the power was out in most of the town, and there were lots of tree branches down, but it didn't look as bad as things were last year. Fortunately, the eye did pass south of us.

Tuesday, still no power, but we moved back onto RAFT and started to set her back up. Wednesday, we did a road trip to Indiantown Marina to check on friend's boat. There are over 400 boats in this landlocked marina. We found 30 boats had fallen over and probably another 30 leaning. Its always sad to see. Evergreen was okay along with other boats that we knew from last winter (Imagine, Aislinn, Kyeta, Dejarlo, Siggy'sDancer).

Enough sight seeing, it is time to get back to work. We plan to start bottom work and the last few parts for the transmission should be in by Friday, actually showed up Monday. Ft pierce is getting back to normal. All the stoplights are now working and the stores are busy, Fema is still on the ground here handing out blue tarps and ice. There is still a curfew on here and a restriction on the sale of alcohol. Good thing we stocked up a little before hand. The bridges are still closed so we can't go anywhere yet.

A week later, we now have the transmission installed, the bottom painted, and we are ready to get splashed. Problem is the marina is busy righting the upset boats, bringing in the boats which we damaged in Wilma, and we need at least 3 boats moved in order to get us out. Hopefully it will happen this week. We are all provisioned up and ready.