Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Wilma's acoming!!

Wilma's acoming!!
Originally uploaded by S/V Raft.
Our first week in Florida and we have been hard at work, getting RAFT ready to go!! We have put up the canvas cockpit enclosure, put the wind generator and solar panels back up. We have determined that the source of soot must be the trains, because it seems there are several train each hour passing close enough to cause the RAFT to shake. We also found out that the weatherstripping adhesive had dried out, allowing water to enter the head. Ross was extremely disappointed to find out that the major leakage was through the side windows. All the work he did in the past to stop the leaks in the side windows has been for nought. The Plexus released and the Acrylic windows are opening up again. As a quick fix, Ross will rechaulk with 4200/5200 to get through the rainy season.

RAFT is positioned way back in the yard, next to a property fence, tidal stream and trees. When we take a break, we enjoy woodpeckers pecking for food, lots of skinks, squirrels jumping between the trees, a possum running along the fence and 2 quite friendly land crabs. They sit outside their holes in the shadows, their bodies being a blue shade, and their one large right claw, yellow.

By midweek, we knew from NOAA, and the marina we had to prepare for a hurricane. How could this be happening to us, isn't it too late in the season, obviously not!! Plus Fort Pierce had 2 last year, so statistically this shouldn't be happening. Regardless, Wilma is predicted to make a visit.

The days leading up to Wilma's arrival have changed our focus somewhat. The boat yard is a hubbub of activity as boats are reblocked, chains installed and new ones are brought in to be hauled out. People are taking hurricane prep seriously here. Our plans call for us to strip all the canvas and solar panels off the boat by Friday and to go to Bill & Jeanne's house Friday night--- taking all of our important documents, and money will us.

We reblocked the boat beside us to today so that if it falls it will be away from us. Stores are starting to line up with people buying supplies. Wilma is expected to pass 50 miles south of us according to the latest forecast we have received. Expect to see 60- 75 mph winds and lots of rain. We will be fine. Should all be over by Sunday afternoon then we can restart the prep work.

Otherwise, it has been sunny, light winds, and except for the radio weather reports, you wouldn't know anything is coming. Maybe it won't.... Wilma's arrival is now delayed until Monday, so we continue to do boat projects, that don't involve changing the outside structures, and jacks -- ie the hurricane protection. Bev finished waxing the hull, and dropped out the chain from the locker, to let the rainwater give it a freshwater bath, and maybe hurricane force winds will knock off some of the rust that accumulated over the summer. The transmission arrived, missing the cooler, and with the wrong drive plate, they sent the one for a Yanmar 3GM instead of a Yanmar HM. One phone call, and things have been straightened out, and everything should be delivered Wednesday.

The boatyard continues to be busy, pulling boats out of the water and parking them all around us. We will be delayed getting launched just because other boats will have to be moved. All the charts and books I ordered from Bluewater books were delivered today, so we will have something to study while we are enduring Wilma.

Sunday, we know there will be no more delays. Wilma is coming Monday, so it is time to leave RAFT, and move into a more secure location. We are very happy to have boater friends that will put us up.