Sunday, September 10, 2017

Watching Hurricane Irma Closely

Our hearts go out to all the people affected by Irma and of course by Harvey.  We are very fortunate to have visited the Virgin Islands this past Christmas/New Year, and now to see the devastation of the islands is just so awful.  What a terrible time of recent weather systems.  our hearts go out to everyone impacted.  This really brings home the impact weather can have and why we always try to have "no schedule" when it comes to making sailing plans.

We are fortunate, at least right now, to be located out of the major areas of impact for both Harvey and Irma (predicted).  We do have a beach place at Cape San Blas, FL which we are watching closely and expecting some impact.  I put up storm shutters and boarded up on Friday, but was just amazed by the apparent lack of preparations that most people had made. I saw only a handful of properties that had made any preparations.

Irma's Path Prediction (Thursday)
Yes, as of Thursday, the path was predicted up central Florida, but we have seen constant incremental shifts west, placing this area closer to the path.  These things have to be taken seriously and conservatively - so the shutters are up and we are hoping for minimal impacts.  As of today (Sunday), it looks like Irma will skirt the west coast of Florida and it is hitting the Keys as I write this.  So the next 2 days will be critical for the Forgotten Coast area.  So aptly named, that i suspect it will get minimal news coverage, and yet it is in my opinion the most pristine area of Florida.  A further shift west would not be good for us.

At this point, there is no "good" or even "better" path for Irma - wherever this thing goes, people and property will be severely impacted.

Irma's Predicted Path (Sunday, Sept 10)
Cape San Blas Beaches (Friday)

We have all heard the saying "the calm before the storm".....well here's a photo of Cape San Blas beaches taken Friday Sept 8.  I have never seen it look so peaceful and beautiful.  It really brought a tear to my eye to wonder what it will look like on my next visit.

I am planning to head overseas on Tuesday (hopefully) until the end of the month.  Since we are still in the height of H-season, I will be stripping the boat of all canvas today, including sails, and spidering Midnight Sun into her slip.  A precautionary measure, and I hope I am proved to be paranoid.  I have great neighbors that will look out for her while I am away - but still, best to be prepared.  I will try to post photos of the preparations.

Back on the "Lost Bay" (Perdido Bay), sailing friends compete for the Commodore's Cup at Point YC., taking advantage of the 20 kt winds already spawned off Irma.
Commodore's Cup Participant - Point YC