Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Staying On Board With Ernesto
Let the pictures tell the story........
It was Tuesday, August 29th - the one year anniversary of Katrina. What would the next 24 hours bring?
The morning was beautiful. Bad stuff wasn't expected to happen until later in the afternoon. And even then the top winds were predicted to be 45 mph. We both decided to stay on board. We took a quick dingy ride to the library to drop off our due movies then walked to Topps and topped off a few groceries plus a few bottles at the liquor store. We were ready!
By mid-day the dingy was extra secured on the davits, motor off and tied down on the motor mount, boom secured, dodger off, all preparations complete for Ernesto.
The afternoon was cloudy with a few drizzles of rain.....not even enough to close the campanionway.
Gracie the cat found a secure spot in her usual spot under our v-berth next to her fan and now the added anchor light which we removed from the halyard for when the storms came.
We spent the evening playing chess. Sue won one game!!! One out of 50! Well we didn't play 50 games that night but overall, 1 out of 50. Amazingly we were able to get a signal so chatting on the internet and answering emails was possible. Also keeping track of Ernesto via noaa website was also nice. The rest of the evening was very calm. No wind and just enough drizzly rain to be annoying. Open the hatch for some breeze.....hurry close the hatch because it's raining again......oh god i can't breath....open the hatch......ahhhhh....hurry! close the hatch, it's raining again!
That was our evening.
It was after 7 a.m. when Sue finally got up to put the coffee on. Though cloudy, it was still rather calm and quiet out. There was a little breeze but hardly enough to move the palm trees. Were we going to miss this Ernesto weather entirely? Maybe.
We put the dodger back up and were able to sit outside admist the drizzle and read. It was a nice cool morning with a breeze but not the tropical winds predicted.
And then things began to change........
The wind picked up and the rain came in droves sometimes making visibility almost nil. Our wind-o-meter doesn't work so we don't know for sure just how high the winds got but it didn't seem to be much more than 25 knots. Maybe a few gusts up to 30. One of us could have jumped out and used the hand-held windometer, but we didn't.
There were moments of calm and then more high winds and rain. One lightening bolt looked and felt like it hit Parrot Key...oh no! But it didn't. During one lull Gracie was even brave enough to take a quick stroll above. The photo on the right is of her paws on the campanionway slide. Maybe not so brave as desparate for air. It gets very stuffy in here with no ports or hatches open.
The above photos show how the rest of the day after Ernesto went. It constantly rained off and on.....on and off. Looks like we'll be playing the open hatch--close hatch game again. And indeed we have been ever since.
Oh wait.....is that the sun I see peeking through the clouds?!? Inconcievable!!