So Mel has found Irma’s Theme Song. She is pretty sure Irma sings this to herself as she goes crazy destroying all that is good and beautiful in the Caribbean. If you have the bandwidth, listen to this song all the way through. It’s a little spooky how apt it is. Eff Irma. Eff her.
Anyway, whew! Greg made it back to inland Omaha at 2 a.m. last night after a 3 hour delay in Miami due to “air traffic management problems.” One can conclude from this that, likely flaunting the laws of the FAA but heeding the laws of self-preservation, many air traffic controllers had bugged out. Greg says that the airport was a zoo, with all flights overbooked and cancelled flights to the Caribbean taking up tarmac. The logistics to re-route those flights to inland areas to help with the evacuation must have been prohibitive, but one wonders if Americans have lost that Apollo-13-type chutzpah that would have solved the problem with a little duct-tape, resourcefulness, teamwork, and thorough disaster-planning. Regardless, it wasn’t Miami International Airport’s finest hour.
Beforehand, Greg and Reuben were hard at work securing Marvin. Reuben apparently has a last name that dehydrated, cramping, exhausted Greg cannot spell, but let’s just say that once again Marvin is indebted to someone with Spanish heritage. Muchas gracias, and thanks a ton, Rueben!
Warning: SAILING JARGON AHEAD.
So here’s the situation. The Amazing Marvin, a GORGEOUS, MUCH-LOVED, SOUPED-UP Leopard 48 catamaran, is side-to on a fixed wooden dock in Dania Beach with pylons extending 5 feet above the dock. This was the spot he was given in Harbour Towne Marina back in July, which was short on space as they were anticipating 18-plus NEW BEAUTIFUL Leopard catamarans to arrive at any time. The hurricane plan submitted back in August and approved by our insurers, Pantaenius, involved spider-webbing lines against said dock. For that reason, combined with the fact that his owners were not Florida natives who knew the area, Marvin was secured against his dock without attempts at all the other options offered up on social media. This included: 1. Outrun and outguess an unpredictable storm moving at 14 knots (stupid) 2. Tying up in mangroves (impossible if one was not familiar with the area and only had 48 hours to prep) 3. Be on a more-surge-proof floating dock (YOU find one last-minute in Fort Lauderdale, baby!) or 4. Haul out (a difficult thing for a fat and heavy Leopard 48 any time, even with 6 weeks’ notice!) So here are the things Greg did to protect Marvin, all the while RESPECTING THE NEWTON:
- Removed and stowed all sails, including the sailbag
- Secured halyards, loose lines, mainsheets, and even the fairlead blocks with line and/or Gorilla Tape
- Deployed multiple dock-lines, including multiple spring lines. Greg was able to buy 65 more meters of dockline while prepping!
- Applied anti-chafe secured with line to the dock lines using whatever we had, including laced-up leather.
- Sent lines across the entrance to the marina (with permission) to secure Marvin’s port hull, allowing us to separate from the fixed dock by four feet.
- Removed and stowed our plastic helm enclosure (and all cushions, of course.)
- Stowed heavy, large Viking liferaft that was mounted on the stern.
- Stowed deckbox and Dometic fridge, which were in the aft cockpit.
- Lashed covered dinghy down as best he could. Too heavy to stow. (See pictures.)
- Stowed mainsail battens.
- Unplugged from shore power; stowed cables.
- Gorilla-taped over entire helm console, which has leaked in the past.
- Stowed unsecured cover to scupper in front cockpit.
- Lowered our 120-lb Rocna anchor with 10:1 scope of chain, while at dock, WHICH IS WEIRD.
- Shut off the AC system (inverters) since our bilge pumps had to depend on solar power only anyway.
- Put wax plugs in the engine exhaust
- Ran out of time to take off our mounted, giant Kyocera solar panel.
- Ran out of time to remove our hard bimini top, which might tear off.
- Ran out of time to better secure our neighbor boat, a 50-foot Lagoon, whose hurricane prep consisted of adding two extra dock lines and wrapping a line a couple of times around the sailbag.
Here are the pictures. And so now we wait, watch the weather, and listen to whiny 1990’s alternative rock, which best matches our mood.