Hurricane Irma

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Scary piece of video

I have been working on the video from our two trips to Catalina island and came across a clip of my buddy Mike sitting on the bow of Happy Together in Isthmus Cove Catalina with his Ipad talking about a storm called Irma heading towards the Northern Caribbean. I hadn’t paid attention as we had been traveling back and forth to California (7 times) for the last 6 months. Normally I am glued to the National Hurricane Center from June to November as for years we had our boat in the Caribbean. We dodged a few storms over the last 5 years including a close call with Happy Together and a storm named Joaquin, but with the boat on the west coast I was oblivious. Mike wasn’t as he checked the storm every hour for three days. He had to worry of course. He had only owned “Tide Together” for a year (our previous boat) and living in California he never paid much attention to the tropical season in El Caribe. After a few days we realized it was a powerful storm and headed right to Palm Beach County. Yes we were right in the center of the cone. 4 days away.

Islands of destruction

Some of our friends suggested we stay in Southern California as we were far away from the coming storm. Not a chance. We knew we had responsibilities back home and that is where we were needed. We flew home on Tuesday and immediately began serious storm prep. We have a plan for the offices and employees, which went into effect on Wednesday. It was an exhausting few days and not just the physical work but the mental stress as well. As we were preparing, we watched the storm hit all of our favorite islands and the damage reports were coming in. St. Barths, St. Martin, Anguilla, BVI, USVI all ravaged beyond what any Caribbean island had ever seen.

Hurricane Party?

Not this time. Sure we say it and it’s common but this time we had a Cat 5 monster coming for us. We had lived through Wilma and remembered that was like an episode of “Walking Dead” for three weeks. We had no power and we went in groups each day foraging. Two people would hunt for gas, two people would hunt for water and four would hunt for food. It wasn’t life threatening but it sort of felt that way when basic services were cut off. We weren’t taking any chances this time and although we had all the kids at our house and they were playing board games and drinking Rose’, Lennie and I knew what was possible so a serious tone was overshadowing the “fun”.

Aftermath

By Saturday morning it was clear the storm hadn’t turned north and it would head west of us by 100 miles. If you haven’t lived through one it’s hard to understand. Lennie and I have been through the eye of the hurricane twice. Wilma and Iris. It’s something you don’t forget no matter how much time goes by. If the eye hits you then you see the worst of it. Flooding and property damage are rampant. If they eye misses you by even 50 miles you can be mostly in the clear and call yourself lucky. Although you will see some scary scenes in this video it amounted to no more than downed trees and damaged roofs. You still lose power and the ability to get gas but within two weeks life seems back to normal. If you get a direct hit you feel it for months. In the case of the Caribbean and their lack of resources it will be years. It’s hard to imagine life after a bad storm.

I hope this video conveys what it is like to live through it and although Lennie and I are optimists and make the best of any situation our resolve is always tested when a storm approaches. Thanks for watching.

 

 

 

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