There’s no other word that can summon up the same visceral combination of terror, anxiety and pure fretting in a sailor. We’d do almost anything to avoid dealing with the subject – except we didn’t.
“Anything” would have been bringing Sionna back north, or even not having taken her south in the first place. But instead we DID take her south, and then we left her there, in a semi-tropical area known for it’s potential for hosting nature’s most destructive weather systems.
What were we thinking?! Well, we were thinking warm. We were thinking adventure. We were thinking that you only live once. We were remembering that quote: “Ships are safe inside the harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” (Source unknown)
Hurricane Irma has, as of this morning, intensified to a Category 5 storm, the strongest level. Anything she encounters at that level – whether at sea or ashore – is extremely unlikely to survive unless it was constructed for precisely that purpose.
As of this morning, the “spaghetti chart” showing Irma’s likely paths has begun to coalesce into a narrow band of probability which takes the storm across the Florida Keys and on to south Florida, and north.
And yes, “on north” is where Sionna is stored.
So we’re fretting about our floating home, yes, but we’ve also got dozens of friends in her path, spread out from the Caribbean islands of the Lesser Antilles all the way to Georgia on the US east coast. If Irma misses us, she may hit them harder, and if she spares them, she could devastate us. So what do we hope for?
I guess we hope for the best, for all concerned. We did everything we could to prepare the boat for just this before we left Florida, and I just got a call from the boat yard down in Florida reassuring me that – yes indeed, they did install hurricane straps just after we left, and they’re busy checking boats and snugging tie-downs even as we speak.
Fingers crossed and prayers to the IS said, we wait. Batten down the hatches, my friends. We’re thinking of you.