As I promised in the last entry, I’m using this entry to share our experiences as we prepared for the possible tropical storm/hurricane that recently developed in the Atlantic. The early forecasts suggested that Danny would not ever materialized beyond tropical storm and would probably not bother Vero Beach. We found there was a Tai Chi event going on in Marathon, so we decided to go down there on Friday night and participate on Saturday. Jeff and Beth Pinkus offered for us to stay at their place and all looked good. We’d be returning to Vero on Saturday evening, which would give us time to prepare for whatever came our way probably on Monday. We planned to put the boat on a mooring in case anything came our way. The docks here are not floating, so preparing at the slip was difficult with the concern of the potential for several feet of storm surge. Given the forecast several days ahead of the storm, it appeared that the storm, if it came, would be just off shore to the east, bringing winds to us out of the north, so we’d take mooring ball at that end of the mooring field to ensure that other boats wouldn’t blow into us if they came loose.
Then the forecast began to change. The forecasters reminded all that the storm was a difficult one to predict. By Thursday, we decided that the drive to Marathon was was no longer advisable. It appeared that Danny still might become a hurricane, but it would likely travel directly toward us. This meant winds out of the southeast and a different mooring choice. Still, there were a number of moorings available, so this was not a problem. I took down the jib and added more dock lines just in case it appeared that we might be able stay at the dock after all. Then we waited for the next update from the hurricane center. They were coming at three hour intervals, and each one offered a slightly different scenerio.
All the talk on local TV and radio was about the coming storm. The grocery stores were busy with people stocking up. One probably would be hard pressed to find a portable generator anywhere in south Florida. And of course talk at the marina was all about who’s plan for securing the boat was best.
By Saturday evening, it became clear that there would be no hurricane. We would receive only rain. We stayed at the dock safely with no wind and only a little rain. Hurricanes are still a bit of a mystery even for the forecasters.
These are called spaghetti models representing the results of different computer models. Even as late as Saturday morning, the models offered a variety of outcomes.
But of course we are now only reaching the peak of the hurricane season. September is a busy month in the Atlantic, we’ll have keep an eye on the weather apps for a few more weeks. We already have two additional storms that surfaced after Danny.
Fred appears not be a threat, but Grace has potential.
Of course we deal with the daily threat of thunderstorms here in south Florida as well. While they pose a threat no where near as dangerous as hurricanes, we must pay attention.
Until the next update…
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