The month started with Tropical storm Emily for which I had to delay the boarding of a wonderful group from France and ended with me asking my guests/friends Ryan and Jen to leave early so I could prepare for hurricane Irene.
Talk about stress, I begin watching as tropical waves leave the African cost marching westward across the Atlantic. Will these waves develop, what of their track and intensity two weeks out, will the Bermuda high deteriorate changing the track, what about the low coming down from the main land, will it redirect the storm. Will high wind sheer hamper development or dry air masses slow development, a lot to keep in mind for two and a half weeks before most people know there is a threat out there.
Sailors/cruisers who know me know I will run in a safe direction to avoid a threat but sometimes it's not possible as was the case with Irene. Things don't always workout the way they might. The mountains of Puerto Rico and D.R. could have diminished or redirected Irene resulting in little or no threat, not this time. Four days out there's a predicted low coming from the mainland, if the timing of it's arrival is just right it will push Irene east and miss Nassau completely, in fact it did move the storm about 60 miles east of Nassau which is probably why Stray Cat was not damaged. Without that jog to the east, Nassau would have been on the dirty side of the eye wall of a cat three hurricane.
When it was clear that there was no safe direction to run/sail away to, I moved Stray Cat to Rose Island where there is an island within the island all surrounded by wind breaking pine.
Getting the boat ready involves removing sails and anything else that represents windage or will just blow away. Shutting off propane, closing sea cocks and the like, dragging the dink up to the woods and taking pictures for the insurance company, two days labor in hot still air; the quite before the storm.
A Bahamian friend took me and others in the eleven miles to Nassau. I got a cab and checked into the Sheraton.
What a relief to find Stray Cat sitting pretty, undamaged at the dock albeit, covered with pine needles and beach sand now two days to put her back together.
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