Thursday, June 2, 2016

There is no paranoid

There is no paranoid

3 JUN 2016

Stuart, Florida, USA

It is said that there is no Paranoid, only Prepared, Lucky or Dead. And of these, Prepared is the one we have control over.

There are a lot of ways to be prepared. It is partly about carrying spare parts. But the boat is built from 30,000 parts and you can't carry a whole new boat with you, you have to choose. Coming across from Mexico last month, our boom vang sheared off the mast and left our main sail only under limited-at-best control. Obviously, we weren't carrying a spare boom vang.   But, being prepared, we had enough blocks on board to rig a temporary soft vang and used the spare main halyard to keep the boom from crashing down on to our cockpit-top Bimini cover. Score one for Prepared.

And then there's the weather. We do the best we can with the usual shore-side internet-based data sources, but even with modern supercomputers running models that predict out 7 days, the predictions beyond three days are not much better than general trends. And it often takes more than three days to get where you are going. So we also have a subscription to a weather services guy who specializes in supporting cruisers and he communicates this information by shortwave to most places in the world. That really helps us to stay aware, and therefore prepare for what's coming, or choose to not go at all. 

And then there are hurricanes. It really doesn't matter much if you know one's coming. Yes, you can prepare, on the dock, by stripping off everything loose above decks, double tying the boat, choosing your marina wisely, closing all stopcocks and breakers before you leave. But when the wind and storm surge is so strong they will drive straws through palm trees and strip asphalt roads right off the ground, there's only so much you can prepare. That's what insurance is for. And Luck.

Or not: Long Beach Island, NJ after Sandy went through

Home on the Range

Stuart, Florida, USA
2 JUN 2016


We made it, just, to our youngest's graduation.  To do that we had to pull in at Stuart, Florida via the St. Lucie River Inlet and tie up at a marina, rent a car and dash north the last 200 miles at 75 mph.  But we got there in the nick of time.  And had a marvelous time celebrating her accomplishment and setting her up to head out into the world herself.  She drove herself, by herself, across most of the southwestern US to go stay with my mother while she (Emily, not my mother) hunts for a real career-type job. 

Probably no reasons now to go on to Jacksonville, so we are staying put in Stuart.  We really like it here.  The home town of Jennifer's good friend Karen from school days in Rhode Island.  The home base of Frances Langford.  Quaint downtown with shops and restaurants.  And up the road in Ft. Pierce there's ... Marine Liquidators!!  On the plus side, the marina has floating docks (we aren't on one but we will ask to move in event of a named storm approach), good services, great location w.r.t. town, lots of liveaboards, tolerable cost, and about as far from the east coast of Florida as you can get on the east coast of Florida for protection from names storms. On the downside there's a big road bridge near us, and the water is grossly polluted by the discharges from Lake Okeechobee.  Most of that is due to the cane growers pumping their discharges into Lake O.  But we are staying.  Is the best of a limited set of choices when we have to be doing so much in various places in the US this summer. 

If you are passing through Stuart this summer, stop in and say 'ahoy'!