Thursday, August 31, 2006

Ernesto was a wimp! (thank goodness)
This storm managed to go nearly directly over Dave in Islamorada and directly over me in Satellite Beach. But all we got was lots of rain, and gusty conditions, but nothing over about 30 knots.

Dave pulled out of the hurricane hole yesterday morning, catching enough of a high tide to get out OK. He stopped at Sea Base to refill water tanks, get ice, and say goodbye, and then motored down to Marathon. He made it on a mooring in Boot Key Harbor just after dark last night... hot, hungry, and exhausted... but safe.

I anxiously checked out the mark on the piling across the canal this morning--worried that all the rain had raised the water level too much for us to get under the bridges in the ICW between Port Canaveral and Satellite Beach. But it looks OK this morning.

Plans are still for Dave to drive up here tomorrow, where we'll rent a car for a one-way trip to Soggy Paws. By next week, with a little luck and good weather, Soggy Paws should be in the Indian River.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Soggy Paws ready for Ernesto

I just talked to Dave via cell phone. He is in the hurricane hole, has the boat stripped down and ready. He is tied up to the mangroves, and has several anchors out. He is by himself onboard, but there is another boat nearby. Currently the wind is about 20-25 kts and squally.

He was hoping that the storm would go east of him, so he only had to set anchors on one side. However, the forecast track is still vacillating, and in fact it looks like it may go right over top of him. So he is prepared for any eventuality.

Fortunately, it is still forecast to be a Tropical Storm, or at worst, a minimal Hurricane.

What I haven't told him yet is that there's another one forming up off Africa... :P

Monday, August 28, 2006

Here comes Ernesto!
Just when we thought we had everything planned out to move Soggy Paws to Melbourne starting next weekend...

Hurricane Ernesto currently is forecast to track right over Islamorda on Wednesday, where Soggy Paws is docked right now. Dave was visiting me for the weekend, and has now headed back south to do something about Soggy Paws (can't leave her on the dock at Sea Base during a hurricane).

He'll make a final decision tomorrow morning, but I think his current plan is to move the boat to the hurricane hole nearby (where he and another boat rode out Wilma successfully). The only iffy thing is the tide... he needs a high tide to get the boat in and out. Fortunately, there's a nice high tide tomorrow--it is getting OUT later that is the problem... in a few days the mid-day tides are not quite high enough. But we'll worry about that problem later.

I wanted to go with Dave and help him out, but he said he could handle it. He wants me to save my vacation time to make the trip up with him the following week. There is another boat going into the hole with him, so the two guys will be able to help each other out. But it is really going to be nerve-wracking for me to be here, with him there on the boat in the middle of the hurricane.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Dave is retired (again)!
Dave called tonight and declared himself officially retired. It has been a good summer, but he's glad his Sea Base days are over... and is really looking forward to having the time to get Soggy Paws ready for new adventures.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Dave sets out on his last Sea Base cruise today. He is very happy this is his last.

After this trip is finished, he plans to move to a mooring in Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, for about 10 days.

We are anxiously watching the tropics... keeping an eye on those 'fireballs' that Africa keeps throwing off towards us. Fortunately nothing major is developing yet.

Plans are well underway to move Soggy Paws to Sherry's dock in Satellite Beach (near Melbourne, Florida) the first week in September. Then we'll start 'serious prep' for a departure April 1-ish.
Last night Dave made a great steak and lobster dinner... with fresh lobster he picked up on the reef this week (at one of his 'secret spots').

Today we unloaded 200' of rusty chain, and loaded in 300' of shiny new chain, marked at 33' intervals. Since the normal chain locker won't hold 300' of chain, we fed the first 100' down through a pipe to a small spot in the bilge (pipe pre-fabbed by Dave awhile back). (see picture of Dave measuring chain)

Great day for doing work on the dock, as it was cloudy and drizzly (vs. the 95 degrees and sunny that it normally is).