Before yesterday everyone on shore was talking about how dry it was and how “we really need a good rain”. Yesterday we got a good rain, and we got a lot of wind, angry wind. I was thankful to be on a mooring ball, a good safe secure mooring ball at Sunset Bay Marina and Anchorage. Like every good Captain with nasty weather a likelihood, I was having a nap. Nothing wakes you up quicker than the boat laying over in an instantaneous wind gust to about 30. When I got to the cockpit ML was finishing up the preparations; taken down the wind scoop, removed things that would blow away from the deck and lowered the main window in the dodger.
Before I went down for my nap I had changed our bridle to the mooring to my 20,000 pound lines. The lines we had initially used were likely ok but nearing the end of their service and I didn’t want to take any chances. Forecasts had suggested thunderstorms and squalls to 30 and 40kts.
I completed my scan of the boat. ML had done a yeoman’s job of getting things ready. She said she could hear the squall line approaching and managed to get the wind scoop down before the shit hit the fan. By the time I was completely awake the boat was taking a big gust, I saw 44 kts on the wind instrument. The next gust was sustained at over 50 (92.6 km/hr). All the sails and stack packs were off the boat so we took the wind reasonably well. The big high powerboat behind us was whip sawing back and forth looking for somewhere to go.
It blew for a half hour or so and then it began to lay down. We could still hear thunder here and there around us but it seemed like the worst was over. Then it darkened and the rain started. I had pulled the plug on the dinghy so I have no rain gauge but we got an inch to an inch and a half of rain easily.
This morning the wind is gone and it seems a little bit cooler and certainly less humid. It is comfortable for Florida. Today’s plan; ML will take our car over to the Franklin Lock Marina towards the other side of Florida and pick up the Mangos. They are going to stay with us a couple of days and take the trip under (through) the bridges, lock and gators to Indian town marina. That is about a five hour trip for her. Meantime I will finish some jobs this morning, pick up a rental car and pick them up early this afternoon at the marina at Indiantown. We will leave our car there and use the rental to get back to the boat. I hope we all can fit in the Nissan Vice a Versa thing I rented.
A few pics of the squall: