Bumfuzzle https://www.bumfuzzle.com Live Small, Venture Wide Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:10:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Irma Misses https://www.bumfuzzle.com/irma-misses/ https://www.bumfuzzle.com/irma-misses/#comments Wed, 13 Sep 2017 02:38:18 +0000 https://www.bumfuzzle.com/?p=27105 Friday we finished tying up the boat the way we wanted, closed the doors and crossed our fingers. That night we spent at a hotel next to the Jacksonville airport, and in the morning I said goodbye to the family as they flew off to visit Grammy. Our friends live ... Read More

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Friday we finished tying up the boat the way we wanted, closed the doors and crossed our fingers. That night we spent at a hotel next to the Jacksonville airport, and in the morning I said goodbye to the family as they flew off to visit Grammy.

Our friends live about 25 miles inland on a side creek of Doctors Lake, which itself is off of the St. Johns River. Their backyard doesn’t normally look like this, but even 36 hours before Irma got to us, the water was rising.

On Sunday I decided to go have a look at the boat one more time. The roads were eerily empty.

Now about 18 hours before Irma’s arrival the docks had about 8 feet left on the pilings. For me, more than wind or anything else, the concern was that the surge would lift the docks up and off of those pilings, at which point all hell breaks loose.

About two a.m. on Monday morning I woke at our friend’s house with water coming in. We fought it with sandbags, big gas-powered water pumps, and generators once the power went out, but there is just no stopping water when it wants to come in. It rose fast, and before we knew it the water was knee-deep throughout the house and we were running out of time to get the cars through the lake that used to be the driveway. We loaded their kids up and drove to another friend’s house a few feet higher—it sometimes feels like the entire state of Florida is less than ten feet above the water.

Everyone is safe, but sadly, our friend’s have a lot of work ahead of them.

Around ten o’clock Monday morning I made my way back down to St. Augustine. The highway headed south was busy now—everyone was eager to get home.

I was so excited to get to the boat, but half a mile from the marina the road was shut down. The National Guard and Police had it shut down, and they didn’t care one bit how much you wanted to get to your house/boat. I walked around for a while, then just took a nap in the truck. Finally, around four o’clock they let us through to the marina.

And there she was, sitting just as nicely as I had left her. There was absolutely no sign on the boat that Hurricane Irma had ever been there. In the end, the docks got within three or four feet of the top. If the original path projections had been correct, we would have been screwed—we got lucky this time around.

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Hurricane Irma https://www.bumfuzzle.com/hurricane-irma/ https://www.bumfuzzle.com/hurricane-irma/#comments Sat, 09 Sep 2017 00:33:07 +0000 https://www.bumfuzzle.com/?p=27070 We were only on the boat for two days before it became clear that Hurricane Irma was going to be a very real threat to us. By Tuesday, six days before the expected landfall, we were already scrambling to figure out our evacuation plan. Hotels were booked solid for over ... Read More

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We were only on the boat for two days before it became clear that Hurricane Irma was going to be a very real threat to us. By Tuesday, six days before the expected landfall, we were already scrambling to figure out our evacuation plan. Hotels were booked solid for over two hundred miles. Flights to Atlanta were booked, or cost over $2,000 each if they were available at all. We already had plans to fly to Portland a couple weeks later to help my mom out with some things, so we called the airline and were somehow able to change the flights to Saturday for Ali and the kids—I’d stay behind for a few more days and stay with friends inland.

With plans to get out of the way in place, we needed to turn our attention to the boat. Keep in mind we hadn’t even fired up the engines on the boat yet, and anywhere else considered safe in the area was already full of boats—we didn’t have much choice but to hunker down in place. Fortunately, the marina we are in was nailed by Hurricane Matthew just last year, but sustained no damage. Nobody else here was planning to move.

Morning of our third day on the boat and we had only just begun to open up space in the living room.

Anyone who owns a boat has to admit, this next picture is pretty awesome.

It was awesome to start opening up dock lockers and find dozens of dock lines.

All of that fabric had to come down. At this point winds in the 140 mph range were being predicted.

I asked Ouest to go take a pic of the boat and she came back with this.

Their corn kernels didn’t catch anything on this night.

But by morning they were hooking into them.

Ali and I love the looks of the Grand Banks without all that canvas on top. We won’t be putting the side glass stuff on again, but will probably be forced to keep the bimini top up.

Hurricane Irma 2017—we’re not happy with you.

Lots and lots of lines going every which way.

And just some final pics as we closed up the doors and headed for the airport.

One last look.

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A Grand New Home https://www.bumfuzzle.com/grand-new-home/ https://www.bumfuzzle.com/grand-new-home/#comments Mon, 04 Sep 2017 01:19:31 +0000 https://www.bumfuzzle.com/?p=27041 Dropped off the Airstream at a storage space in Texas for the new owners to pick up in a few weeks. She was a good home for us the past year. Such a simple home—we didn’t have any issues. Replaced the tires, and that was it. There is a lot ... Read More

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Dropped off the Airstream at a storage space in Texas for the new owners to pick up in a few weeks. She was a good home for us the past year. Such a simple home—we didn’t have any issues. Replaced the tires, and that was it. There is a lot to be said for keeping things this simple—it sure allowed me to focus on other things for a change. That’s a luxury I expect to come to an end very soon. There is nothing simple about boats—systems, systems, systems. And no matter how many boats you’ve owned, each one is different, and each problem requires tracking down from one end of the boat to get to the other. Uggh, why did we buy a boat again?

Back on the road with only the Travelall. Man, it was weird driving around without a tin can attached to the back.

I have a cheapo inverter under the seat in here. We started to smell something funny, and when we slowed down we could hear the alarm going off on it. No fire, fortunately. I disconnected it at the battery (will toss it out) and we carried on. Beverly Hillbillies?

Twelve hundred miles in three days is definitely a record for us, and not one we hope to ever try and beat. But we were all excited—our new home was waiting.

I will never understand what compels people to deface a beautiful old boat with a television—much less, three of them!

After the giddy excitement, it was time to get to work. If the kids were going to sleep in their room the first night we needed to work together to get it ready.

This closet has already been designated a secret hide-out play area. We may build a row of shelves near the top, but we’re happy to let them disappear into the closet if they want. They’ll get no complaints from us.

We emptied the truck and piled it all in the living room.

The help from the kids was short-lived.

But I knew Ali would pull it off. Biggest bedroom, and beds, the kids have ever had. They are pretty sure this is what people mean when they call something a mansion.

Somehow this did not disappear before bedtime.

This is a different closet—not even in their room.


Unfortunately, three days later we are scrambling to secure the boat for Hurricane Irma. We are almost certain to get whacked. All that remains to be seen is how badly. Camachee Cove Marina survived Hurricane Matthew last year without any damage, and we’re hopeful that we can be so lucky this time. We have got a lot of friends that have already been badly hurt by Irma, and we’re hoping not to join their ranks. Ali and the kids are flying out ahead of the storm. I’ll be staying with friends for a few days and hoping to return to our home on Tuesday.

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