Hurricane Irma


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.


34 Comments on “Hurricane Irma”

  1. As i said before your kids have the best life ever, i assume
    they are home-schooled, but they would learn more travelling
    the earth than they would at school anyways! T.

  2. GB is such a classic looking boat. And the engine room is incredible. Awesome, Pat! And glad the family got out OK. Good luck tomorrow!

  3. Praying your new adventure Ariel stays whole and unharmed. Glad y’all were able to make it out safely.

  4. I love this boat what a beautiful new home you and your family will have so many happy Adventures ahead

  5. These are the prettiest digs so far and I’ve been with you since the Cat. Your kids are the luckiest kids on earth to have this wonderful upbringing.

  6. Yes, your life appears wonderful. Beautiful wife, incredible children, but my goodness, that engine room is the envy of anyone who appreciates diesel power. All the best.

  7. Beautiful boat – you’re right, we’re jealous of that beautiful and “tall” engine room! Glad to know you’ve evacuated.

  8. Your boat is gorgeous! Hope she fares well in the storm. You made the right decision to evacuate. We headed from Orlando area in our motorhome to Mississippi and are very thankful to be where we are right about now!

  9. Great pictures of the GB. Removing all the canvas makes them so much sleeker – probably not possible to live without the bimini in the long run, but it sure improves the looks of the boat.

    I hope she’ll be looking just as nice on your return.

  10. Gorgeous boat, and omg, that engine room, now that’s class! All the best for the storm, hoping you got through it ok.

  11. I hope your lines aren’t so old that they’ve lost most of their strength. Have you considered riding out the hurricane’s passage aboard so that you can tend the lines? If not, are you staying near enough that you can check things during the worst of it to be sure that things are OK? The current track predictions would seem to indicate that the eye will pass far enough west of St. Augustine that you won’t face the worst of what this storm is capable of. The major concern is surge, but that shouldn’t be too bad where you are.

    Best of luck, Pat . . . if you’ve taken all necessary precautions and can live with whatever happens, then this will all be just another unique experience in your lives when you look back on it.


  12. Hunker down! We & our trawler went thru 3 direct hits-Frances, Jeanne & Wilma! Those lines look so familiar & we don’t envy you one bit. Hope you & your beautiful boat made it thru without damage? Looking forward to new adventures on the water! You inspired us to buy a catamaran & live aboard for 2 years, traveling thru the Bahamas & ICW. But my husband is in his 60’s & “systems, systems, systems” just got on his nerves-“It’s always something”! Now we live in a camper van in Europe-great fun & no fix-its!
    Take care! Gail

  13. You are gonna hate that upside down filter! I am looking at removing and making a remote mount filter so it is not sideways (another stupid idea) or upside down.

  14. Lots of good news coming in. My friend’s boat survived without a scratch, all boats stored on the hard stayed upright.

  15. I’d been so focused on the west coast I didn’t realize the east coast was getting battered so badly. Pictures of the flooding look worse in JAX and St Augustine than on the west coast.

  16. how did it go? Facebook from the marina seem like not much damage. Here’s to hoping I can live vicariously through your next chapter on the GB!

  17. UPDATE:

    Hurricane Irma couldn’t beat us. We got really lucky on this one, and luck isn’t a word I use often. The boat is completely unscathed, and we should be able to carry on with our new adventures as soon as we are ready. It’s been a long week, and Irma definitely wore us down, but she didn’t beat us. We have a lot of friends who didn’t fare as well, and our thoughts are with them.

  18. Awesome news, I’ve been watching the weekend coverage of the storm to see how the area around Jacksonville handled hurricane Irma, looks like you dodged one there.

    Sorry to see the carnage in the Caribbean, many places we sailed to in BVI & Antigua/Barbuda just leveled, very sad.


  19. So glad to hear the boat is unscathed, We live in Naples -ground zero for Irma-but because we are full-timers in our RV we were able to get out of Dodge. Best way to live.


  20. So glad that your boat is safe. Thanks for the update as we were worried. You have enough of a task ahead without a hurricane to deal with. Best wishes, Lisa and Leif

  21. Pat, We are leaving MN. for the Keys on the 26th. Want any thing brought down? Could you use a jug of home made Maple Syrup or maybe some wild rice? I’m the guy that introduced you to Mama’s Pizza on the corner of Rice and Larpenter. We sold the Big Chris Craft and plan on just buying a boat in the Key’s. Maybe not this trip but some time within the next year.

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