Tornado Alert! – 1/9/16

First of All –

  • First severe thunderstorm passing right overhead
  • First tornado warning issued for our locale

Namely Speaking-

Loop Log:

  • Miles Cruised today: NA
  • Total Miles Cruised to date: 2,329
  • Hours Underway: NA
  • Fuel: NA
  • Morning House Battery Reading: 14.4 (plugged in)
  • Wind Speed: storm gust of 40 mph; Wind Direction: SW
  • Daily High Temperature: 70
  • Water Temperature: NA

We finally get to sleep in, and take advantage of the opportunity. The morning is taken up with organizing and stowing groceries, clothes and boat related gear. Things are actually starting to come together by 1:30pm, when our generous friend Bill drives up to take me out to buy the final few items we need before shoving off again. The trip is a success, with West Marine supplying me with butane cylinders for the back up stove, as well as some plastic tubing which I’ll use to repair the solar shower nozzle. Finding kerosene fuel for the Wallas stove proves a slightly bigger challenge. It seems stove fuel isn’t a big seller in Florida. The Home Depot clerk tells me they ordered in a whole pallet of the stuff, but sent it back since it didn’t move. We next try Walmart and actually find quart bottles of kerosene in the sporting goods department. I grab some grocery items there which we thought of last night, and we’re soon on our way back to the boat. I unsuccessfully try to buy some gas for Bill’s van. He politely refuses, explaining that he once hoped to buy a MacGregor sailboat and possibly take a trip like ours, but that life got in the way and that dream is no longer possible. He tells me that reading this account of the trip has brought him much enjoyment, and more than compensates him for his help. Comments like that are a powerful incentive to keep on posting. Thanks so much, Bill. We wish you well going forward.

While I’ve been out shopping with Bill, Sandy has been patiently waiting for a chance to do a small load of laundry. Someone started a load in the morning, and just left it there in the tub. It’s sat there all afternoon, and we eventually give up all hope of doing our wash today.

The afternoon sky is darkening, so I put the cockpit surround up before it gets dark outside. We just manage to barbeque up a pair of steaks for dinner before it starts to rain. I check the weather report on my smart phone app, and see an intense thunderstorm heading our way. Alerts are posted for severe weather, including possible tornados. We’re urged to take immediate shelter. I evaluate our options, which are limited to running over to the concrete block restroom building in a driving rainstorm, and decide to sit tight and take our chances on the boat. I do disconnect the GPS so that, if we’re hit by lightning, at least that will have a chance of surviving. The tornado alert says that radar indicates rotation in the thunderstorm cloud. That’s ominous. Lightning flashes frequently, but the thunder is not simultaneous so we figure we’re not exactly in the crosshairs. The boat gets hit with some strong gusts of wind, but it soon passes and things settle back down. I’m pleased to see that the repair I did to the overhead window seems to have worked. Despite intensely strong rains I find no drips from the window. During the lull in the rainstorm, we walk up to the restroom building. I’ve written a note to place on the clothing basket of the inconsiderate laundry squatter, but am disappointed to see that, while we were having dinner, she apparently finally removed her wash. It’s too late for us to start a wash this evening though. Maybe we’ll do it in the morning before shoving off.

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