Monday, 01 June 2015

After a couple of days of hard work to get Capibara ready to be left in the potential hurricane stricken Florida, we’ve now left the boat hoping that it will look the same when we return in the fall.

To make the boat ready for the hurricane season, we’ve removed as much as possible from the deck: We’ve taken all the sails down, removed the bimini and the spray hood, taken the wings off the wind turbine, and removed the wind rudder. Henrik has covered the largest windows with tarpaulin to avoid that the boat gets too hot inside, and we’ve covered the winches as well, even though we’re not quite sure why – but the others did it, and so did we!

The marina advises all boats to buy at least two straps to be fastened to the ground in case of very strong winds. We thought that if two was good, four had to be better. But what’s the use, if you stand upright, and the other boats fall on top of you? Luckily, the marina staff was kind enough to find a place for us between two other boats with four straps, so now we just hope that they will stop a potential domino effect!

On the recommendation of the marina, we’ve also closed all the through hulls, since some animals apparently move in and block the holes with mud. Henrik has also made grounding for our lightening conductor, since Florida has a lot of lightening, and we’ve also placed a couple of dehumidifiers inside the boat. The temperature and the humidity in Florida during the summer is very high, and even when we left Florida in late May, we had 34 degrees Celsius and a high humidity. Never travel in a vehicle in Florida during the summer without an air-conditioning!

As a last precaution, we’ve ordered a boat check in the marina, so every month a guy will check up on the boat and change the dehumidifiers. A neighbour cruiser in the marina, who was hauled out right before us, told us that the risk of getting a hurricane was very little, and we almost felt relieved, before he told us that the risk of a tornado was greater. But what can you do? We have considered sailing further north, but at the yard in Florida, we were next to a boat that was hit by a hurricane north of New York! So even though it was with mixed feelings that we left the boat in Florida, we’ve decided to hope for the best and try to worry as little as possible!

And now we’re back in the cold in Denmark with hopefully a nice and warm summer ahead!

This summer was supposed to be a break from all activities on the water, but now I’m going to sail anyway. In a weak moment under the influence of alcohol, I have agreed to participate in Silverrudder - Challenge of the Sea– a single hand race around Funen in Denmark. In September I need to be ready to sail 134 miles alone, and it will be Henrik’s job to get me ready for it.

So now I have to learn how to sail!

Signe Storr Freelance Journalist and friend of Boatshed