Just wanted to get a quick update out on our hurricane preparation and evacuation – as we shared (yesterday? last week? last month?.. it’s been a long few days) we were considering a few different options.
First of all, we could not be more thankful for the support of our communities all across social media who have reached out with resources and well wishes (THANK YOU!).
Here’s a quick video update we posted this afternoon after arriving back to the bus in Melbourne (there’s the quick version – we decided to leave the Keys and get the bus):
And here’s a quick recap of the daily updates we’ve been making for our patrons, to bring you up to date if you wish to follow along with some of the decision making (this is more diary style.. a little more raw than our normal blog posts, but – time is of the essence right now):
Models this morning are still not giving us clear direction on west or east. Irma is currently a Cat 5, and projections have it making land fall all over the state.
We tried to go over to the Marathon city marina this morning to secure a mooring ball – but all the larger balls for vessels our size are already spoken for (they were closed yesterday when projections shifted). A large local marina kicked everyone out, so it’s the remaining option for many. And it’s the best bet in the area.
So, we’re left with two choices:
- Pick a direction and start motoring. This leaves us with high risk if we choose wrong and end up trapped on the boat in a major storm. No marinas or haul out yards we’ve called on either coast are returning calls.
- Then there’s the option we’ve picked.. securing in our marina as best we can, and then we head north and pick up Zephyr stored in Melbourne. We figure, we have two homes with mobility right in the potential paths. It would be crazy to lose both in the storm if we have the opportunity to save at least one. And Zephyr gives us more options to more rapidly get to safety.
We got the boat secured as best we could yesterday – we have a wide slip and attempted to “spider web” tie which is using mostly long spring lines that hopefully keep us more centered in the slip (less crashing onto the dock) and adjusting up and down with moderate storm surge.
Bimini down, secured, all canvas off, all cushions stowed, dinghy secured, sea cocks (yes, I giggle when I type that) closed – and I’m sure there are a million other preps we did that are all a blur now.
All kinda pointless for a Cat 5 direct strike. But we hope for a course correction that spares the Keys from the worst of it, and that the preps might be adequate.
And we removed everything of value off the boat that we might want on the bus. Basically, practicing our “move back to the bus” intentions every winter.
We are so completely grateful to our host who gave us the keys to his huge truck with covered bed so we could do this (he’s off picking up his new RV, so we’re also helping him save his truck – win, win. But I’m pretty sure he wins for having such a huge heart).
We finished just after 5pm, and with the Keys issuing mandatory evacs for tourists Wednesday morning – we decided it prudent to make our escape now instead of later.
After of course taking documentation footage and saying potentially.. good bye.. to Y-Not… with tears in our eyes.
Good choice – traffic was free flowing off the island with just a little in Islamorda and Key Largo. We got to Homestead, feeling relieved to be on the mainland – and had our first meal in two days (ok, not sure Taco Bell counts as a meal.. but we’ll go with it. )
With traffic still flowing smoothly, and fuel still available – despite being tired, we decided making the additional 3 hours of driving to Melbourne was worthwhile to get to my Mom’s (who is away for the month anyway).
It gives us more choices, a place to rest, monitor the tracks, and a chance to help secure her home a bit more.
We safely made it to Melbourne around 2am, after a fuel stop (fill up when you can!) and stretch breaks. We got our first full night’s sleep in days.
Today.. we get the bus prepped to the hit the road and we’ll keep monitoring all factors and decide the best course of action from here.
Current update as of this evening: Bus has been brought out of storage, checked over and all is good. Our intentions are to hitch the MINI Cooper up in the morning, and caravan with the truck generally north and west (or whatever direction Irma decides is safer as of tomorrow morning – she’s still all over the map, but trending more east).
We trust we’ll find options to park/camp (we know already of some fairgrounds and motor tracks in GA that are welcoming evacuees), but if anyone has parking options in a safe location in GA, AL or there abouts – we would of course welcome them. Just be in touch.
Thanks.. and wherever you are, or whichever of the current calamities you are dealing with – stay safe! Our hearts and thoughts are with you as we make our own way to safety.
Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets says
I’m hoping the aerial photo of the marina was not “before the storm”. Seeing marina ground shots in nearby Keys areas makes me fear the worst. Such destruction. Boats everywhere. We prayer Y-Not is unscathed, or has minimal damage. Your decision to get out was wise. Best wishes to you both. We’ll pray for a good outcome.
Jennifer Reissaus says
Thanks for taking time to update us all. I’m happy to hear that you got out of the Keys. Fingers crossed for the best possible outcome for you guys, Kiki, and your homes.
Doug C says
You made mention of this probably at the end of your post but Atlanta Motor Speedway is taking evacuees for free. Be safe. My father is not evacuating out of Daytona Beach. Happy thoughts for everyone
Prima Donna says
Best wishes! Glad you are headed out of there in your bus.
John J. Finn says
Cherrie & Chris: Why don’t you head North West to Mississippi along the beautiful Tenn Tom Waterway in Aberdeen, Ms.. Blue Bluff Camp Ground is located right on the Waterway and the sun is always shining in Aberdeen. John J. Finn
We have a place outside of Nashville on 5 acres that you are welcome to come park at. Likely a lot farther away than you want to be but the offer is there if you need it. Plenty of room and high and dry.
Rob Bibber says
Smart decision guys! Good luck and stay safe!
Vicki Schaefer says
Good decision. Prayers and best of luck.
Jodee Gravel says
Such a tough decision, and I certainly think you made the right one. Glad you were able to get on the road ahead of the later hordes. Great to have the truck option for your belongings.
I really have to stop whining about smokey skies!!! Wishing you all the best as Irma comes ashore.
Dinah Rogers says
Glad you made the choice you did. God bless.
Thanks for updating us on your mom, too. Was thinking of her this Thursday morning. Tears, also, for you all, plus all affected by H. Irma. Hugs, ~MIA Member.
Richard Hubert says
Cherie and Chris – thanks for the update.
It’s certainly sounds like you have made logical, very thoughtful and reasonable choices to manage this weather event, which is only to be expected from the both of you as that is how you approach everything that you do – which is great!
Glad to hear that you’re safe and you have good plans. Hopefully in the end this just turns out to be yet another adventure of many in your lives. Best of luck to both of you!
Kitt B. says
You have made a wise but difficult decision. You and Y-Not will be in my thoughts and prayers during the next few days. Stay safe.
Jil Mohr says
glad you are your way to a better and more secure place…thanks for the updates….travel safe…
Safe travels you two and may that dang hurricane die a quick death out in the ocean!!!
Marie Holmes says
Wishing you the best possible outcome. I follow quite a few cruising blogs and my heart is so heavy for all of you. Irma is frightening in it’s intensity and widespread path. Take care and God Bless.
Richard Dorr says
Safe Harbors and Safe Travels !
Paul Weaver says
I’ve been thinking about you and glad you posted.
Good Luck…God be with you and Y-Not. BE SAFE!
Babylon Slim says
Notify me if you need my help in Atlanta.
Linda Pierson says
Thank you for keeping us updated. On the west coast so this is all foreign to us. Glad you’re reunited with Zephyr. Safe travels north with the three of you.
Tom and Deb Duchaine says
Sounds like you made the decision to be safe and that was the best one to make. Take care of each other.
I am so sorry you have been met with such an awful dilema. Our house is just nw of Orlando, our boat just south of St. Pete and our motorhome in the driveway. Monday night the track was right down the middle between our home and our marina, threatening all three. It was a gut wrenching feeling. With the latest track moving more to the east, hopefully it will be far enough to spare Florida the worst of it and your boat will be waiting in it’s web, unscathed, for your return.
Best wishes and prayers.
Jeff T. says
I have been thinking of you guys a lot the last several days. Am relieved that you are back with Zephyr. Being on Y-Not would be disaster. Hope all turns out to be less catastrophic then it sounds like it will be.
Here in the Pacific Northwest there are lots of wildfires. Most of western Washington and Oregon is experiencing smoke haze. The same can be said for eastern Washington and northeastern Oregon. We are currently near Boise and visibility is about 1 mile. On the whole, smoke is preferred to a hurricane.
Y Knowles says
Glad you made it back to the mainland and your bus!
ned sanders better known as uncle ned says
Look at 301 than 321 to the carolinas north It follows the middle of Florida and is a good bus route
Hang in there, hope all goes well