We could not sleep Saturday evening as the hurricane started to impact Marathon. Our remote security camera (a Zmodo Pivot) we left behind running on our AT&T Unite Explore hotspot was sending us chilling images and sounds.
We hoped with all hope we had done all we could to secure Y-Not.
Did we set enough lines? Did we set enough chafe guards? Did we secure everything? Did we leave enough slack in the lines to handle the surge? Did we distribute the load between the limited cleats and pilings in our slip? Did we make the right choice to deflate the dinghy a bit and secure it on the caddy (letting it be essentially a huge rear fender – especially since we had no other real options for getting it secure on land).
As boating newbies only trained in basic line handling, we knew trying to secure Y-Not on our own for a major hurricane was an advanced skillset. We relied on all the research we could find, and did our best.
We left our hand held VHF radio on, and could hear the Coast Guard side of distress calls from those who stayed behind.
“Captain… You need to find something that floats… and make it to land.. Over”.
All night long. It was haunting.
Here’s a quick clip we recorded before day break:
She was still calling out when our camera went offline around 8:30a, which seems to be when the cell towers went down island wide.
Our last image recorded from Y-Not:
Y-Not was still in her slip taking 80+ mph gusts. She was pushing up against that starboard piling all night long. The top of the piling was now mid-window height and the water up to dock level, meaning at least 6′ of water had already risen.
But the worst of the storm was yet to come.
We don’t have any official readings yet as to what the winds where at our location, but definitely well over 100 when she passed as she still had the strength of a Cat 4 storm at this time.
And then after the storm passed, there would be waves of surge to deal with. But how much? Our best calculation we had left our lines set to handle at least 10-15′ of surge, but did we really – we’re newbies after all.
While daybreak, we were now in the dark.
Which is probably a good thing, I don’t think I could have continued to watch.
So instead, we finally slept. There was nothing we could do but let go – what will be, will be.
Communications from the area remained out all day long – we know there were a lot of anxious folks awaiting any word whatsoever from loved ones and word on their homes.
Official word from Monroe County sherifs reported Marathon took the brunt of the storm.
We distracted ourselves last evening by hanging out with Escapee’s friends here in our park in Summerdale. Laughter was good. And went to bed early.
When I logged into the ‘What’s Happening in Marathon’ Facebook group this morning, I was beyond belief to find this low res arial shot taken last evening by Carol Taute:
Y-Not, still in her slip at Burdines. Still floating.
We’re not out of the woods yet… we are concerned she’s pretty much in the position where the center piling was. And we don’t know exactly what time this pic was taken, and if there might have been further surge to contend with.
This means the piling either got knocked over during the storm (we know she was pushing directly against it when the camera went off), which would be good … or she set down on top of it during the surge, which could be bad.
Now, to find higher res photos or someone on the ground who can get a closer look (after people are safely rescued, of course) and get our generator on to keep bilge pumps running. (If you can help, please do let us know!)
But for now, we at least know we set our lines decently enough… and there is hope for Y-Not. We have no idea what damage may have been done.
There is still much to come – getting back to the Keys ourselves, assessing the damage and helping with clean up & relief efforts across the state.
We’re also relieved to be hearing multiple reports from friends up and down the coast that are ok, but we know many are still anxiously awaiting word from loved ones who stayed behind.
Here’s a quick video update we hosted last evening if you want to check in our state of mind then: