First, let me say that the boat and both of us are just fine.
The weather here has been wild the last few days with thunderstorms, high winds and rain. On Friday, there were many tornado warnings, watches and alerts during the pre-frontal storms. We stayed hunkered down, with the TV on to keep an eye on any approaching problems.
But, we had planned to leave our friend’s dock, here in Hobe Sound, on Saturday near noon, to catch the tide. The weather reports made us change our minds as Sunday was expected to be even worse. Further information on Saturday indicated that the storm would hit Sunday morning between 0400 and 1100.
The wind and rain started about 0330 with some quite strong gusts that made the boat rock and roll. Shortly after 0630, my iPhone started to bleep and there seemed to be some kind of warning on the screen. But, before I could read it, it disappeared. But now we were awake and listening to the wind and rain. At approximately 0700, the boat started to shake, with all of the canvas and furled sails flapping. Then the wind generator distorted with an awful sound. It does this when the wind speed gets too high for it to handle. The boat pulled against her dock lines and rolled over towards the starboard. All loose objects in the boat crashed to the floor. We both jumped up, found our glasses and dressed.
Neighbours report hearing the roar of a tornado but I must admit that I didn’t hear it. The damage around us certainly indicates that a tornado did touch down. Trees are up-rooted, roof tiles are missing, backyard furniture went over a roof and into a neighbour’s front yard, power and cable lines are down. It seems to have been quite a small tornado with damage only spread over three or four blocks.
Luckily, Murray is always prepared for wind, even while on a dock. The dinghy was was moved about a foot although it was lashed down to the deck. If it hadn’t been tied, we might be looking for a new dinghy. One of our dock lines let go and had been very tight before giving up it’s hold. The fuel jugs and deck cargo are always tied down.
Now it is time to assist our friends and their neighbours with the clean-up. Some trees have been lost but everyone survived and their homes are intact, other than missing tiles and broken windows.
Tomorrow we will leave the dock and head south to West Palm Beach, to anchor near the outlet to the sea. Perhaps this Wednesday, we may be able to cross over to the islands. But, don’t worry, we will be keeping a close eye on the weather!
That too is life aboard.
Heather & Murray
PS This is a report by WPTV West Palm from this morning.
Big storm damage in Hobe Sound
HOBE SOUND, Fla – Neighbors in several Hobe Sound communities are cleaning up the damage from what they believe was caused by a tornado.
Sunday morning at around 7 a.m. several described hearing the “frieght train noise” people commonly use to describe the sound of a tornado.
A trail of debris was left along several roads: SE Palm Street, SE Coconut Street, SE Gomez Avenue, SE Woodview Terrace, SE Randall Court and SE Courtney Terrace.
Many immediately jumped into action to clean downed trees, scattered debris and broken fences.
The National Weather Service is expected to be out to assess the damage and determine if in fact it was a tornado.
Heather & Murray Rand