Did you know there is actually five seasons? Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall and Hurricane Season! We are officially in our 2nd Hurricane Season since purchasing 5KNOTS last September 2016 and thus far managed to survive without any issues. In fact we managed to dodge two Hurricane Bullets!

After purchasing 5KNOTS in Ft. Lauderdale last September, we found ourselves in Marathon, Fla with 5KNOTS on the hard for six weeks having repairs done.  During this time Hurricane Matthew was predicted to make landfall in Marathon. Luck had it for us and Matthew turned further east and made landfall just north of Ft. Lauderdale and ripped up the east coast of Florida.  Had we remained in Ft. Lauderdale a little longer we would have been in Matthew’s sights. Marathon just got a lot of rain and 40-50 mph winds. First bullet dodged!

This year we decided to ride out Hurricane Season at the Brunswick Landing Marina (BLM) in Brunswick, Georgia. BLM is known to be a hurricane hole and provides a fair amount of protection from the storms.  As Irma was traveling through the Caribbean we were wondering if she would turn north and head right up the east coast of Florida as was predicted. We decided that we better prepare for the worst. Renee suggested renting a storage unit in town (Great Call) and we gathered all of our personal belongs, sail, dingy, outboard motor, Bimini, Dogger, basically anything we could take that wasn’t permanently attached and moved them to the unit. We secured the wind turbine and wrapped our main and sail bag with rope so when the winds came it would not be ripped off. We tied down everything that was left, put out extra fenders and added extra dock lines for additional security.

With 5KNOTS secured and just three days before Irma was scheduled to hit BLM, we decided to hit the road and head north. Our first stop was Columbia, South Carolina where we spent a couple of days with Renee’s cousin Steve and his wife Jan. Rather than fight the traffic heading north we took to the back roads. This worked out perfect, no traffic and we were able to purchase gas whenever our tank got down to 1/2 tank.

We had a wonderful time and was able to relax visiting family and watching football. GO VOLS! From Columbia we went back home to Maryville to wait until the mandatory evacuation was lifted and we were able to return to 5KNOTS. During this time Irma veered further west than original predictions and went up the west coast of Florida. By the time Irma reached BLM, she was downgraded to a tropical storm. But this did not mean we were out of the woods yet.

In addition to the high winds, the bigger fear is the tidal surge. This is the additional amount the water rises during a storm. With the already normal tidal changes of 8′, along with the fact that it had been raining for two days and Irma reaching BLM at high tide, this had the makings of big trouble. If the water would rise high enough, it could have lifted the floating docks over the pilings which would have be a disaster for the marina. Lady Luck came our way again and although there was a lot of rain, two feet of water in the parking lot, 50+ mph winds with gusts over 70, the docks stayed put with about a foot and a half left on the pilings. There was minimal damage to the marina with one jib being shredded by the wind and we had one boat sink. However, 5KNOTS came through the storm just fine. Kudos to the BLM staff and the live aboard’s that decided to stay and stick out the storm. Everybody worked hard to make sure boats and marina equipment was sufficiently secured.

Second hurricane bullet dodged!