We are lucky to have a large fruit and vegetable stand just beyond the marina entrance. There is always good produce at a considerable discount. The cashiers, like Ms. H (pictured) calculate purchase sums in their heads and there are no receipts. Just in front of Ms. H there is an old electric cash register, Unplugged, it is used to prop up the avocado stand and serves as a simple change tray. Important phone numbers for the fruit stand employees are written on its surfaces in permanent marker.
I came on deck at 5 a.m. because I heard herons fighting, but it was the tiny bright moon and cotton candy clouds that woke me fully.
Lately we’ve noticed loud bangings against our hull in the afternoon. These are the work of the Bad Fin Boys, a gang of adolescent grass carp who fight over the tiny tasty plants that grow on our waterline between cleanings. They school together most days, eating, brawling, and playing bad boy games.
This non-breeding adult scurries just ahead of the constantly advancing and receding beach waves. Taking a moment to probe the sand, he is rewarded with a clam snack.
This is the front deck of Hurricane Patty’s, located at the base of our pier. She serves seafood and vacation-style beverages. By day the front deck is full of families, doggies, senior citizens on bus tours, motorcyclists getting lunch, etc. The tiki bar out back (to be pictured in a future post) has music almost every night, which we can hear at perfect volume from our cockpit. The talent ranges from awesome to Arrrgh! Patty’s is a local night-life favorite.
The Catherine Elizabeth passes our slip on her way out to sea in a pre-dawn thunderstorm. Photographed through our cockpit’s wet isinglass windows.
Walking in a neighborhood that abuts the Salt Run, we came across this larger-than-life tableaux of three embracing mermaids. Only two are visible in this shot taken from the street. We only got glimpses of the third, smallest sister. She can be properly viewed only from the home or the back patio. An unexpected pleasure!
After a couple days of inspecting everything, we can now say we had no damage to the boat at all from hurricane Dorian. As mentioned in the previous post, our dock had a little damage, but even that was relatively minor. In the two days after the storm we drove around town in addition to following our usual running and walking routes. There was barely any evidence of a rain shower, much less a hurricane.
At the height of the storm, our marina had 18 hours of sustained winds of 35mph with 65mph gusts. These wind conditions were actually worse than hurricane Irma 2 years ago which did far more damage both to our marina and the city. The difference was the position of the storm. Dorian passed us to the east as a category 2 hurricane and Irma went by to the west (same distance from us as Dorian) as barely a category 1. The strongest winds from Dorian came out of the north and northwest and were diminished by the northward movement of the storm and blocked somewhat from traversal over land. The strongest winds from Irma came out of the south and southeast and were made even stronger by the storm’s northward movement. Those Irma winds were unblocked by any land and had an open fetch from the ocean.
The town of St. Augustine was also much better prepared this time as it had undergone numerous adaptations after both Matthew (2016) and Irma (2017). More of the utility lines are now buried underground, many homes and businesses have been “jacked-up” off the ground to avoid being flooded by storm surge, and clay tiles have replaced asphalt shingles on roofs that were damaged in the prior storms. Also, erosion protection measures were installed on various parts of the area beaches which helped a lot.
We were very fortunate.
This elegant mermaid graces the prow of the Barcelona Explorer, a teak and mahogany 100ft motorsailing charter yacht. Usually in the Bahamas, she is docked at our marina for some upkeep and maintenance.
The rosy wolfsnail, or cannibal snail, preys on other snails and slugs. It is considered speedy (for a snail). They are relatively large. This guy was almost 3 inches long.