Hello, I'm Henry.  

Welcome aboard my blog's home. 

If you come along with me, you'll become acquainted with my motley mates and faithful crew:

Experiences, Sightings, Observations, Impressions, Ideas, Reflections, Remembrances, Insights and Commentary.

They, after all, have accompanied me for as long as I can recall. Their tenure has helped me turn my tiller, fill my sails, and transport me over seas to distant lands. Maybe if you take the time to get to know them, a few will do the same for you.

Click this way and scroll along if you please...Enjoy your stay.   

No Escaping Irma

No Escaping Irma

 On the Wednesday evening 4 days prior to her arrival, Marine Stadium's waters failed to reflect Irma's winds and sea surge soon approaching Miami 

On the Wednesday evening 4 days prior to her arrival, Marine Stadium's waters failed to reflect Irma's winds and sea surge soon approaching Miami 

 My catamaran was tied to the Virginia Key mangroves with two other water anchors - bow and stern unlike the cat above.

My catamaran was tied to the Virginia Key mangroves with two other water anchors - bow and stern unlike the cat above.

Five days before she hit American soil, I blew down to Miami to prepare my boat for the onslaught of Hurricane Irma. Well, actually I flew up and down on jet blue skies seated on American Airlines to secure and prep my 40-foot cat for a catastrophic category 5–6 hurricane.  How does one ready a boat for the huge tidal surges, destructive gusts and torrential rain?  It's an effort much more moving than relocating a vessel to a safer, more protective location. Prepping for a hurricane is something akin to readying for a battle.  Since there are few safe places when Force 12 winds blow through town, finding an ideal safe spot is in itself no easy endeavor. Then there are the sails, lines and sheets, anchors and the tenders.

 Before I moved  Mystique  towards the "cover" of those shore trees

Before I moved Mystique towards the "cover" of those shore trees

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 Re-anchored and almost ready Wednesday night in Marine Stadium near Virginia Key, Mystique awaits its fate.

Re-anchored and almost ready Wednesday night in Marine Stadium near Virginia Key, Mystique awaits its fate.

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With Mystique's jib rolled up and ready to store in a bow locker, one of my spare anchors is ready to move astern to set for any southwesterly winds.

 Mystique's mainsail folded and strapped up to store, proved too heavy and bulky for the forward locker storage. So I asked Cristian R. to help me move it to the main salon astern.

Mystique's mainsail folded and strapped up to store, proved too heavy and bulky for the forward locker storage. So I asked Cristian R. to help me move it to the main salon astern.

 With Miami in the background, Cristian R. poses with his kayak paddle staff.

With Miami in the background, Cristian R. poses with his kayak paddle staff.

 Tied to a mangrove tree with over 150' of line, I positioned  Mystique  facing northeast close enough yet away from other boats with a tree windbreak. With over 150' feet of chain rode attached to a Rocna 55 lb anchor (total weight approx. 200 ibs) in 8 feet of water, or nearly a 20:1 ratio. I kept some slack in the anchors to account for the expected 10-12 feet surge and full moon hightide. 

Tied to a mangrove tree with over 150' of line, I positioned Mystique facing northeast close enough yet away from other boats with a tree windbreak. With over 150' feet of chain rode attached to a Rocna 55 lb anchor (total weight approx. 200 ibs) in 8 feet of water, or nearly a 20:1 ratio. I kept some slack in the anchors to account for the expected 10-12 feet surge and full moon hightide. 

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 While that's not a modern American President, it might be a representation of how human arrogance descend the stairs of reality by denying the destructive forces he himself created. The image might symbolize how a leader perceives himself impervious and oblivious to the pain and suffering of others around him.

While that's not a modern American President, it might be a representation of how human arrogance descend the stairs of reality by denying the destructive forces he himself created. The image might symbolize how a leader perceives himself impervious and oblivious to the pain and suffering of others around him.

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 When the wind blows , some of us know to pee downwind.

When the wind blows , some of us know to pee downwind.

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 Stuffing everything loose or likely to blow away into the main salon.

Stuffing everything loose or likely to blow away into the main salon.

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A_Year_of_Living_Consciously

When I read from my daily affirmations, they confirmed my efforts were all about my keeping my boat safe and as sound as possible,

 The day's passage from  A Year of Living Consciously

The day's passage from A Year of Living Consciously

 Thursday Sept 7, 2017 around noon I paddled ashore with dinghy and my other kayak in tow. 

Thursday Sept 7, 2017 around noon I paddled ashore with dinghy and my other kayak in tow. 

 Ready to drive north to Maryland.

Ready to drive north to Maryland.

 Something in my hotel room Thursday night in Melbourne, Florida told me I had made the correct decision.

Something in my hotel room Thursday night in Melbourne, Florida told me I had made the correct decision.

 Back in Easton after my 19 hours driving northward, my morning tea spoke to me.

Back in Easton after my 19 hours driving northward, my morning tea spoke to me.

Even in its aftermath there is no escaping Irma.  Its emotional, and for many, physical and financial impacts will undoubtedly linger with those caught in its path for the rest of their lives. As I left my 40’ catamaran behind to fend for itself, I realized that I could do no more to ready Mystique for the wind and water onslaught.

As one of the millions of Floridian evacuees of the Hurricane Irma, I felt the ambivalence of leaving behind my boat and other Floridian stalwarts and diehards while I sought safety and comfort. While I left my boat-home behind at the urging of others, I also left behind friends and my ability to help cleanup.  Knowing that the storm’s outcome would test the mettle of many who lost electrical power, comfort and property, I also understood the reality of the storm would challenge me in an entirely different way.  I had to return soon and survey my boat’s condition. This would test me as well. 

On one level my personal duality felt like relief as I had "dodged this wind storm / storm surge bullet" while on another level I felt a bit of remorse, maybe akin to a form of survivor's' guilt. Though no one can both stay and leave at once, doing either one has its own separate toll.

 A panoramic northwestern view of Marine Stadium anchorage's 100 or so boats anchored  in preparation for Irma.

A panoramic northwestern view of Marine Stadium anchorage's 100 or so boats anchored  in preparation for Irma.

Atypical Days

Atypical Days

Rumi on Water

Rumi on Water