Good morning from the Florida Sea Base. I got in at about midnight. It seems I arrived with good timing; the ground was wet from rain but the skies were clear while I off-loaded the essentials from my truck to the boat. I laid down around 01:30 and shortly thereafter the thunderstorms resumed. It has been raining and thundering since then and the radar shows the storms will continue for several more hours. I have more stuff to unload and need to go to the grocery store if I can catch a weather window.
S/V Escape was in good shape when I arrived. I left a package of stew meat in the refrigerator (for about three weeks) but it didn’t smell nearly as bad as I expected. The interior of the boat was hot and musty from being closed up without air conditioning. And my mizzen mast boot is still leaking and there is a small, contained mess to clean up in the aft head where the leak has been dripping. So far I have not found any other problems.
I stopped in Lady Lake, Florida yesterday and visited with Capt. Dennis and Dr. Ellen Wyatt. Their house looks GREAT!!! Capt. Dennis refers to it as “the ghetto house” because it was repossessed 3 or 4 times before they bought it. They have done a monumental amount of work and it is VERY nice now. They have talked with a contractor about getting the indoor swimming pool and hot tub operational. I’m not sure if Capt. Dennis has EVER owned a house before. He has been rather nomadic for most of his life.
Part of the reason I returned was over concerns about Tropical Storm Matthew threatening the Florida Sea Base as a hurricane this week. The good news that is not going to happen. Here’s the SCARY news from Dr. Jeff Masters’ Wunderblog:
Forecast for the rest of the tropics
Most of the models continue to predict that by Wednesday, the remnants of Matthew, and/or a piece of a tropical disturbance over the Eastern Pacific off the coast of Guatemala, will evolve into a huge and very wet low pressure system that will start spinning over Central America and the Western Caribbean. NHC has been referring to this expected storm as a “monsoon low”, and these sorts of storms are very dangerous for Central America and the Western Caribbean, even if they do not develop into a tropical storm. In October 2007, a similar monsoon low I dubbed “the sleeping giant” spent a week spinning over the region, dumping very heavy rains over all of Central America and the countries bordering the Western Caribbean. Rains from this system triggered flooding that killed 45 people in Haiti, damaged thousands of homes in Cuba, and caused havoc in Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, Mexico, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas. A similar type of storm is likely to develop on Wednesday and Thursday, and most of Central America and the nations surrounding the Western Caribbean can expect to see dangerous flooding rains develop this week in association with this giant low. Most of the models also predict that this big low will eventually develop into a tropical storm or hurricane that would be drawn northwards over Cuba late in the week, and threaten the Bahamas, Florida, or the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast. This is an exceptionally difficult system to forecast correctly, and the models have been coming up with some pretty unusual solutions as to what might happen. We’ll just have to wait and see what unfolds over the next few days.
If this system develops, we are talking about a giant low pressure system that would potentially extend from the Pacific Ocean side of Central America all the way to the Bahamas. Holy guacamole Batman!!! That sounds like the basis for a new horror movie, “The Low Pressure System that Ate the Caribbean”.
That’s enough for now. I am going to unpack my suitcase and keep watching for a break in the weather.
Aboard S/V Escape