Surviving Eta

Well, this was exciting.

We are docked at the Harborage Marina in St. Petersburg, FL. We love this marina. It’s a little pricey, but we always felt it was worth the extra money. We were actually offered a slip at a nearby marina for less than half the price. When we went to see it, we discovered that it wasn’t very well protected, and there was nobody around. It felt lonely.

So we declined and went back to our friends at the Harborage. Then Eta decided to buzz the west coast of Florida. We’d never prepared our boat for a tropical storm or hurricane before. But we had sailed in Tampa Bay when the wind was blowing 28 knots, gusting to 35, fighting 6′ seas. And the minute we turned the corner into our marina, the water went flat and the wind dropped to 8 knots. Love it when that happens.

Anyway, we began tying extra dock lines, 10 in all to be exact. We borrowed 4 fenders from our neighbor, Glen, and 2 from another neighbor, Intelligent Sailing. Thanks Marty! Then we took down our helm and aft cockpit enclosure (what a job that was!). Our neighbor, Brenton, was even nice enough to teach us how to take down our jib. (I actually think he did most of the work.) Another reason we love our marina. There’s nothing like a good neighbor.

Then we sat and waited. We decided to stay on the boat in case anything happened. We wanted to be there to fix whatever broke in the middle of the night, as things tend to do. The wind started blowing and the rain began to fall. The tidal surge came in at about 4-6′. We aren’t sure, but we’d never seen our floating docks that high before. Our instruments clocked the highest winds at just 36 knots, while the rest of the area was experiencing 55-60. At around midnight, the winds died down to the low 20’s and we went to bed. Eta seemed to be in a hurry and passed over us pretty quickly.

We dodged a bullet. And we still love our marina. Thanks Harborage!

August 2020