So where in the world is Sylestial Star? She is quietly biding her time, safe and sound, in the newly renovated Fort Pierce Marina.
We, on the other hand, are 3 hours away in Fort Myers, tending to Sylvia's 90 year old Mother for a few days. Last night, we were awakened 4 times by NOAA radio, announcing tornado warnings for a nearby county. I pretty much ignored them. Sylvia and her Mother were awake part of the night, waiting to see if they might become more localized. They did not.
When Sylvia was with her Mother for 8 days ending last week, the “Watches” did become “Warnings” and were forecast for her specific neighborhood! Mother and daughter spent time in the bathroom covered in pillows for protection. Unfortunately, one tornado did develop and struck about 10 miles away. Several days earlier an EF2 tornado also struck nearby, damaging over 200 homes in nearby Cape Coral.
Everybody here is perplexed over the thunderstorms and tornadoes happening now in southwest Florida. They are not supposed to happen this time of year!
We have not progressed very far since launching Sylestial Star from Whiticar Boatyard in Fort Pierce on January 8th. Kudos to Whiticar, Tom Berryhill and Lori Maxwell in particular, for their care of Sylestial Star and quality of work performed on her keel, stanchions and elsewhere. And we splashed on time!
After spending some time at nearby Harbortown Marina, we motored 15 minutes south to the City Marina. We had not spent time in this city previously so we have spent quite a bit of time exploring on foot- one of our favorite things to do. And spending time with our friends Mike and Bejay and Elden and Susan with whom we spent a day in the Fort Pierce Farmers Market – the largest such market in the state. And visiting with our friend Kari, who lives in nearby Port St. Lucie.
While at the Fort Pierce Farmers Market, we bumped into fellow Corinthian Bob Osborne and his wife Brenda. It never ceases to amaze me how, while on long term cruises, we can run into either a fellow Corinthian or meet a sailor somehow connected to our Chesapeake Bay sailing days.
Bob and Brenda, were on their way south for their Bahamas crossing after which they plan to cross to Cuba. Very lucky! We are not planning a Cuba run until possibly next year. Bob was very helpful in filling me in on the process for State Department approval for “exporting” and then “importing” one's boat to make this happen.
Bob also put me in touch with Chris Parker, the guru of weather forecasters in the Carribean. Last year, without a strong single sideband radio, we were limited as to availability of quality weather forecasts in the Bahamas (we have a small single sideband, VHF and Internet forecasts when connected). Chris was very helpful when I spoke to him and we identified several good options for taking advantage of his forecasting program.
Well, it is pouring rain now in Fort Myers, but it appears that the worst of the storms are behind us. So tomorrow, we will drive back to Fort Pierce and continue our journey south and meet our buddies, Mike and Bejay, in Palm Beach Gardens.