NMC034 Prepping for Hurricane Matthew

Rosa Linda

Recorded: October 7, 2016
Location: Riviera Beach, Florida
Subject: Preparing our floating home, and our family, as a hurricane heads towards us.

Hello friends!

Welcome to New Mexi-Castaways! This is the place where my family shares experiences about living on the sailing catamaran, Dawn Treader.

When you live on a boat, there is little that matters more than the weather and when the weather is a category 5 hurricane, you prepare for the worst and then pray for the best. That is what I’m talking about in this week’s episode, as our family prepared for Hurricane Matthew. Matthew was predicted to make landfall in West Palm Beach where we were living on our boat full-time. It was no small task to prep the boat for our family’s evacuation. That week was a wild, emotional ride for the whole crew.

Have a great week and be well everyone!

Lots of love,

Rosa Linda

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Episode Transcript:

RosaLinda Román: 00:28 Hello and welcome to NewMexicasts audio podcast, NewMexi-Castaways. It is called NewMexi-Castaways because I, Rosa Linda Román, your host and my family have moved on to a 45 foot sailing catamaran called the Dawn Treader. I'm sitting in the guest bedroom, or as I should call it, let's see, the aft port side bedroom or aft portside cabin. Let's be official. Right. Um, and I'm actually Kon Mari folding clothes, which sounds not that remarkable at all, except that I should be preparing to get off this boat soon. So let me back up and let you know that we are in a hurricane watch for a hurricane called Matthew. Hurricane Matthew is currently just off the coast of Cuba, or actually it was hitting the mountains of Cuba overnight and Haiti took the brunt of the storm in the last 24 hours. It's a category four hurricane, which is absolutely awful, and it's heading straight for us. RosaLinda Roman: 01:45 So, we spent all day yesterday trying to figure out where we were going to go, what we were gonna do, and looking for a marina that we could move our boat to that would be further inland safer and we just couldn't find a good option. Nobody, the problem is, the boat, we're on a Lagoon 450 is not just 45 feet long, but it is 25 feet wide. They call that the beam. The beam is 25 feet and most marinas are not set up to accommodate about that wide. So our problem is we couldn't find anyone that could, could take us in. And the place that we are currently our, basically our home marina is the Riviera Beach Marina in Riviera Beach, Florida. And they, because of our size, we are on the T-head or the end of a row of the dock. RosaLinda Roman: 03:00 Basically it's on the end so we don't have another, uh we don't have anything on our port side, so we don't, we can only strap to one side. And that is not a good way to ride out a storm of any kind. Um, especially a hurricane. Now that being said, Nathan, my husband is convinced that there's nothing that's gonna ride out this storm if it hits at the force that they are predicting it to. So, we're doing our best to just prepare as much as possible and secure everything and then we will be leaving the boat. This today, midday, the storm isn't predicted to hit this area until Friday morning or Thursday night or Friday morning. So, we have time since right now it is Wednesday morning as I'm recording this, um, I'm going to take a little break and get a glass of water cause I can tell that I sound very gravelly so please stand by. RosaLinda Román: 04:11 Okay. I'm back and I'm hopefully, that will help a little bit. I really won't sound like myself until I have coffee, but my sweetheart is actually up and making that for me and that's one of his many talents and a big part of why I keep him around. Anyway. So back to the reality at hand. I'm trying not to freak out. Let's be honest, because the reality is a category four hurricane, if it hits us, this boat likely will not make it through. We, so we're basically setting up what we need to get rid of. Oh, hold on. Is that my kid or my husband? I hear somebody opening a door. I was hoping it was Nathan bringing me coffee, but I think it might be a kid waking up. I don't want to talk about too much seriousness if the kids do come in because it has been really hard on everybody. RosaLinda Román: 05:12 I mean, we've been, you know, for me, obviously it's my dream to move on to this sailing Catamaran. We went through all of the process of, you know, getting that to become a reality, which was no small task, and getting our family of five aboard this boat. And then once we were on the boat, getting it prepped so that it had all that we need and basically everything here on the boat, not everything, I'd say at least 80%, "sparks joy," as my daughter Ahava pointed out. Because, you know, when we talk about, well, what do we need to do to prepare for this hurricane? And the first time we left the boat, maybe a month ago because there was a tropical storm way in the distance that looked like it might affect us, turned out to not be anything. It petered out, but it gave us a chance to practice what we would do in the event of a storm. RosaLinda Román: 06:11 And we strapped down sail, the main sail gets all strapped down, and the boat gets tied. We bought lots of lots of new ropes and really just tied down the boat as much as you, as much as we could that during that situation. But it turned out again, not to be anything to worry about and so we were fine. But this time around, it just, the reality is if it hits, if, unless it takes some unexpected turn, we are in for it. It's supposed to go up the Bahamian chain of islands, and hit Grand Bahama tomorrow morning and then it would continue up and hit here in the West Palm Beach area or somewhere here along the Florida coast within probably by the end of that night. So as we talk with the kids about it, that's, you know, it's a, it's a very hard conversation because like I said, as Ahava pointed out, when we left New Mexico, we did this process called KonMari, which you can go back and listen to the archives to know what I'm talking about. RosaLinda Román: 07:28 Basically it's an organization system based on Marie Kondo's book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. And in order to downsize, to move onto this boat, we, Kon Mari’d and that means that everything we brought with us was stuff that, that sparked joy and that we wanted to keep. And so Ahava pointed out as we were talking about, well, you just got to grab a few things and you know, we're going to head out, don't, you don't, you can't take everything. Just take the stuff, you know, the special stuff. And she pointed out that everything is special stuff or we wouldn't have brought it. So, with that in mind, we are now trying to really be mindful about what we need and, and what, um, we would be just devastated about if it does get destroyed. So I'm sitting here folding because it is comforting to me. RosaLinda Román: 08:25 And it helps me, uh, help the kids pack when they wake up. And I'm not exactly sure what we're going to do. We know we have a hotel in Fort Myers lined up, which is good because pretty much the whole state, every hotel room is booked now. And so we're gonna go, we're gonna secure the boat today and leave this afternoon and go to the hotel in Fort Myers and say some prayers and just hope that our boat is here when we come back. I was, am very grateful because I have a friend who at one of my daughters, a gymnastic teammates, mom offered for us to take some of our stuff to her house so that we don't have to try to fit everything in our car. She feels her home is, you know, much more secure than obviously it would be on the boat. RosaLinda Román: 09:23 And so she very generously offered for us to take a car load over there. Uh, so I've been thinking about what I actually want to bring to her house and it'll be things like our folding bike and our roller skates and dive tanks, things that we don't need right now. But if the boat is destroyed, that's, you know, that adds up to a lot of money spent wasted that wouldn't be recovered with insurance. I hear the door of joy opening and my sweetheart coming down. Let me describe the scene as handsome man bringing me coffee and all is right with the world. Hurricane Shmurricane. Thank you sweetheart. Nathan: 10:13 Oh Samuel, come here. We have to talk, Samuel. RosaLinda Román: 10:16 Samuel's coming down. Nathan: 10:18 Samuel come here. RosaLinda Román: 10:18 And this coffee is amazing. Thank you sweetheart. Nathan: 10:26 You're welcome. Samuel? RosaLinda Román: 10:29 Is he the only one up? Nathan: 10:30 Come here. RosaLinda Román: 10:33 Hi Sweetheart. Good morning. Nathan: 10:35 So listen boy. We have to talk about your invention. Samuel: 10:40 Yeah. Nathan: 10:41 Okay. So I want you to, the first thing about an invention is you've got a picture it working. Okay? Samuel: 10:48 I did do that. Nathan: 10:49 Okay. I want you to picture it working and turning the hurricane completely west right now or east, east, east, east RosaLinda Román: 10:58 East Nathan: 10:58 the right turn right now. RosaLinda Román: 11:01 Do you know where, which way is east Nathan: 11:03 Near the ocean RosaLinda Román 11:04 You want that hurricane to go all the way out to the ocean. Okay. I want you to close your eyes and picture that hurricane that we saw moving out to the ocean . Samuel: 11:14 That way is east? RosaLinda Román: 11:14 Yeah, that way is east. Samuel: 11:17 So, right is east. Nathan: 11:20 Well from where you're standing, yes. Nathan: 11:21 So just say turn right hurricane. RosaLinda Román: 11:24 Turn right. Nathan: 11:25 Okay. RosaLinda Román: 11:26 Can you picture that? Samuel: 11:29 Yeah RosaLinda Román: 11:29 I appreciate that. Mommy loves you. Samuel: 11:34 Samuel loves you. RosaLinda Román: 11:34 Okay. Open my computer there and you can show him the wind thing and then have him push it out. We got to use the power of this powerful boy, we've got to move our intentions to get rid of this, this, storm okay. So our boat doesn't get, cause you know what? I don't know if you know, um, you, I know you said that you wanted to, you didn't care about the boat getting destroyed cause you wanted to go see your friends. RosaLinda Román: 12:07 But we don't have to have the boat boat destroyed to see your friends. Okay? Samuel: 12:11 Can I see my friends today? RosaLinda Román: 12:15 Well, we can't see'em today cause we have to prepare the boat for the storm. But you can see them one of these days. Okay? Nathan: 12:24 Don't worry. You don't put, tap on it. Here you Samuel, RosaLinda Román: 12:31 You probably want to put in our location that looks like the upper east coast Nathan: 12:37 Belize, that's where that is RosaLinda Román: 12:38 Oh, that's where Ahava wants to go, Belize. She said, "Look mommy, there's no wind. Nothing. It's very calm in Belize. We could move there." I'm like, yeah. I guess we could cause really realistically, um, if the boat doesn't make it, we're not sure where we're going to go. I guess we could go to Mexico where we have a condo. Yeah. Samuel: 13:05 The hurricane is that bad? How bad is the hurricane? RosaLinda Román: 13:09 It's a category four, which is very bad Samuel. It's, It's...See that? That's the hurricane. Nathan: 13:18 It's going there. It's in The Bahamas now. It's going up to Marsh Harbor. RosaLinda Román: 13:22 No, well that's Thursday. So where, where do we want it to go? Nathan: 13:29 It's in Freeport now. RosaLinda Román: 13:34 Look at this. It's Thursday evening. It looks like hitting West Palm Beach. Nathan: 13:38 Yep. And then it hits up here. RosaLinda Román: 13:40 So that's tomorrow night. Nathan: 13:42 Yeah. It's going to be, had we had to get out of here by two by two or two o'clock today because then the winds start coming in 25. RosaLinda Román: 13:51 Are you going to try to tie our neighbor's boat too Nathan: 13:54 Yep, I'm going to tie it? RosaLinda Román: 13:56 Do we, are you going to talk to Lee about what the story is with those other boats? Nathan: 14:02 I just going to tie across and put both boats in the middle and tie across. RosaLinda Román: 14:05 You are going to? Nathan: 14:08 Mhmm. RosaLinda Román: 14:10 I hope that works. Nathan: 14:12 You guys are gonna take, when you get done with all this prepping, and getting our stuff in the car. Then we want to get in car and getting the other stuff moved out. You have to target that to be done by 11. RosaLinda Román: 14:20 Okay. Nathan: 14:22 Then you have to, and then um, I have to, we have to wrap all our lines with that small point. So with that I don't know who can do that, but RosaLinda Román: 14:31 What do you mean are our lines? Nathan: 14:33 All of our big lines we got. All our lines are hanging everywhere in the boat have to be wrapped tight. Something. RosaLinda Román: 14:40 Alright, so are you picturing that storm going way out to sea? If you zoom out Samuel. Nathan: 14:48 It's already making another right turn up north. It's here. See it's up here. RosaLinda Román: 14:53 That's later. Nathan: 14:54 Yeah, but it went this way rather than going up the coast. RosaLinda Román: 14:56 Oh really? Samuel: 15:01 It burned out. Why did it burn out? RosaLinda Román: 15:04 What the hurricane? That was just over time. This is showing you the time. So we're playing a, a model of where it's probably going to go. So see where it is right now. You want that to go out here to sea where it won't hurt anybody. So picture pushing it with your special invention. You're going to push it out this way. Okay? Can you think of that? Cause see if it hits this island and these islands, they're going to be destroyed and then look, this would be tomorrow night. This is where we are right now. So if we, if it hits, it would hurt. It would destroy our boat and many other people would have. So we want it to go out here to sea. We wanted it to take a turn, and not do that. Samuel: 15:48 I can control the hurricane from far away too. RosaLinda Román: 15:49 You can? Okay, good. Thank you honey. Give me a kiss? Samuel: 15:54 Cuz it sends a signal to control the hurricane. RosaLinda Román: 15:59 Awesome. I love you. All right, can you go have breakfast? I'm going to finish these clothes and then I'll be out. Samuel: 16:12 This special wire sends the signal to control the hurricane. RosaLinda Román: 16:15 Okay. And you pictured it going out to sea, right? All right. Last night, Nathan and I were talking about the fact that Samuel's way of processing this is, he decided that we needed to make an invention to push the, to control the hurricane. And he wanted to make that invention in the next like, you know, like before the storm hit. And he drew out a schematics for that storm inventions that hurricane controlling controller. Like it looked like a playstation controller. And he wanted to design that and build it like in the next 24 hours basically. So we were talking last night just kind of joking around Nathan and I, saying, well, you know, what if, what if he did, you know, cause Samuel's response, let me back up. When we told Samuel about moving off the boat, I mean about having to leave the boat and that, you know, we were concerned about the, the hurricane hitting, uh, he, his response, we had a big discussion over dinner with the kids and it was very emotional and difficult. RosaLinda Román: 17:27 And yet Samuel's response was, well, I don't really care if the folk, it's shattered into pieces and destroyed because then I could go to New Mexico to see my friends and be with my friends. And so Nathan and I jokingly, because obviously that's the mind of a five year old boy and, uh, we really haven't done any of our adventures yet. We're still at this marina instead sailing down the chain of islands and meeting other kids and all that. Right. So from his perspective, we're homeschooling, he's not getting to see friends and you know, it's pretty boring. So I totally understand his, his reason for saying that and try not to take it too personally, but Nathan and I were, were kind of joking around last night and said, well, what if it was like a Scifi movie where that he, this little boy had the power to truly control the weather and with him thinking the only way he was going to see his friend was for the, the, um, for the hurricane to destroy this boat so we could go home to New Mexico. RosaLinda Román: 18:32 And so I said, maybe we need to tell him that we could actually see his friends without having to destroy the boat. And we, you know, we kind of chuckled about it. So that's what that conversation was this morning. We were like, well, why don't you just tell him to picture his invention in case he has that great power. We'll tell him, picture the invention pushing this storm out to sea. So yes, I know it's silly and we are, you know, we're not, I don't know. I don't know if we believe it or not. You never know what to believe. Right. But, um, what the, what's the harm in making Samuel feel like he is working on his invention? Because that is something that he talks about all day. He's, he wants to, you know, he wants to protect people. He's worried with us and he wants to make sure everybody's safe. So that's where this invention came from. And so why not let him brainstorm and picture how he could help, uh, dissipate the storm. All right. So that's what that was about. I don't know if I'll include that maybe as at the end of the show as a blooper, if you will, or an outtake. So let me take a break and I will come right back and discuss some more about what we are working on. RosaLinda Román: 19:57 All right. I'm back and back to folding clothes. I'm going to try to pick up the pace because the kids are waking up. That means I got to get my butt moving. There's a lot going on this morning. We're going to prep the boat. Obviously it's the boat itself. And it's interesting. Let me give you a little perspective. We were sailing this weekend. We had a really great weekend. We went up to Jupiter, Florida, um, which isn't that far from here by car, but it took us a few hours by sail. Uh, and because we can't go up the intercoastal, intra coastal, I never know how to say that. ICW. We can't go on the inside. We have to go out to sea through the Lakeworth inlet and then back down in through the Jupiter inlet, which is a very harrowing inlet by the way. RosaLinda Román: 20:49 And anyway, we went up to Jupiter to see some friends and it was really a great trip cause they were camping in Jonathan Dickinson State Park. We had this anchorage there in Jupiter that was perfect. And we did, they, they rented a pontoon boat and they parked it on a sandbar right near our boat. And we just spent the day with the kids playing in the water and the adults playing on the boat and just really enjoyed, um, relaxing a very relaxing day, which was nice. But on the sail back, we it was very, it was not, it wasn't terribly windy, but we were trying to use the jib, which is the big sale in the front of the boat. We were trying to use that to just, you know, to enjoy a little bit of a sail, but the winds were not great for a full sail. RosaLinda Román: 21:47 So we didn't put our main main sail up, but we put the jib out and I, Nathan asked me to adjust this one like I don't even know what it is. It's this, this plastic type thing on a, on a track and you have to kind of unlock it and then move it so that you can move the sail. It's, it's just like tighten up the sail a certain way. I really don't know what the whole point of the thing was, but you, we should have done it before we put the sail up. But we were trying to adjust it with the sail out and it, it, and he warned me, he's like, "Be careful, It's gonna, you know, whip out fast and so be very careful, you know, when you're doing that and not to get, not to let it hit you." RosaLinda Román: 22:37 Well, of course it did hit me and I thought I, it hurt, hit so hard. I was like, oh my gosh. I was sure something broke. It didn't, and I just had a massive bruise. But Nathan, in our discussions about the hurricane, he said that force that that hit you with was about probably about 30 knots with the way it whipped out and hit you about 30 knots. Imagine, um, the force of this hurricane compared to that, it's much, much, much higher. So imagine any fly, anything that's not strapped down really well or that comes loose and flies around could like, just destroy anything. It can put a hole in our boat, you know, so we have to secure all of that today. Strap that down. I climbed the mast yesterday, I used my rock climbing gear and went up the mast and strapped, used, um, a rope to strap down parts of the, uh, main sail all the way up the mast. And, uh, so we're going to do more of that today as well as packing to leave the boat, um, for who knows, maybe forever. So, it's going to be an emotional day and a lot that has to be done. So, I'm going to stop here and get focused on helping Nathan. And I will try to update again once we have a minute and maybe when we're on the road. All right. Thanks for listening. And I'll check in in a little bit. RosaLinda Román: 24:25 Huh, Oh my goodness. We just got back to the marina. We have a boat. It is amazing! I am exhausted. We just finished untying the boat from the far dock and I just had to take a minute to breathe. I came to the car to start unloading some of the stuff. I have so much to fill in everyone on since I recorded the first part of the episode. I can't even remember what day that was. We evacuated. We, that was after we tied the boat straps, the mast. I climb the mast, we packed up everything we could and evacuated to a hotel in Fort Myers, Florida. And now oh, after that I was interviewed by CNN and the Canadian Broadcasting Company and my old employer in Phoenix, Fox 10 news. And we didn't know at the time if we were going to lose everything. RosaLinda Román: 25:36 And this morning at the early, early morning hours, my husband woke me up and said, Allie is going to Facetime us. Now, Allie is our babysitter. She had our German shepherd puppy and I spent all day yesterday sick to my stomach worrying about her and the dog because all the predictions were that it was going to pummel the area where she was staying. We thought she was going to be an hour inland. That's what she told us. And then she decided to stay in her apartment instead with her roommate her cousin and with our dog. And I was just sick to my stomach over worrying. It turned out they were fine. She Facetimed, she came to the boat this morning and uh, sent us pictures and everything was beautiful. I have tons more to update but we, we hurried back here. Did the three hour drive home, dropped off the kids at a friend's house? RosaLinda Román: 26:36 One of my daughters, teammates, moms and a we, Nathan and I just spent the last, I guess a three hours, no, I guess two hours tying, untying and retying and moving the boat, because it was in the middle of the channel, like right in the middle of everything. And uh, so we retied it and did what we could. And now, um, we are taking a breather for a second. We got the dinghy out of the house. Nothing like having a dingy, which if you don't know, that's the little boat that goes behind your boat to get to, to shore if you're anchored out. We retied the, we, we took the dinghy out of the living room. So, it's been crazy and harrowing and stressful and I am so grateful, uh, to just have a moment to breathe. So I'm gonna Start Moving stuff into the house again, so I gotta go. RosaLinda Román: 27:35 But I just wanted to touch base and let you guys know we are safe. The entire crew of the Dawn Treader made it out safely and I'll continue. I'll do another episode with a lot more details about kind of how the whole experience was. Alright, thanks for listening. I really do appreciate it. If you want to catch some of the videos that I posted throughout this ordeal, you can go to our, my New Mexicast page on Facebook. That's facebook.com/newmexicast or you can always go to New Mexicast TV on YouTube. All right. Take care everyone. I'm Rosa Linda Román

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