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The Hurricane Chronicles:

The Horrors of 2005

Emily / Dennis / Katrina / Rita / Wilma

Who would think 2005's hurricane season could rival last year's madness?  Max Mayfield, that's who!  Hurricanes Dennis, Emily, Katrina, and now Rita have crossed our paths one way or another this wicked hurricane season.  Rita is on her way to the Gulf Coast as I type this.  She just left the Keys.  I'm just putting in all the correspondence during that time right now, no order except chronological -- unless it's a reply to a specific email, then it's paired with the original email. 

The Hurricane Chronicles are here to demonstrate how hurricanes effect our lives.  Even so, things continue to happen in everyday life with our family and friends who are living in Illinois, Arizona, Philly, Argentina, Los Angeles/Hollywood, Colorado, Maryland, other parts of Florida, Connecticut, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Maine, New Mexico, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Countries of Germany, Grenada, etc. etc.  The places were our loved ones live, where emails are written for many reasons... our lives don't stop because a hurricane is coming.  The Chronicles here show you basically, what a year full of hurricanes looks like and how our live-aboard and sailing life intertwines into the day-to-day lives of those we love.  

Our hearts ache for those on the Gulf Coast who now must face another catastrophic hurricane.  Get out while you can, she is a monster.  There is nothing more important than life.  Homes, furniture, cars, possessions are NOTHING.  Go!

Eventually you'll be able to read all about what was happening in our lives as these meteorological wet dreams came to view.  I got so incensed hearing newscasters sounding like Jimmy Olson and Lois Lane biting on the story of the decade.  When Rita hit the Keys she had barely turned into a Category 2, but my phone was ringing off the hook from all my family and friends who thought the Keys were going to be obliterated off the map.  All because of what they saw on the news.

Yes, these stories are big... but for God's sake... please show more compassion and less drooling!  Not all are like this, of course... but dayam... you know who you are, because your spouse told you the same thing.  It's like the plane having landing gear problems, the TVs on in the plane and the passengers watching their own fate on the NEWS!  Good Grief!

Though Hurricane Emily caused us here in the Keys no problems, dear friends with their children and parents were on vacation in the Yucatan Peninsula... and Emily was on her way there as a Category 4.  They called us for advice.  Charmaine was on the telephone with them for hours... and still on the phone as Emily hit... incredible ordeal.  You'll be able to read about it all right here... as well as the Horrors of the Gulf Coast -- Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi -- New Orleans made much of the news, but they all were suffering with the wrath and rampage of hurricane Katrina: 90,000 square miles of devastation.

Remember, The Hurricane Chronicles start out as our lives are in full gear... every day living just like you or anyone else... and then things start to change...  as life continues there is the up, the down, and the middle ground where you have a fleeting moment to get in a sigh, cry, or an emotional high.  It shows that life still goes on, no matter what.  One day you laugh, the next day you cry.  In the long run, however, the sun will shine once again -- but if your eyes are full of tears... you just might notice it. 

A phrase I coined earlier this year fits my philosophy: "Life's a Gift... Unwrap It"!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              - Charmaine Smith Ladd

From: s/v September Sea
Date: 01/31/05 14:22:35
To: Peggy & Edwin
Subject: The Scoop
Hello my Darlings!
Don't know what all ya know... but Bj is on his way to St. Croix come next Monday.  He's become a good friend of a guy named Dennis, who has a 70-ft. schooner rig sailboat "Coral Sea."
There will be a going away party for Larry and Karen, then a party for the new owners... then Bj's bon voyage party.  We think it will be next Saturday .. still trying to line up the parties in a neat row.
Bj's very excited, he's always loved the Virgins, having been there many times as a teenager when we vacationed there.  He says he's planning on staying... can't blame him.  He's got a wonderful relationship with Dennis and Dennis just thinks the world of him.  Should be a good fit.  Dennis has asked Bj to continue on with him to charter throughout the Virgins and then vacation with him in the off season in Barbados.  Bj is loving it.
Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know what was going on.  Brandy, the new General Manager of Dockside is a very good friend of Bj's and had big plans for him here... but Bj is on to bigger and better things.  Brandy is very disappointed but says he's gotta do what is best for him.  She's a delightful person.  
We will be moving over to Sombrero Resort come April.  They say they are selling the slips as investments and that the owners of the slips will not being using them (they will rent them out as they are now).  Well... don't know exactly what will go on, but somebody ain't tellin the whole truth around here.  I ain't gonna wait for the other shoe to drop!
Breighan is visiting and we were planning on getting up there to see you both before you leave.  Don't know if that's gonna happen (sob sob). However, are your plans still the same... what is the date you will be leaving?
Love you, my Peek-a-Boo... and my Sweet Edwin.  Hugs and Kisses... lots ovem
Charmaine & Bill
Aboard s/v September Sea

From: Charmaine
Wednesday, May 19, 2005 10:47 AM
To: mikeg
Subject:  us n you

Gotta tell ya a cute story.  Two years or so ago I had met a guy on the dock whose wife I

met the day before, they had just arrived from up the coast and come here every year.

As I was standing down at the Tiki Hut (at the other end of the boardwalk from out boat),

the guy, who is very German (thick accent and all), heard from his wife that I had a

sailboat, and he asked me which boat was my boat in the marina.  I told him what it

looked like and the number of our slip.  So he walked away to go down the boardwalk

and look at my sailboat.


Here he comes back up to the Tiki Hut and says to me,  "Whiz boot ez ewe boot?"

Remembering the movie "Das Boot," I realized that "boot" was "boat."  I once again told

him where September Sea's slip was and he again walked all the way down to go see our



He returned back to the Tiki Hut once again with a puzzled look on his face: "I do nut

sez ewes boot."  I told him again where it was, the make and model... he says,

"No.  No.  Der ez a vite min un dat boot." 


Hmm.  Oh... I thought to myself... He's trying to say, "There is a white man on that boat."

Lord help me, I just couldn't resist.  I looked at him very seriously and ansewred, "There

is a white man on WHOSE boat?  Not my boat!!"


He shook his head vigorously up and down and said, "Ya. Un ewe boot."


I exclaimed, "Oh hell no!  Who the hell is on my boat!!?"


This German guy, Ed, is about 6'4, a very tall and sturdy man of about 65, who I then

enlisted to go help me get that white so-and-so off my boat!


He came all the way back down the boardwalk with me and as we approached my boat. I

could see "the white guy" with his back turned to us as he was bent down, crouching and

doing something on the forward deck.  I looked at my tall German bodyguard... (hahaha)

and he looked quite worried.  As a matter of fact, my bodyguard was standing about 50

feet away from me... hahaha


"Get over here," I said under my breath to him and motioned by pointing my index finger

and then making a quarter-circle with my forearm.  He pointed to himself like, "Who... me?"

"YA U."


We Both then walked right on the finger pier next to September Sea and I said, "Hey!"

The white man turned around... I looked at the German guy... and said, "Oh hell.... He's

not white, Ed.  I want you to meet my husband Bill.  He has that disease that Michael

Jackson has you know, that skin syndrome thing."


Ed hesitated for a moment and then he was just plain flustered (I think it was Bill's

blonde hair and blue eyes that gave it away), and Ed said, "Oh.... you got me!"  He

laughed so hard I thought he'd fall off the dock.  However, that wasn't quite the end of it.

He tried to brush over his faux pas by giving the excuse, being from Germany, "I seez zee

bleck minz vit sez vite vimin but neevah ze bleck vimin vit sez vite min."


I turned, looked him dead in the face and said, with total astonishment, and asked:

"Who in the hell told you I was black?!"


I know... I'm a devilette.  Can't help sprouting horns from time to time.  That story is one

the funniest around here, everybody talks about it.  The good thing is that Ed and his wife,

Peggy, and Bill and I are all exceptionally good friends ever since that time.

Dan Sullivan, a local entertainer, tells me that he gets the biggest laughs when he tells

that story during his show.


Thought I'd share that little ditty with you.  hahaha


Love yaz....


Bill and Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea

From: s/v September Sea

Date: 05/19/05 14:04:47
To: A Bunch of Coconuts
Subject: The Puzzling Tiger
A blonde calls her boyfriend and says, "Please come over here and help me.  I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get it started. 

Her boyfriend asks, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?"
The blonde says, "According to the picture on the box, it's a tiger." 
Her boyfriend decides to go over her house and help with the puzzle. She lets him in and shows him that she has the puzzle spread all over the table.
He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, "First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a Tiger." 
He takes her hand and says, "Second, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of  tea... and then," he sighed.... 

"...so now... let's put all these Frosted Flakes back in the box."
Bill and Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea

From: s/v September Sea
Date: 02/10/05 16:48:11
To: tiempo
Subject: Bahama Bj
Bj just called from Nassau.  He left his social security card and driver's license in his wallet, which was in our car.  I just faxed him a copy of both and overnighted his wallet to him.  The kid has an IQ of 175 but he can't remember to take his wallet with him when he's going to be gone for months on end.  I'm wondering, where does he keep his money that he could forget to take his wallet?  He most often doesn't wear a shirt or shoes... guess that leaves his dreds to hold the bankroll.  Who knew?  Love yaz and miss yaz.  He is at Nassau, Bahamas right now and I faxed everything to the Hurricane Hole Marina.  Hope somehow you all cross paths.  BIG HUGS and KISSES.  Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea

From: lfrancis

Date: 05/15/05 14:11:50
To: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Subject: RE: Safe?
Yes, safe.
And Home at last!
But no mother's day suprise. We hit five days of heavy winds from the north that stopped us in our tracks in Virginia. But we made it home to celebrate nonetheless yesterday around 1:30 pm. Warm food and nutritious hugs. And internet anytime I want...like now.
Yes, a good trip. Met great folks like you. Glad to know that Bri is down there hanging with you as we speak. Give her a luscious hug for me with a kiss just on the right side of her lips. ha.
Damn straight I'll stay in touch.
peace and love,
From: Charmaine & Bill
Date: 05/31/05 15:36:33
To: Our Loved Ones
Subject: Our Beloved Son Bj
So sorry to tell you that our son, Bj (Bill Jr.), passed away yesterday, Memorial Day, on his boat in St. Croix.  It appears he was sick with a virus and then died after falling into a diabetic coma. Bj was 31 and had Juvenile Diabetes and was at risk throughout his life.
Charmaine's mother, Essie Smith, also passed away the very same day.  We're in shock and grieving, but trying to hang in there.
We will have a joint memorial service for Bj and his loving Grandmother in Springfield, Illinois (this Saturday).  After we return, we will have another Celebration of Bj's Life here in Marathon, Florida for all those here who loved him.  It will be on the Sombrero Beach, June 8th at 3:00 pm.
Thank you for your prayers.  Somehow, this too... shall pass.
He's already missed.
Charmaine & Bill
Aboard s/v September Sea

~ We received hundreds of condolences.  Please refer to the Celebration of Life. ~

From: tiempo@pocketmail.com
Date: 06/10/05 19:35:27
To: Charmaine@SeptemberSea.com
Subject: Re: Bj
This email is a treasure to me, and when we get to Brunswick, I will print it out and keep it in my special place. You are the most soulful person I have ever known, my Charmie-you are healing others as you heal yourself...Bless you & Bill-so special and to our Breighan, & darling Will. Soooo much love from us to you. Peggy& Edwin
Peggy/Edwin Bockelman

From: tiempo
Date: 06/17/05 23:23:08
To: Charmaine@SeptemberSea.com
Subject: The deafening silence
Dear Bill & Charmie...
Received your "Living Board" magazine today, filled with nostalgia. And your article was The Best!!! Now that
you are quieted down-the real impact of it all hits like a bullet. Just wanted to wait for this time,to let you know we are still thinking of you so very much, and here for both of you. This pain will never subside, but will become more tolerable with the magic word "time". What to say, dear, dear friends..nothing can be said to ease this sorrow. I pray you will find the strength to get through this, and move on...Bj expects you to do just that. So so sorry dear friends, how impossible is this to say goodbye to your child-just can not imagine. But, you do have that inner power & strength-just hang on to it and to each other. So much love pouring outta here to you. Love you, my Charmie & Bill, and our sweet Breighan.
Peggy/Edwin Bockelman
on board m/v TIEMPO 

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Date: 06/21/05 10:14:44
To: NickBruce@CrisisShield.org
Cc: dmortimer@verizon.net
Subject: Need Help Contacting Davisons
Hello, I was given your name and email address from someone who also is concerned about Jim and Kathleen Davison.  Jim and Kathleen are doing volunteer work (Jim's a woodworker) for the Crisis Relief in Grenada.  They live aboard their sailboat, "Drummer," a steel 33-foot sloop rig, tan in color with seafoam accents.  Their dinghy name is "Bongo."
I am very worried.  My 31-year old son and my Mother both died on Memorial Day of this year and I know that Jim and Kathleen would want to know this information.  I have written and been approved by their internet security so I know that's not the reason why I haven't heard from them.
Please help me.
My name is Charmaine Smith Ladd, my husband is Bill Ladd, we are on s/v September Sea in Marathon, Florida Keys.  We can be reached at our toll-free number:  800-544-xxxx.  If Jim and Kathleen have no way of writing us, please give them the toll-free number for contacting us.
May they be safe and my worries for naught.
Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!
Charmaine & Bill
Aboard s/v September Sea

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Date: 06/21/05 10:18:24
To: NickBruce@CrisisShield.org
Cc: dmortimer@verizon.net
Subject: Davidsons FOUND

I have just heard from Jim and Kathleen.  It's 10:18 AM on June 21st.  Thank you all for helping.

Charmaine Smith Ladd Aboard s/v September Sea 

From: MCOMCorp@aol.com
Date: 06/21/05 10:59:34
To: Charmaine@SeptemberSea.com
Subject: Congratulations on your website
I just saw the website you have and wanted to congratulate you on it.  Once again, please receive my condolences on the untimely death of your son.  My heart goes out to you and your family.  I'm the father of two young adult girls and I can't imagine a life without them. 
all the best
Michael Cannon
Wayward O'Malley
'30 Portsmouth Downeast Flybridge Cruiser

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Date: 06/21/05 15:21:31
To: Breigh-Baby
Subject: Songbird sentiment
Hey Biffy,
I'm just going through email and realizing so much of this stuff you really need to see.  Someone sent this to me and I was trying to figure out who it was, when I just gave up and said, "What does it matter WHO sent it?"
Love you SO MUCH,
Mommy Aboard s/v September Sea

From: Steve Weinstein
Date: 06/21/05 17:40:17
To: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Subject: Re: [livaboard] Container Waste
Hey, kiddo, I forgot to say Welcome Back!  You doin' okay?  Given what you were dealing with the past two weeks I didn't want to intrude but I was concerned for you.
Steve Weinstein
1981 Cherubini Designed H33
Sailing out of Oyster Bay, NY

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Date: 06/21/05 17:40:56
To: Steve Weinstein
Subject: Hey Darlin'
Thanks Darlin'
We're doing okay.  I'm still on heavy sedatives.  They don't seem to sedate me, but they do keep me from non-stop blubbering.  The minute those puppies wear off I'm a crying vegetable.
I'm sure this too shall pass.  The love for our son is immeasurable, the blessing we had as parents to raise him to become one of the most incredible human beings I've ever had the good fortune to really know.
Found out today I have interstitial cystitis and found it's not that uncommon for those of us who have fibromyalgia.  I'm one of those people who, when the doctors say, "Well, with this you can't do that..."  "I'm dissin' ya, Doc."
Not too bad, could have been a worse diagnosis, at least no kidney stones.  My father always said, "Kidney stones are turrable, just turrable."  LOL
Thanks for the welcome back, Steve.  You're a peach without a pit.  They did a full page newspaper article on Bj down here in the paper for the Keys.  Amazing.  He is so loved down here, and in St. Croix as well.  He just is a charming, infectious with affection type of person... guess I had something to do with that.
Hope to hear from ya again soon.
P.S.  My own hours?  You are a Devil, you know.  LOL  <wink>
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Date: 06/21/05 15:15:41
To: Breigh-Baby
Cc: Ennie
Subject: Bj Poster
Breigh and Ennie:
Thought you'd like to see this.  I did these up for Charlie (Janet & Charlie), who is heading the committee for the Benefit for Will.  It's also another Memorial, "Celebration of Life," once again.  That's Bj, got to do everything TWICE as good.
"Celebration of Life"
"Bj" William Dean Ladd II  
Saturday, July 2nd
Location: Dockside Lounge
4 pm til 9 pm
Special Musical Guests
50/50 Drawings & Raffles - Games & More
Must be present to Win!
~ ~ ~
3 pm til 9 pm
Come show your love!
All Donations are for:
William Dean Ladd III, "Will"
College Fund
For more information call: Charlie Miller 000-0124

From: mccormick

Date: 06/22/05 09:13:44
To: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Subject: just thinking
so, yeah, I was thinking that you two decided to make this HUGE change in your lifes in your 40s.... that's cool.  Steve and I are looking to do the same.  Not necessarily living on the water, but...something.  We both are itching more and more now to make another change in our lives.  As you know, in the past we sold most everything and just took off; we ended up here, in Philly.  But there are things that we want to keep forever.  What did you guys do with the things you want to keep forever?  Hey, what happened to your 6 foot sofa?  Do you guys have plans to ever live on land again?  How far into the future have you guys planned?  Hey, when are you two going to Belize?  Anyway, just thinking....
Peace & Love, Shannon

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea

Date: 06/30/05 23:52:38
To: Antoinette Genesis
Subject: Stella Lost her Groove
The scoop on Stella's lost groove
Author's gay husband tells his side, claims gay-bashing, harassment
MARTINEZ, Calif. | Jun 30, 5:30 PM

Well, it looks like Stella has lost her groove, or had it stolen by a gay man.

  Jonathan Plummer alleges that his wife Terry McMillan wrote him a letter saying 'you're going to make a good fag … because most of these guys are dogs anyway.'  
Terry McMillan, the author of the best sellers "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and "Waiting to Exhale," both of which were made into movies, is in the middle of a bitter divorce from her husband, Jonathan Plummer, who told her he is gay in December.

The pair met in Jamaica, Plummer’s home, in 1995 when he was 20 and McMillan was 43. They married three years later and lived together outside San Francisco until December. Their courtship was the inspiration for "Stella," which starred Angela Bassett and Taye Diggs.

Plummer alleges that, since the breakup, McMillan has been behaving like one of the tough-but-wronged women in her novels. In the declaration that he submitted as part of his divorce papers in Contra Costa County Superior Court, Plummer says McMillan wrote him a letter in February that in part says, "The reason you're going to make a good fag is because most of these guys are dogs anyway. All of you guys are fags and you have no power except in your dicks … and your loose assholes."

He also claims that she delivered a bottle of Jamaican hot pepper sauce with the words "Fag Juice Burn Baby Burn" scrawled on it to the dog-grooming business he owns in suburban San Fran.

"Sometimes I'm just afraid of answering the phone, and it might be her lashing out at me," Plummer told this publication in an interview this week. "She hates my guts, based on the fact that I came out to her. She thinks I deceived her, but that's not the case. I find her attractive, I fell in love with her. As I got older, things changed."

Plummer says he realized he was gay about a year ago and, though single now, had relationships with men while married to McMillan.

"This is a very sad situation," McMillan's lawyer Jill Hersh told this publication. "My client feels she has been betrayed in every conceivable way, both emotionally and financially. And I think that Mr. Plummer has made a concerted effort to portray himself as a victim when he has systematically victimized my client."

Hersh says McMillan is seeking an annulment because she believes Plummer entered into it solely to gain "advantages through marriage." The couple signed a pre-nuptial agreement, but Plummer now says the agreement was unfair and one-sided and he is contesting it.

On June 17, a judge ruled against stipulations in the pre-nup and decreed that McMillan must pay Plummer monthly spousal support as well as his attorney fees until the final trial pertaining to the agreement's validity and the annulment request takes place in October.

Above Article Respectfully Reprinted from the Houston Voice Online

To: Antoinette Genesis

From: Charmaine  Date: 06/30/2005  Time: TO WAKEUP TERRY!!!!!

Somebody better stay away from JAMAICAN CHOCOLATE!!
OMG!  Too funny.
Love ya, Mainie

From: Wally Hamlin
Date: 07/01/05 09:20:42
To: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Subject: RE: Fourth of July Card
Cool card ........you guys have  a great weekend ...see ya when your weather straightens out later this year.  Wally

From: John Perry

Date: 07/01/05 15:28:44
To: Charmaine@SeptemberSea.com
Subject: Cruising for Charity - Message In A Bottle.

Dear Fellow Cruiser 

I found your contact details on the Cruising Yacht Site Ring – of which I am also a member.   

What I am hoping to do is to get as many cruising sailors as possible involved in my Message In A Bottle project. The aim of the project is for us to donate essentials to the local communities in the underprivileged, out-of-the-way places that we visit. These essentials might include such things as school books, medical supplies, fishing equipment and so on. As a participant, the choice of what you donate is yours.  

We would raise the money needed to purchase these items by offering a Message In A Bottle to anyone that makes a donation via our websites.  

How it works: You create a Message In A Bottle page on your website where visitors to your website can donate £10-00 (US$20-00) towards our project. Using their donation, you then purchase whatever you think is needed for the local community of your next port-of-call.

In return for their donation, when you are next in the middle of some ocean, you throw a bottle with your sponsors message in it, into the sea and then send them an email confirming the date and the latitude & longitude of its launch, or, if they are one of those nice environmentally conscious folk, you send a Virtual Message In A Bottle that will drift around the ether for about thirty seconds before beaching itself in their email inbox. 

What types of Message In A Bottle are available? The world of messages is your sponsor’s oyster, so to speak. Anything is possible. From birthday greetings to seasonal greetings. From declarations of love, to declarations of unpaid traffic offences. Your donors can make their message as personal as they wish. 

How does the payment work? If you don’t already have one, you will need to set up a PayPal account through which your sponsors can send their donations. PayPal will send you an email confirming their payment and will then transfer the money into your regular bank account. 

What else? Firstly, you will need to create a Message In A Bottle page on your website with a prominent link to my website so that your visitors can follow the global success of the project. Please have a look at my website to get some ideas. Once you are registered with me and are up and running, whenever you have the opportunity, please email me an update for the “Our Success” and the “Photo Album” pages. 

Registration: Once you’ve created a Message In A Bottle page on your website, all you need to do is email me a recent photograph of your boat or yourselves and include the following details: boat name, your name/s, the URL of your website and your preferred email address (please note that I use java script to hide your email address from spambots).  

If you know of any other cruising yachts that have their own websites, please forward this to them. Thank you. 

Here’s to us making a difference for the people of the places we visit.  

Best regards and fair winds. 

John Perry s/v Stingo

http://www.stingo.co.uk (Anecdotes from Stingo)


Skype userID = stingo390



Hurricane Dennis  

Hurricane Dennis July 5th - July 11th Max Winds 150 (mph) Minimum Pressure 930 (mb)

From: Steve Weinstein

Date: 07/07/05 22:45:57
To: Charmaine & Bill
Subject: Hurricane Dennis
Will you guys be okay?  I just looked at the NOAA site and as of 5/pm today it looked like you had been upgraded from Hurricane Watch to Warning.  I heard Key West was under mandatory evacuation of non-residents and visitors. I guess the parade is going by your front door about?
Anyway, I was just thinking about you guys and hope everything's okay...
1981 Cherubini Designed H33
Sailing out of Oyster Bay, NY

From: Randy Johnson

Date: 07/10/05 19:12:00
To: charmaine@septembersea.com
Subject: DENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi Guys,

Just checking in to see if you are ok............I guess you have gone to your hurricane hole in the glades.............take care.....write when you can.


Randy Johnson
"Let Your Mouse - Find Your House"

From: charmaine@septembersea.com
To: "Randy Johnson" <randyjohnson70@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: DENNIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2005 20:12:08 -0500 (CDT)

Hi Randy,

We're fine and stayed to ride Dennis out in Marathon. Hit us pretty hard but only 80 mph winds--rode it out perfectly. Boat is fine, we're just fine. Will write more when internet restored.

Much Love

Charmaine and Bill Aboard s/v September Sea

From: tiempo

Date: 07/10/05 14:30:06
To: Charmaine
Subject: Here down and under in low country GA. thinking of our dear friends in Marathon
Finally I have a decent email address for you to play with. My Charmie & Bill, we miss you soooo much, and especially miss the personal back and forth for touching base with you, and really finding out how you really are, Have been doing a lot of teak brite work. please do not call me that dirty name....."Kroganite" .... Even tho, they are down under pretty sincere and great people... just that, we DO NOT keep up with the JONES's, just have to save what we got!!!!  All is well here, but toooooooo dang hotttttt. Whew, we are having the wind sucked outta us, and we feel you got it allll!!!!  Are you in Shark River, or on the way or WHAT.

DAYAM as you say, every year is getting more complicated.  All is well here, we, are enjoying the beach walks here, and the beautiful Spanish Moss hanging everywhere, and the huge Oak, Magnolia, and Pine trees, Very beautiful-a low country kinda peaceful feeling here.  SO miss hearing from you, please let us know how you REALLY are. You would love this....... We are very involved with the 12 Tribes so called cult here.  Have known them for years, and every one on our dock is worried--that perhaps we are getting sucked in.  Can you imagine Edwin getting snow balled????  Anyway, we love these people and what they do, all organic food, baking own bread and creams and lotions and potions, and energy Mata tea, and all things great.  They are huge in the community here in tiny Brunswick, Ga., and ALL new cruisers are hugely suspicious.  They own 5 houses here and have a huge IRON WOOD hull 94' awesome vessel called AVANY.  Look up their web site- www.TwelveTribes.com  Have known them for years, and every one here thinks we are crazy to even talk to them. Any way, they are forever stopping over to see us to bring us fresh bread, and chat with us.  Our Dirk is nervous we are involved as well, but actually he could do worse to get involved himself with this group/cult.  We see nothing but good in them..

Anyway, their vessel is outstanding--full of stained glass all through the interior. They all wear long skirts, bloomers, loose fitting clothes, and all have long hair tied in a pony tail, both male and female, Ed and Dirk say that if I get fitted for bloomers, they are outta here, any way check it out= www.TwelveTribes.com and all their controversy.  Interesting.  Have to get together with you to have a girlfriend thing my Charmie, miss the heck outta you.  Hope you are holding up and getting through the rest of the season OK. LOVE you soooooo much!!!!!  Give Garth and Rob a huge love from us, and all the gang.  My heart aches for all you two have been through.

Much much love, Peggy n EDwin Huge hugs and sooooo many memories of all the gang there.  Stay so safe, and we are thinking of you and praying for you, we love you so much, you are in our hearts!!!!

EarthLink Revolves Around You.

From: Martha Nickelson
Date: 07/13/05 08:06:45
To: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Subject: Hello
Portrait is wonderful.  Gary did a great job.  We have one of Dockside in our boat.  Before Dockside got all the new paint jobs and remodeling.  We liked it all the original way. 
All is good here, rainy from Hurricane Dennis, but that is mild.  Kids are keeping us busy.  Our oldest Grand daughter, Whitney 15, has been here to help most of summer.  I have been taking her to Bowling Green weekly for guitar lessons and of course shopping for school.  Her band practice starts next Tuesday, so I loose my helper.  Can you believe they start school band practice so early?  School starts the 1st of August.  Summer is almost over. 
We are watching the grass turn green again.  It was so dry for a month with no rain.  I am afraid the farmers will not have the crop they want this season.  Not in this area anyway. 
Take care and again.  Portrait is wonderful......... 
Keep in touch,
Marty & LaMar
Cruising on the " Martha Lou"

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Date: 07/12/05 13:44:23
To: Kathleen Davison
Subject: Re: Tropical Storm Emily
Hello my Darlings,
So sorry to have not been in touch with you.  My computer had been acting strange and finally went kaput.  I should have known something was wrong and waited too late to fix it.  Finally got the part in and now I'm up and running.  The bad thing is that all my email addresses are in this account and it can't be accessed unless I'm on my computer.  I know, I know... I'll make a back-up copy so this never happens again.
Emily the Evil is rearing her ugly head trying to catch up with her boyfriend, Dennis the Menace.  I tell ya, we are off to a huge start to the Hurricane Season of 2005.  It's like de ja vu.  We faired very well during Dennis.  We had waited one day too late to get out of here to the Little Shark.  Hadn't thought about keeping an eye closely on the Gulf Side as to sea conditions.  Wouldn't ya know it, the day we were going to leave, something told me to check out the Gulf Side and Dennis was already kicking up something fierce from that far out.  25 knot winds in the Gulf with rough seas.  Holy crappola.  Didn't make any sense to try to take that voyage to the Little Shark by putting ourselves in harm's way from the get go.  So we stayed.
We had winds here of 80 mph.  Fortunately, back here at the Resort, we're down low from everything else.  The condos protected us from the SSE beautifully.  We never rocked, not once.  Chris and Yani of s/v Magus rode it out over at Dockside and Chris told us that his sailboat's toerail was in the water many times.  He said it's the most wind he's ever faced and won't
do it again at a marina.  We were shocked.  However, when you look at Boot Key Harbor and how open it is on the very East end, and the fact that the open Golf Course faces them on the south side, they really had little protection from the winds.  Chris said he heard his wind generator blades zing off in the middle of the night.  He said he tied them down... okay.  hahaha  I remember once he had to go back and find his dinghy that was being towed behind his sailboat... he said, "I can't believe that bowline (knot) didn't hold."  I told him, "If you'd a tied it properly, it would have!"
Oh well.  Here's a huge hug and kiss for you both and stay safe.  It's amazing that in Grenada (where two years ago people would say "are you crazy .. we don't get hurricanes below the 10th latitude").  How time changes things.  Subsequently, we're watching Emily very, very closely.  We won't wait and find ourselves in the position where we can't go to the Little
Shark.  We'll leave one day early just to be on the safe side.
Hunker down and you'll be fine, I just know it.  We all have to be fine because we have an exciting date to keep in St. Croix.  We miss you both so very, very much.
I want to give you Breighan's email so that if you find you can't contact us Breigh always knows what is going on as we call her on our satellite phone if need be. 


Love you both so much.  Dayam how we miss you!
Much Love, Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea 
From: Kitty Araiyama
Date: 07/12/05 19:35:34
To: Charmaine
Dear Heart,
Thank you so much for letting me know you are safe and sound from the storms afflicting the coasts at this time.  I would indeed have been worried.
Think I'll take this note to catch you up on what is going on with this kid.  Had my surgery in Mexico on June 29.  Today I ate a chicken breast and it is stuck!  My fault, should not have eaten the whole darned thing, but old habits die hard.
Other than wanting to eat too much chicken, I'm doing very well.  Feeling a bit weaker than normal, but the reduced calories explain that I believe.  Have lost weight, but don't know how much as did not own a scale until yesterday.  Bought one from ebay and am waiting for it to arrive.
The horses are going to arrive on Aug. 1 at noon.  We are frantically building corrals, barns, and round pens.  I have bought our buggy, Sweetheart, and it is waiting for us in Colorado. 
We hired a caretaker Sunday.  He is a quiet small man who took care of a cemetery for 20 years and is ready to move to the mountains and tend horses.  I really like him. 
Deacon is working too hard, has bad headaches and body aches, but trucks on as he must.  He is a warrior and will do what needs to be done.
Have 3 of our beautiful horses here at this time.  I will have to send you pictures when we get them taken.
I love the picture of Bj, it really does catch him as he appears in the photo.  The picture of Bj and his sister is very precious.  That love is forever.
I am thinking of you my dear, precious friend.  When you are weary and sad, lean on me.  Though we have not met, I think our friendship is older than the hills, and goes back longer than memory.
Hugs forever,
and from Deacon too

From: Walter Smith
Date: 07/12/05 20:02:05
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Portraits of Bj
Hello Coz,
These photos of BJ, and the rest of the family are just just beautiful. I would love to have copies of the photos you mention in this email for myself as well. I was also glad to hear that you, and Bill were alright after Daniel came through your area. I always pray for my family both near, and far because that it is the best I have to offer along with my love that never, ever changes. Please tell Bill I said hello, and know that I love you both very much.


From: John Porter

Date: 07/12/05 22:27:59
Charmaine:  A friend of mine had a picture made of Christian after he was killed, and it was so lifelike that I had to take it down from the living room where I had hung it originally and moved it to a room that I did not go in often.  Every time I looked at his picture, his eyes would follow me around the room.  I finally told him, "Chris I like you and I miss you, but you have to stop following me around."  I hope BJ doesn't do that to you.  If he is, tell him to go play basketball with Chris.  love You!  Say Hi to Bill  Remember, Joy shared is twice as good and Pain shared is half as bad.

Hurricane Emily

Hurricane Emily July 11th - July 21st Maximum Winds 155 (mph) Minimum Pressure 930 (mb)

Hurricane Emily - Satellite picture over the Yucatan taken 7-19-2005.

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea

Date: 07/18/05 09:57:49
To: Livaboard List
Subject: Re: Cozumel EMILY & Boat Size
Hey all, just spent the last two days and nights on the phone to our dear friends who are in Mexico (yup, at  the Barcelo Maya hotel which is about 15 miles west of the Southern tip of Cozumel -- on the "dirty" side of Hurricane Emily and right smack where the eye hit... near Tulum).  We lost communication as Hurricane Emily reached land, I did speak with them for about fifteen minutes of the initial impact and they were doing well.  I expect to hear all went fine as the Hotel was built in 1999 and able to easily withstand 135-160 mph winds from Emily and her EYE.  If any of you have heard more than I, please pass the information along.  I'd appreciate it.
I think it's amazing that it seems only one person so far had a satellite phone (on Playa del Carmen), very near the strike zone as well -- and definitely in the high winds.  He talked with CNN just an hour ago and said all is well.  Some trees down but didn't seem to be any major structural damage (of the Resort areas).  Cancun is fine as well.
Now... back to Boat Size.  Just a few other things to mention for those who are interested:
Often times your boat chooses you, if it's near your price range (LOL).  Otherwise, my main point is that linear footage is not always indicative of lack of (or ample) space.  Our 36-foot sloop is much larger than a 32-footer, and I don't mean only by 4 feet in length.  Everything is bigger; wider; taller (freeboard); as a boat's length increases, so does everything else, exponentially.
Also, center cockpit boats can offer tons of space even in the smaller sizes due to the higher freeboard (meaning lots of headroom below decks), and usually a nice large aft cabin.  Many CC boats have two heads, one adjoining the V-berth and community space, and the other in the Owner's Sleeping Cabin.
Great example for impressive space per linear foot are the Scylla Swallowcraft boats.  Go to Yachtworld and look around, find the boats that show most all the angles and areas of the boat.
For those who haven't seen the differences in space, all boats of the same linear footage are not created equal.  There are 40-footers I've been on that don't have the "open" spaces on my 36-footer.  So besides length, it's make, model, CC or not, and many other yada yada yadas.
The thing here is to try and offer people who may not know exactly what they want -- a manner of weeding out and narrowing down, realistically, the right boat for their respective needs.  Judy's needs are pretty clear with a claustrophobic mate (however, I too am claustrophobic [got hives inside an elevator!], yet have learned ways to accommodate myself.  I actually sleep in our Owner's cabin, which I thought would be an impossibility in my lifetime.  (We have a king-sized convertible bed in the salon, that was my security blanket for six months.  I took the door off the hinges in the Owner's cabin and would go in there and read... before I knew it I'd be cat napping... you get the idea).  The door's back on its hinges and I'm very comfortable in there now.
The trick is to try to keep an open-mind with regard to size, as so many people find they buy boats larger than they really needed (cause they didn't know what they needed).  Hopefully, with a thread such as this one, it will give pause to some who think they too could never live aboard "anything less than 40 feet."  My husband was one of those people... didn't take long before he was seeing things differently.  I suppose he felt that if I (Miss Claustraphobic) could handle it... so could he.  He's 6'2 and loves our boat just the way it is and is so thankful I got him to consider looking at smaller vessels.  (You know, the "What's the harm in looking?" routine.)
So my advice to anyone who is looking for their perfect boat, and has never owned one... to think practically.  If you've never lived aboard or owned a boat, you have to start somewhere... so take baby steps and do extensive research on boats and their sizes (and layouts, yes... VERY important).  When you think you have found what you want, see if you can find another one like it to charter for a few days.  Even with one or two other people on board, it will give you a sense of what it's like on a boat that size.  Don't like it, try another layout or model.  Then work your way to finding the boat that fits your comfort level.  But don't forget that with more boat comes more everything else... including headaches.  That's the way it is with anything. 
Hopefully, as we've all pretty much agreed on this List, your boat will find you.  Let's just say I think it's advantageous to try to increase the odds of it being the right choice by making a decision based on education, not emotion.  "Dreamboats" are often... well, like in life: not necessarily "reality" boats.
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Date: 07/29/05 12:24:35
Subject: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner????
Hey my Sweet One,
Girl... do I have some bombshell news for you!!
Are you ready?  You sure?
Oh Peggy, this is like a miracle.  A gift from God above.  It's so incredible.
Bj has a DAUGHTER!!  Yes, a little girl named Diana.  She will be six years old on August 5th.  We are
stunned.  She looks just like Will, Bj's son.  Will's mother met with Diana's mother, Rebecca, just the other night.
Rebecca called Melissa and told her she really wanted to be in contact with us and had never been
able to find out where we are.  Melissa called me and gave me Rebecca's phone number and we talked for
hours.  Rebecca cried when I told her, "Oh my God, we have another grandchild! What a gift from God."
She said she had no idea how we would react or if we'd want contact, but said she knew from Bj that we are a very loving family.  She said she always thought taht if we knew about Diana we would have made contact.  She's absolutely RIGHT.
My WHOLE family is beside themselves.  They want to know WHO WHAT WHERE WHEN HOW and
"When do we get to meet her?"  They are so excited. SOOOO excited.
Here's a picture of Diana with her big brother Will (they met for the first time the other night).  Girl, have mercy, my sisters say she looks just like I did when I was her age.  Incredible. The resemblance between
she and Will is amazing. She and Will played together like they've lived together their whole lives.  Rebecca
said she has never seen anything so amazing.

I will call you and we'll talk.  Let this picture soak in:



I'm SCREAMING with JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




 Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!

 Charmaine & Bill

Aboard s/v September Sea

From: Peggy & Edwin
Date: 07/29/05 14:51:09
To: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Subject: Diana & Will
Please send pic again to me--I have the prob. solved, just followed the instructions on the "the page cannot be displayed" page. And with all my poking around I deleted my web mail, before I even knew what was there. So I wait with baited breath. Love you girl.....peek-a-boo  Charmie---your news is good for you, and you have enough love and warmth for the whole world--even with your already HUGE family. You are all one Unit, and you are a living community all of your own--even if you do not have Little House on the Prairie clothes-or Bloomers.  I love you...peek-a-boo

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea

Date: 07/29/05 19:09:42
To: Peggy & Edwin
Subject: Re: Diana & Will
Girl, I know you were saying "BAITED BREATH" loud and clear so I could hear you all the way over here.
I called Rebecca, Diana's mother and we talked for a while.  She's fantastic.  A wonderful girl.  We're so excited about Diana.  To have another grandchild AFTER your son has died, is truly a miracle.  I cannot help but KNOW this was somehow all meant to be.

Rebecca says when she returns on Monday from camping, she wants to meet Cheyenne right away.  Now get this... interesting.  When I told her about Cheyenne, my sister, she gasped.

"What's the matter?"
"Oh my God.  Did you say Cheyenne?"
Lord, what is happening here.
"I was this close to naming Diana -- Cheyenne.  We have Blackfoot Indian in our family and I wanted to name her Cheyenne Sioux."
"Shut up, Girl.  Get outta here!"
"No, it's the truth.  You can ask my mother.  It's true.  I don't know why I changed at the last second and named her Diana Jean for my grandmothers."
"I'm dayam glad you didn't name her Cheyenne or I'd have a tougher time with my sister trying to claim my kids as hers!  That would just have sealed it.  She'd have a grandchild!"
We both laughed.  What a delightful young lady Rebecca is.  Only twenty-four years old and has a good handle on things.  She is anxious to meet all of Bj's family.  She told me that she always sent Bj pictures of Diana. 
Peg, Bj never said a word about it.
She also said that she thought one day, some day, Bj would call and say, "I want to see my daughter." 
She says she will believe that til the day she dies. 
I did some reorganizing after our chat.  Bought a shelf to put our printer on so it won't be ON the guest berth.  It's amazing.  Fits perfectly.  Of course that misplaced some other items, so I decided that the whole pantry needed to be reworked.  Another shelf.  Yeah.  Perfect. 
Now I can get a bowl without lifting something out of it!
Fantastic.  Quicker to the calories, just what I need.  Ha!
I AM LOVING YOU, my Peek-a-Boo.  Kisses to My Edwin.
Hugs and Kisses,
Your Charmie 

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Date: 08/01/05 14:07:29
To: Peggy & Edwin
Subject: So Very Sorry



We're so sorry, my Sweet Edwin and Peggy.

 We have you in our prayers.

 Love and condolences to Dirk.

 Be safe. 

Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea


From: Jo Powers

Date: 08/02/05 16:14:08
To: Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea
Subject: Women's Day
She's sitting at the table with her gourmet coffee.
Her son is on the cover of the Wheaties box.
Her daughter is on the cover of Business Week.
Her boyfriend is on the cover of Playgirl.
And her husband is on the back of the milk carton.
"Cash, check or charge?" I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase.  As she fumbled for her wallet I noticed a television remote control in her purse. 
"So, do you always carry your TV remote?" I asked.
"No," she replied, "but my husband refused to come shopping with me, and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally."
I know I'm not going to understand women.
I'll never understand how you can take boiling hot wax, pour it onto your upper thigh, rip the hair out by the root, and still be afraid of a spider.
While attending a Marriage Seminar dealing with communication, Tom and his wife Grace listened to the instructor, "It is essential that husbands and wives know each other's likes and dislikes."
He addressed the man, "Can you name your wife's favorite flower?"
Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, "It's Pillsbury, isn't it?
A man walks into a pharmacy and wanders up and down the aisles. The sales girl notices him and asks him if she can help him. He answers that he is looking for a box of tampons for his wife. She directs him down the correct aisle. A few minutes later, he deposits a huge bag of cotton balls and a ball of string on the counter. She says, confused, "Sir, I thought you were looking for some tampons for your wife?
He answers, " You see, it's like this yesterday, I sent my wife to the store to get me a carton of cigarettes, and she came back with a tin of tobacco and some rolling papers; cause it's sooo-ooo--oo-ooo much cheaper. So, I figure if I have to roll my own .......... so does she.
( I figure this guy is the one on the milk carton! )
A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word.  An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position. As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?"

"Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."

A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day...30,000 to a man's 15,000.The wife replied, "The reason must be because we have to repeat everything to men...

The husband turned to his wife and asked, "What?"

A man said to his wife one day, "I don't know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time.
" The wife responded, "Allow me to explain.  God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me; God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!
A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning.
The wife said, "You should do it, because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee."
The husband said, " You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee."
Wife replies, "No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee."
Husband replies, "I can't believe that, show me."
So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says...


A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment.
Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, "Please wake me at 5:00 AM." He left it where he knew she would find it.
The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, "It is 5:00 AM. Wake up."

Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.


God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.

From: Wally Hamlin
Sent: Friday, August 05, 2005 4:13 PM
To: William Ladd
Subject: Storm

Bill please share this with  Charmaine Thanks Wally

Wally Hamlin

Stop telling God how big your storm is.

Instead tell your storm how big your GOD is!  In Phoenix, Arizona, a 26-year-old mother stared  down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of terminal leukemia. Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent, she wanted her son to grow up and fulfill all his dreams. Now that was no longer possible.. The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son's dreams to come true. She took her son's hand and asked, "Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life?" Mommy, "I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up." Mom smiled back and said, "Let's see if we can make your wish come true."

Later that day she went to her local fire department in Phoenix, Arizona, where she met Fireman Bob, who had a heart as big as Phoenix. She explained her son's final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her six-year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine. Fireman Bob said, "Look, we can do better than that. If you'll have your son ready at seven o'clock Wednesday morning, we'll make him an honorary fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards! And if you'll give us ! his sizes, we'll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat-not a toy one-with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker like we wear and rubber boots. They're all manufactured right here in Phoenix, so we can get them fast."

Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Billy, dressed him in his fire uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck. Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire station. He was in heaven. There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Billy got to go out on all three calls. He rode in the different fire engines, the paramedic's van, and even the fire chief's car. He was also videotaped for the local news program. Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so deeply touched Billy that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible.

One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse, who believed in the hospice concept that no one should die alone, began to call the family members to the hospital. Then she remembered the day Billy had spent as a fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he made his transition. The chief replied, "We can do better than that. We'll be there in five minutes. Will you please do me a favor? When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the PA system that there is not a fire? It's just the fire department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you please open the window to his room.  

About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Billy's third floor open window 16 firefighters climbed up the ladder into Billy's room. With his mother's permission, they all hugged him and held him and told him how much they loved him. With his dying breath, Billy looked up at the fire chief and said, "Chief, am I really a fireman now?"

"Billy, yes you are, and the Head Chief is Jesus, holding your hand," the chief said.

With those words, Billy smiled and said, "I know, He's been holding my hand all day, and the angels have been singing..." Billy then closed his eyes one last time.


Stop telling God how big your storm is. 

Instead tell your storm how big your GOD is !!!

The great pleasure in life is doing what others tell you you can't do. - Hellen Keller.

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Date: 08/15/05 17:10:36
To: Peggy & Edwin
Subject: The Book
Hey my Darlings,
Almost done with Bj's things... but just ran across a book "Voyaging Under Sail."  Had a warm sentiment from 1977 in the inside cover from you, Peg, to your Darling Edwin "For when the dream becomes a reality."  It was then signed again to Bj with the same sentiment.  Cried my eyes out.
Just wanted you both to know that Bj didn't keep many things...but he kept that book. 
I love you... WE love you.
Your Charmie & Bill
Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Date: 08/16/05 15:11:47
To: All my Sisters, Daughters, Aunts and Cousins....
Subject: The One Flaw

Note: My daughter Breighan loves this one....


The One Flaw

By the time the Lord made woman,
He was into his sixth day of working overtime.
An angel appeared and said,
"Why are you spending so much time on this one?"

And the Lord replied, "Look at my spec sheet on her.
She has to be completely washable, but not plastic,
have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable
and able to run on diet coke and leftovers,
have a lap that can hold four children at one time,
have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart
-and she will do everything
with only two hands."

The angel was astounded at the requirements.

"Only two hands!? No way!
And that's just on the standard model?
That's too much work for one day.
Wait until tomorrow to finish."

But I won't," the Lord stated.

"I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.
She already heals herself when she is sick
AND can work 18 hour days."

The angel moved closer and touched the woman.

"But you have made her so soft, Lord."

"She is soft," the Lord agreed,

"but I have also made her tough.
You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish."

"Will she be able to think?", asked the angel.

The Lord replied,

"Not only will she be able to think,
she will be able to reason and negotiate."

The angel then noticed something,

and reaching out, touched the woman's cheek.
"Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.
I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one."

"That's not a leak,"

the Lord corrected,
"that's a tear!"

"What's the tear for?" the angel asked.

The Lord said, "The tear is her way of expressing her joy,

her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love,
her loneliness, her grief and her pride."

The angel was impressed.
"You are a genius, Lord.
You thought of everything!
Woman is truly amazing."

And she is!

Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens,
but they hold happiness,
love and joy.

They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy
and laugh when they are nervous.

They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don't take "no" for an answer
when they believe there is a better solution.

They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.

They cry when their children excel
and cheer when their friends get awards.

They are happy when they hear about
a birth or a wedding.

Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member,
yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss
can heal a broken heart.

Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They'll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you
to show how much they care about you.

The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.
They have compassion and ideals.

They give moral support to their family and friends.
Women have vital things to say and everything to give.

However, there is one flaw in women, it is that they often forget their worth.

Here's letting You know you're worth so very, very much to Me.

Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Juanita Barton

Date: 08/21/05 08:20:30
To: charmaine
Subject: Re: Boxes and Tears
Received: The dream, I think GOD wants you & Bill to know THAT ALL IS WELL.. love & peace..

From: Stephen M. Hollingsworth
Date: 08/21/05 21:11:09
To: 'Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea'
Subject: RE: New Photos of Lancer September Sea


Thanks so much for the updates, you and Bill have done a wonderfull job with September Sea.

Btw, If you have any recommendations for the web site, please let me know. I really wish that I had more time to devote and develop new ideas for the web site, but since I sold my Lancer 25 and now have upgraded (Capri 26) and with my new responsibilities at the yacht club, I sometimes struggle just to find time to respond to all of the emails that I receive from all of the (wonderfull) responses that I get from all of the Lancer owners. You guys are the biggest reason that I still maintain the site and I will always find the time as long as the Lancer owners group remains so active. I am really impressed with how the group is growing and responding to the web site and I am happy to be a part of it. I just really wish that the Capri owners were as pro-active as the Lancer owners. Lol…..

Please continue to stay in touch, I always enjoy hearing from you and Bill.  



Date: 08/21/05 21:54:12
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Friends & Family
Hi Charmaine just checking out your web site... Maddy enjoys some of your e-mails also. Hope all is well.. We are all good and thank you for continuing to send us things although I am very busy I do enjoy them.............Love Diana and Family PS I think of you guys every day!
From: Joe Ladd
Date: 08/21/05 22:53:57
To: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Subject: Re: Our Little Miracle
Dear Charmaine and Bill:  We just got home from Colorado the past week.  WE had already Had the chance to read about your new grandaughter and our Great Grand daughter.   It is  so nice and like you say a miracle.  The picture came through to Dan's so good and we all marvel at what a pretty little girl she is.   I had so much mail when I got home, so I must make this short and get back to the  rest of my mail.  Write more later.  Love Freida
How ghetto is you?

1.    You've ever used an album cover for a dustpan.   (5 points)

2.   If you've ever run a race barefoot in the middle of the street.  (10points)
3.   You had a candy lady in your neighborhood.   (5 + 5 extra points if your house was the candy lady).
4.   If you ever had to pick your own switch or belt.   (3 points for each)
5.   If you have ever had to walk to school or walked home from school.   (2 points)
6.   If you have ever used dishwashing liquid for bubble bath.   (5 points)
7.   If you ever mixed Kool-Aid one glass at a time because others kept drinking up all Kool-Aid you just made.  (5 points)
8.   If you have ever played these games: hide and go seek, freeze, tag, Momma may I? or red light/green light. (2 points ea.)
9.   If your neighborhood had an ice cream man.  (2 points + 2 additional points if he rang a bell)
10. If you refer to "Now and Later" candies as "Nighladers."   (5 points)
11.  If you've ever run from the police on foot.   (5 points + 5 additional points if you got away)
12.  If you've ever had reusable bacon grease in a container on your stove.   (5 points + 15 additional if you still have one)
13.  If the batteries in your remote control have ever been held in by a piece of tape.   (5 points)
14.  If you have ever worn any of the following: Brute, Hai Karate, Jean Nate, Old Spice, Chloe, English Leather, Stetson, Charlie, or Faberge.  (1 point each)
15.  If you've ever used Tussy.  (5 points)
16.  If you've never been to the dentist.   (15 points)
17.  If you have a friend or family member whose nickname is one word said twice: (e.g.) dee-dee, Kay-Kay, ree-ree, day-day, nay-nay, ray-ray, etc.  (10 points)
18.  If you have ever paged yourself for any reason.   (3 points)
19.  If you've ever worn house shoes outside of the house.   (2 points)
20.  If you add "ED" or "T" to the end of words already in the past tense (for example, Tooked, Light-Skinnedded, kilt, ruint, etc.) (5 points)
21.  If you use 'n'em to describe a certain group of people ( for example Craig'n'em or Diane Fay 'n'em).   (5 points)
22.  If you've ever driven on a donut more than 2 weeks after your flat.  (5points)
23.  If your child drops his/her pacifier and you sanitize it by sucking it yourself.  (10 points)
24.  If you have ever slept in a chair to avoid messing up your hair.   (10 points)
25.  If you've ever left a social gathering with a plate (full of food).  (2 points)
26.  If you can't hold a glass because of the length of your nails.   (5 points)
27.  If the gold teeth in your mouth spell words.   (10 points)
28.  If you don't have your own place but your child has a leather coat and a pair of Jordan's.   (15 points)
29.  If you constantly hit *69 and ask, "Did you just call here?"  (10 points)
30.  If you think Tupac is still alive.   (20 points)
31.  If you are going to have to use a calculator to add up all your points.  (25points)
--------- Now the totals...
0 - 50 points - I guess you were raised in the suburbs
51 - 75 points - A bonafide ex-hood rat
76 - 150 points - Spent a little time in the projects, huh?
150 points or more - Still there, huh?

Terri Featherston

From: Jai Dewith
Date: 08/22/05 11:58:57
To: charmaine
Subject: RE: Ghetto Score 66 for me; Bill got a 31
charmaine, so we´re ex-ghetto kidz!  poor bill, only a 31...  hey i had a wonderful dream last night of u and bill.  me, and i think shannon and titia were traveling with u guys as you traveled around the world scattering bj´s ashes in very special, beautiful and unique places. boy!  the places we went in my dream were incredible! breathtaking!  places i think i created in my dream - yáll would`ve loved it - u did love it in my dream and had a wonderful peaceful time doing it....
how cool is that? here´s a hug and kiss....
love uz.
paz y tranquilidad
jai in venezuela
From: Peggy & Edwin
Date: 08/15/05 15:29:33
To: Charmaine@SeptemberSea.com
Subject: Returned
Hey guys, we had a wonderful trip, in spite of circumstances.  We are now getting ready to be gone 3 weeks in Sept. leaving the 7th to go to Nicaragua, to check it out, as well as Panama, and Costa Rica to find out if this is where we want to settle.  The USA is unaffordable for us, and we no longer "Fit In"!!!! And we know we would have our loved, dearest friends visiting us, if for nothing else-outta curiosity.  We do well in 3rd world, and I will personally get very involved in volunteering my services for the needy. We did this in Guatemala, and it is very fulfilling.  Soooo we will let you know re: that venture.  We had a miserable flight to and from Germany, we were both times stuck in the middle of crying, screaming babies, for the full duration of the trip both ways.  Took us 2 days of coma state to come around.  Had good visits with family and friends while in Deutschland and lotsa kuchan; wiener schnitzel; schinken and brocht!!!!! Could not fasten our seat belts on return--needed extension.  All well, more later-loved your jokes, and love you both sooooo much--kisses to both and our Breigh.  Peggy & Edwin

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea

Date: 08/15/05 16:02:14
To: Peggy & Edwin
Subject: Re: Returned
Hey my Loves,
So glad you're back... and all without having killed one person!  There truly are miracles in this life.  LOL   I learned a little trick a long time ago for babies on airplanes... sit near the screaming child and talk about all the brats you've cooked in your oven.  Needless to say, the mother finds a way to get another seat... or the flight attendants ask you to sit somewhere else.  WORKS FOR ME!
Added some pictures to the website at the Celebration of Life page.  Diana, Bj's daughter has visited with my family in Illinois and is now one of the bunch.  Oh she is so adorable.  I've talked to her on the phone.  She tells me, "Hi Grandma.  I love you."  What a darling treasure.
Our family has just taken over!  Cheyenne is beside herself with so much love and genuine thankfulness for this little bundle of total joy added to our lives.  She looks very much like Bj and Will.  And, I will admit, the girl has my nose... oh the genes we pass on. 
Just got all the boxes of Bj's personal effects.  Oh Peggy, what a time we've had opening everything and going through all Bj's things.  The things he kept were treasures to him: pictures of Breighan, Will, us, his family. All the cards from friends at Dockside for his Bon Voyage Party... tons of cards.  His wallet is a plethora of information.  I've never seen so many slips of paper with women's names on them... and he never wrote one!  Have mercy.
Getting his (my) computer up and running, that should be a treat.  Let's hope no more Peek-a-Boo shit... hahahaa.  Well, he can always tell em up in Heaven that he got that honest... from his Mother and Aunt Peggy.  What a hoot.
We're charging his phone as I type this.  I know I called his number at least ten times since he passed.  Just wanted to hear his voice.  Can't wait to get so many phone numbers of his friends I haven't had... I mean how do you look up "Tone Deaf Tim" or "Upchuck Carl."  LOL 
Oh my.  I have cried at least twenty times during the unpacking... so many memories.   I'm sure you've been going through a lot with family since the death of Edwin's mother.  I tell ya, the older we get the more time we spent at funerals.  I'm hoping that the majority of the visit was wonderful.  Sure sounded like it in your email.
I miss you Peggy.
Give my love to Edwin.  Tell him I'm saving up hugs to give him... should be a big crushing one by the time I see you again.
Oh, to be crushed.
What love.
Charmaine (& Bill) Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Date: 08/16/05 13:06:40
To: Antoinette Genesis; Ennie; Cheboone; Iris; jai lanre; John Porter; Shannon & Steve McCormick; Letitia & Bill Anderson; Shelly ladd & Ken; Tempi Smith Duffey aka Tempestuous
Cc: Breigh-Baby; Buddy; Melissa
Subject: Boxes and Tears
Hey my Sweet, Darlings
It really was very tough going through Bj's belongings.  Took us nearly all day and about ten breakdowns of crying my eyes out.  Bill cried all day too.  Way too many memories and the realization that our son really is gone from his earthy existence.
However, I want to tell you what happened the night before the boxes arrived.  I had a dream.  In the dream, it didn't feel like a dream at all.  Suddenly it was that Bj and I were here on the boat. 
"Bj, what happened," I asked.  The pain in my heart was very real and it was quite evident why I asked the question.
He had a look on his face that was as if he were so disappointed, he said: "Mom, I messed up.  I was sick and before I knew it, 36 hours had passed and I didn't take my insulin.  Man.  Oh Mom..."
We then fell back on the bed where we were sitting and I just held him.  It's all I've really wanted since he died.  Just to talk to him again, to see him, to hold him... to smell him.  I got that.  That morning I felt so much better... then the boxes arrived.
Their contents showed me how much Bj loved his family.  His wallet held a very few pictures: there were two of Breighan, both lovely pictures, his god-sister Alison (and one of Alison's daughter Hailey) both pictures of each of them in one of their dance outfits -- just beautiful; a family picture of Bj, Breigh, Bill and myself right before he left... and pictures of his son, Will (it was a soccer pic that showed all Will's stats -- too cute).
The corners of every picture were worn and softened, no doubt from the exercise of being taken out of his wallet to be shown to others, then returned.  He loved showing people pictures of his family.  He may have, too, looked at them often himself.
He also kept many of the Bon Voyage cards he received.  Especially the ones from Dockside where groups of people signed them... and the footballs that were passed around and signed. 
Going through his wallet was really something.  He has tons of cards in there, attesting to his excellent marksmanship with every firearm and assault rifle you could imagine; his Roofers Local Union card (he worked for one summer as a roofer and loved it), his accolades from his years as a Corrections Officer at Stateville Prison in Joliet, IL.  A miniature of his birth certificate... that about did me in...  
Then his phone.  All the numbers of people who are so far away that may have not heard of Bj's death.  His phone rings and I can't get the courage to pick it up and answer.  Maybe I will today.
Bill reminded me we have boxes of Bj's here in storage that must be gone through as well.  He was waiting for these to arrive to even mention it.  Also, we have storage in Springfield and it contains much of Bj's possessions he left behind when he moved from Joliet to down here in the Keys. We'll be sure to go through those things when we come home.  Should be sooner than later.
I believe we will be stronger each time.  The things he had with him on the boat in St. Croix are much more personal.  Things he used all the time.  Things he used, probably, the day he died.  That made it very, very difficult to go through them.  The other boxes in storage have been sitting there for years.  Perhaps because of that, it will be easier to sift through.
Or not.
I'll surely give it LOTS of thought before digging in next time.   Bill kept saying, Are you ready?  (I
was think: NO.)
I wasn't ready, yet I couldn't bear asking him to pick up those heavy boxes once again and take them off the boat to a neutral place until I gained emotional strength for their unpacking.  Especially
since his back has been bothering him.
I should have still said "No."
Love you with all my heart.  Kisses & Hugs.  We miss you guys. You are all very special gifts to us.
Charmaine (& Bill) Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: John Porter
Date: 08/15/05 21:59:28
Charmaine:  Unless you already have done so, I would not do it until you are mentally ready.  Lots of love to you and Bill.
From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Date: 08/16/05 12:23:52
To: John Porter
Subject: Boxes and Tears
Hey my Brother,
Received your email too late to think about it... and kind of wish I would have given it more thought at the time, John.  Anywho, much thanks for your words of wisdom!  If anyone would know... you sure would; in the future I'll be talking to you BEFORE I make such emotional decisions.
It really was very tough going through those boxes.  Took us nearly all day and about ten breakdowns of crying my eyes out.  Bill cried all day too.  Way too many memories and the realization that our son really is gone from his earthy existence.   I really should have waited for your thoughts on that... I should have waited.  You've been through this... well, you as you well know, one never gets through it...  I love you John.



Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina August 23rd - August 30th Maximum Winds 175 (mph) Minimum Pressure 902 (mb)

From: Charmaine
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2005 11:39 AM
To: Shannon & Steve
Cc: Andy; Antoinette Genesis; Aunt TeTe; becca keffer; Big Ed; Breigh-Baby; Bren Bren; Brooke Grosenheider; BRUCE & SHERRI; Buddy; Bryce Rosene; Cheboone; Danny & Diane; David; Dawn Hamlin; Deanna Shaughnessy; Debbie Grant; Denise Lilley; Denny & Judy Aboard; Diana in Wrigleyville; Eagle Scout & Leen; Edie; Enyo; Ennie; Ernest & Betty; Iris; jai lanre; Janet & Greggers; Jeannie and Philip; Jeff & Marty; Jo Powers; John Murray; John Porter; Lanny Stowe Lonie; Letitia & Bill; Melissa; Michael & Sandee; Mighty Mite; Mom & Dad Hotmail; Nae 'Nae; Pat Schad; Norma Jean & Jim; Reece & Dianna; Rose Caillier; Scottie; Shelly & Ken; Sister Kitty (Deacon); Skip Makely; Steve & Beth (Four Ladds); Steve Ladd; Suzi; Tempestuous; Toddkins; Tom & Ellen; Wally Hamlin; Walter my Cuz; Wolfie, my German son
Subject: Maybe Hurricane Katrina?

Hey my Darlings,
Katrina should make landfall by this evening or early tomorrow morning.  She is on a path that will see her arrive between Miami and West Palm Beach, or there abouts (if you don't know Florida that well, that would put her around Ft. Lauderdale).  When you look at her tracking, at an excellent website called www.wunderground.com, you'll see she will be of little threat to us down here in the Keys.  We are more than 100 miles SSW of Ft. Lauderdale.
Of course, she could turn and do some Nadia Commanic
10-ish gymnastics... and come down here to blow around, but even then... she's still not a hurricane.  Even if she becomes a hurricane she will barely reach a Category 1.  For us, a Category 1 is just a lot of puff and smoke, no big deal.  Been through those many, many times.  We just pop some corn and watch movies (remember, September Sea can be a completely self-sustained vessel, she has her own electrical power and water supply).
You might want to check out the website where we watch these tropical waves come off the coast of Africa and then become (or not) tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes.  It helps a lot to be informed.  There are computer models there that generate paths that might be taken.  The models are based on current and probable atmospheric conditions that either strengthen or weaken storm formations.  There are many many different factors that go into making a monster of a hurricane.  If those strengthening conditions are not present, we know it will be only a Tropical storm or a Category 1.  We also know pretty much when the likelihood is for something much, much worse.  Katrina is a whore in church.  She's so nervous she's falling apart.  LOL
I'm sure you'll enjoy looking around there at wunderground.  Just select TROPICAL and then select the storm, then the five day forecast which will show you the "cone" of its probable path.  Right now, Katrina is 40 miles east of Ft. Lauderdale, moving at 6 mph in a Westerly direction (earlier today she was moving 8 mph and was moving NNW).  Maximum sustained winds are at 65 mph at this moment.  Land will always slow down a storm or hurricane somewhat, as when they move over water there is nothing to stop them.  Those in Ft. Lauderdale, I'm sure, are preparing for her.  The rest of us are on watch.
Check it out, my Cousin.
And... as always...
Hugs and Kisses.  Love to Steve.
Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

An older man was speeding down the road at 80 mph when he looked in his rearview mirror and saw a Texas Highway Patrol car coming with its lights flashing and siren blaring.

Thinking he could outrun the trooper, the man speeded up to 100 mph.

Suddenly, he realized his foolishness and pulled over to the side of the road and stopped.

The trooper pulled up, walked up to the car and said, "Sir, it's Friday.  My shift ends in 10 minutes.  If you can give me a reason why you were speeding.. well, one that I've never heard before, I'll let you go."

The man looked at the trooper and said, "Last week my wife ran off with a State Trooper and I thought you were bringing her back."

The trooper laughed and said, as he walked away, "Have a nice day."

From: mccormick
Date: 08/25/05 12:11:23
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: The Speeder
Have you guys speeded on out of the Florida Katrina area?  I pray and trust that you are safe.  How's Brie doing?  Peace & Love, Shannon

From: Dawn Hamlin
Date: 08/25/05 16:33:25
To: Charmaine
Subject: RE: Maybe Hurricane Katrina?
Oh Charmaine... God love Shannon and Steve but I don't think they are aware of your expertise in the field of hurricanes...  Hell girl, that's a walk in the park for you and Bill the "Hurricane Warriors"  ha ha... There doesn't seem to be much brewing out there at all in the means of hurricanes right now.  Maybe you guys are going to get through with out a trip to Little Shark River...  Damn, I know that upsets you - Yea Right!
Anyway... I hope all is well in "mostly" sunny Florida!  You know Wally absolutely adores you and loves talking with you!  I'm hoping we will see you soon...
PS... That is if Wally doesn't get hit by the little old lady at the grocery store.... HA HA HA HA HA HA - Thanks for that one!

From: Michael Glanz
Date: 08/26/05 00:29:12
To: 'Charmaine'
Subject: RE: Maybe Hurricane Katrina?
Well, looks like she made a mess of things, huh?  Not like her bigger sisters and brothers, but wow...she sucks as it is.

From: Brenda McLaughlin
Date: 08/26/05 09:02:47
To: Charmaine
hope this finds you, bill and the boat all in good shape.  praying for the missing family.  larson family still missing?  were they docksiders?  write and let me know what is happening there.  love to you bill and yours.  bren
From: Peggy & Edwin
Date: 08/26/05 10:01:30
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: The Speeder
Welcome back, and hope your back is well!!!! Miss you, We are getting ready to go to Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica----sept. 7-28, just to let you know.  Will have much to relate upon return.  Heard a tornado set down in Marathon..and am sure you have had flood rains--any damage???? We get so little coverage re: Marathon.  Love you, stay safe-more later, p&e
From: Charmaine
Date: 08/26/05 16:42:33
To: Peggy & Edwin
Subject: Re: The Speeder
Will call you later, Peek-a-Boo.  Tornado did some damage, but we're fine.  Larson family was missing, all five of them left Boot Key Harbor yesterday morning from Banana Bay about 7:30 am (What the HELL were they thinking??!!)
Anyway, they have been found and all are well.
Will call you later on today.  Cross your fingers I can get these letters out without the power failing again.. it's been spotty.
I love you!!  Big kiss to my Edwin.
Your Charmie
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Michael Glanz
Date: 08/26/05 00:29:12
To: 'Charmaine'
Subject: RE: Maybe Hurricane Katrina?
Well, looks like she made a mess of things, huh?  Not like her bigger sisters and brothers, but wow...she sucks as it is.

From: Charmaine
To: Michael & Sandee
Cc: A Bunch of Coconuts
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2005 10:33 PM
Subject: Hurricane Katrina WOW
Hey Sweets -- LIKE A HOOVER!!
We're still right in the mix with Hurricane Katrina.  Sustained winds of 80 mph since midnight... early this afternoon she slowed down a bit, but now that her ass has hit the Gulf, she's kicking up a storm here again.  Have mercy.
We opted to stay at the marina, Category 1 -- no biggie.  Yeah right!  She's a bad Category 2 and she's getting stronger.  That's what you call lifting weights on the fly... I'd say you GO GIRL, but she just might not... so I won't risk it.  I want her ass out of here and quick! 
It's dead here, off-season.  No worries of stupid rent-a-boat tourists not tying their boats up properly... we damn near have the place to ourselves.  All who are here are those we know... and who know what they're doing!  Have had power all but for an hour and now got cable and internet back as well.  Life is good.  But this Katrina... dayam.
I'm glad we were one of the few that took Katrina seriously around here.  Most laughed when they saw us hunkering down and adding stronger lines.  Shit, Mike.  I was here with Dennis and he packed a wallop... but Katrina is kicking and screaming... yeah, like a GIRL!!!  Now I know what that saying REALLY means... it's not putting females down... it's actually paying them a complement.  Dayam.  She's a bitch of a hurricane.  She's strong and very deceptive.  Her winds are swirling and hitting each other in midair, wreaking havoc with everything.  So it's not always about the strength of the wind... it often is what the wind is doing with itself!  The rigging on the boat howled all night as we were hit with 73+ mph sustained winds for hours and hours and hours.  She's STILL howling like well, like a BITCH!  Last night was much like a horror movie.  You couldn't see a thing, but you could hear this monster growling right outside your door.  Just a constant clawing away at that which protects us.  Relentless.  And I ain't into no "Dark Water."  Forget that.  It's always a WHOLE lot better in the day time... got that right, Spanky.
When the GFS computer model showed yesterday morning that Katrina COULD change course and make a bee-line from Ft. Lauderdale down to the Keys, especially near Key West and our area, we took note.  If there's one model that shows something WAY off the mark of the others, you know some shit is gonna hit the fan (or the boat!).  We got prepared.  Others didn't, and their boats are all over the place!  Fortunately, in our marina we have mangroves behind us and we sit off a narrow canal so no boats can come down on us in here.  Perfect!
Bill fixed a "on the hook" breakfast of eggs, bacon and pancakes.  Tell me I ain't spoiled!!  LOL  Fantabulous, to say the least.  Been talking to my Wally Wonderfull throughout, he's the one I was on the phone with when he and his family were vacationing in the Yucatan as Emily hit little over a month ago strong  as a Category 3.  Emily was a bitch of a hurricane and she did lots of damage. Fortunately, Wally and family stayed at one of the strongest (if not THE strongest) built hotels there.  The Barcelo-Maya.  Write that down if you ever are there.  That's where you want to stay if you're in the Yucatan Peninsula anytime during hurricane season.  Unreal.  Wally is from my home town, Springfield, Illinois.  How the hell did we work this where we talk he and his family through a hurricane, and a little over a month later, he's talking to us... getting us through and providing information when the power goes down.  Talk about tit for tat.  Hmmm, interesting... so what's the tat?  LOL.  Love that Wally!  He and wife Dawn and their kids Hailey and Alex, are just so dear to us.  Who would have ever thought of this scenario?  Wow!
All in all, we're fairing well.  We did have one line nearly chafe through, but that was our fault, as there was no chafe guard on it.  We just doubled another line right over it and since most of the worst is over, all is okay.  However, we're watching Katrina like a hawk... I don't trust her as she hits the Gulf of Mexico and strengthens.  I would not be surprised at all if she were a Category 4 by the time she hits the Panhandle.  Right now, she's a Category 2 and all the way here in Marathon she is RAISING HELL (as I move the monitor back to its former position as the boat takes a huge gust from the South).  Since she's hit the Gulf, she's been pummeling us every which way BUT loose (now you understand where THAT saying came from too-- it had to have its origins from a salty sailor in the middle of a hurricane!).
Just to let you all know that we're fine and the AC is pumping away so I'm calm, cool and collected... but in bad need of a shower!  I'll do that just as soon as I finish tellin yaz  I was talking to Wally Wonderfull (aka Wally & Dawn Hamlin) earlier and telling him I smell bad and look worse.  I could do a great Secret commerical about right now... and the Secret would be OUT!  (Microphone pushed up in my face:) "Now you.  Did your deodorant stand up to Hurricane Katrina?  How was your Secret?"
JUST SAY NO.  Ya gotta love Nancy "Big Head" Reagan.  No really, not that I think she's conceited or something..  but if you ever noticed, she just got a really BIG head!  How she gets that head into those tiny head holes of a size five dress....  Maybe we should bring this to the attention of Ripley's.   Next time you see Nancy, watch for the big head.
Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea (Safe & Sound)
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Juanita Barton

Date: 08/26/05 11:57:18
To: charmaine@septembersea.com
Subject: Re: Maybe Hurricane Katrina?
Be safe KATRNA IS DANGEROUS!!!!!Could not receive your message, my machine says "CONTAINS THAT CAN NOT BE DELIVERED.." i LOVE YOU GUYS AS MUCH AS LOVE WILL ALLOW, SOOOOOO try again I want the message repeat. I must know your message.    AUNTIE

From: captmarti
Date: 08/26/05 12:47:03
To: charmaine@septembersea.com
Subject: Katrina
Hiya!  Hope you guys did okay with the storm.  Weird how she just went South all of a sudden. Am well, tired, fried and headed to the bunk for a nap.

Marti B

Cruising Companion Publications
Creating Books That Cruisers Keep Close At Hand
From: Steve Weinstein
Date: 08/26/05 13:39:16
To: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Subject: Katrina
Just checking in to see how you guys faired with Katrina.  It looks like were you are you, at the very least, got your boat washed down!  How was the wind?  Everything okay?

How'd you guys do?  It looks like Katrina came right at you?  Did you know the Larsen's?  Evidently they left Marathon day before yesterday or something with their 3 kids.  It just came over MSNBC that they were rescued and pulled off their boat earlier today.

Steve Weinstein
1981 Cherubini Designed H33
Sailing out of Oyster Bay, NY
From: dennis parker
Date: 08/26/05 21:44:20
To: charmaine&Bill
Hi guys,   Glad to hear you both made it through the hurricane with nothing more than a couple of partially chaffed lines.   I know what you mean about the screaming of the wind outside,with nowhere to hide.   At least up in the midwest,  when a tornado would come through,   we had a basement to retreat to.    I haven`t been able to get in contact with Hugh over at Keys boat works yet,  but he has gone through so  many hurricanes on his boat,  that I`m sure he is OK.     Judu & I are back in Daytona,, at least for a little while.   Our visit N.  this summer proved my Mother is in need of help to be able to stay in her own home(89 years old),,, so regretfully,   we are preparing to move back to Michigan to help her out.    Planning on selling our trawler down here,   and renting out the condo,,, fully furnished,   so we don`t have to move all that stuff North.    I am leaving for a month long bike trip out west to the Rockies first.   6,000 miles in 30 days on the bike.   Ouch!!    Sore ass bike trip!   Judy staying in Daytona to get the condo ready for rent.   I  HATE   Michigan,,, thought I had finally escaped,   but  plans change.   Really missing all our friends in the keys,   and the keys themselves,  of coarse,   but  had a hell of a good time,  while it lasted.      Keep us on your mailing list,  so we can sort of remember what life was like.        Love ya both,  and glad you`re OK.     Denny & Judy

From: Charmaine

To: A Bunch of Coconuts

Subject: Hurricane Katrina Update

>Date: Sun, 28 Aug 2005 12:36:07 -0400 (Eastern Standard Time)
>(CC'd to those who may also appreciate the Update on Hurricane Katrina.)
>We watch www.underground.com constantly.  As a matter of fact, it's in my task tray 24/7.  The information gained there is the main reason we decided to prepare for Hurricane Katrina.  One computer model there said it tracked her to hit near Miami and then make a bee-line down to the Keys.  All other models showed a northwesterly path from Miami, which would keep the Keys out of harm's way.  That's all we needed.  If there's one computer model that shows a contrary path... take heed.  We did.
>Many boats in Boot Key Harbor dragged.  More than that, many dinghies sunk and their contents floated out.  When people got their dinghies back up (if it was still tied to their boat), there was nothing in them.  s/v Carly Kay dragged into that Crazy Mary's "pirate looking boat."  Well, at least Carly Kay dragged into something she could only improve on if she hit it hard.  Why is it that the worst looking POS boats are always the strongest?
Bill bailed out our dinghy, Sea Biscuit, many times during the storm.  He took all the contents out and stored them safely away.  So glad we did that.  I can't imagine why people didn't remove their possessions from their dinghies.  Lesson learned, I'm sure.
I said all along that Katrina was much more of a bitch than I was hearing on the news.  We were sitting in it, so we knew once we compared Katrina to other hurricanes we have endured (Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne of 2004 and Dennis of 2005)... there was not a doubt in our minds that she would be one huge hurricane as she hit the Gulf of Mexico.  When she hit us, she was a Category 1 and then as she was leaving she turned into a Category 2 and kicked our butts for 24 hours with sustained 70+ mph winds.  I said at that time, I would not be surprised at all if she will be a Category 4 by the time she reaches land again.  Well, she's now a Category 5 as she approaches Louisiana.  My heart goes out to them.  RUN!
It really shows how people who live this lifestyle MUST keep track of the weather and that includes watching closely all tropical depressions as they come off the coast of Africa.  Katrina was not supposed to cause us much trouble, as even Key West was never under a tropical storm watch.  What a huge mistake by the powers that be.  We're only 60 miles from Key West, how could we here in Marathon be under a Tropical Storm Watch... and not Key West??  Boggles the mind.
>No damage for us, but then again we were really prepared.  As others did nothing and took the attitude "it won't bother us, she's heading north," I just shook mine at their cavalier attitude.  Unreal.  I just thought, "Hope you don't end up capsizing and hit my boat with your body."  I know, cruel cruel cruel.  But dayam, Stupid don't need to live.  It's like WAKE UP!!!!  There's just no excuse for not being prepared.  After the horrendous 2004 season with four major hurricanes up our butts in a period of six weeks... you'd think people would LEARN.  It's just not to be.
>As I have said many times before, Life is not a Gamble.  You don't treat hurricanes as a crap shoot (do I or don't I prepare?).  If you have to question it at all... PREPARE.  "Should I take the jib down?"  DO IT.
>The tornado that touched down in Marathon did over $5 million dollars damage (of course with these inflated prices, that could be a couple of house trailers at these prices!).  LOL  Many airplanes nosed into the tarmac at the airport.  Hangers were a mess.
>However, all in all, no loss of life locally.  That's a blessing.
>Just wanted to give you an update on the aftermath.  I sure pray that those in this Bitch of a Hurricane will get far out of the way.  Evacuate!  RUN, >FORREST.... RUN!!!!!
>Hope all is well with you and yours.  We miss ya!
>Much Love... (AND BIG BIG HUGS)
>Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea
>"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Martha Nickelson
Date: 08/28/05 07:57:22
To: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Subject: Emailing: 084602P_sm
I read your email and then went to this site.  Here is why you all had soooo  much wind, it just stayed real close to you all.  Good luck, I think the worse has passed you all and now headed toward New Orleans.
Any damage?  Keep in touch,
Marty & LaMar
Cruising on the " Martha Lou"

From: Renee Chomiak

Date: 08/28/05 18:22:08
To: charmaine@septembersea.com
Subject: Hurricane Katrina Update
Glad to hear you are ok, Charmaine. You also know what to do and how to prepare. Remember my brother Steve? He lived in Ft Lauderdale until earlier this year. He decided he weathered too many hurricanes (last year took a toll on him), so he just moved to Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri! What a change of lifestyle! Anyway, I'm flying to St Louis on Sept 9, will stay
with him and see his new home, then go to Spfld to see my cute mom. She comes every Dec to So Cal and stays for months.
Love ya,

From: Woodward, Melissa
Date: 08/29/05 12:34:01
To: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Hey Charmaine,
That is Fantastic for Diana!! What great friends Bj had. You probably don't want to talk to me today. I am in a fowl mood. I'm just really pissed right now & in a funk. I need a vacation!! Sometimes, my family & friends think I am to overprotected with Will. Well first of all, some of these people don't have kids, so they shouldn't say shit!! So what if I don't let Will go to the park by himself. I'm a parent that is involved with their child, not the lazy ass ones that sit on the couch at home. If Will goes to the park I go to the park. If Will goes for a bike ride I go for a bike ride. Get the drift!! I'm just ticked & sometimes people should just keep their mouths shut if there not experienced or if there shitty parents!!
I'm glad you guys are safe - this Hurricane Stuff is C-R-A-Z-Y!!
Love Ya's

From: Charmaine [mailto:charmaine@septembersea.com]
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2005 12:33 PM
To: Woodward Melissa
Subject: Hey 'Liss

Hey Honey Pie,
Don't even get ticked over that nonsense, really.  The reason why you don't get pissed over ignorant people is because YOU know what is right for you and Will.  They don't. 
I would NEVER allow Will to go ANYWHERE without me.  Even when we were at the Hotel, I had to correct Bill about thinking Will can go somewhere in the hotel alone.  What happened is he and Will were in the parking lot ready to go somewhere and I was in the room.  A knock on the door and it was Will.  Girl, I about lost my mind.
I walked down with Will, without letting him know I was upset about it, and talked to Bill to the side.  I told Bill "NEVER NEVER EVER let Will go ANYWHERE alone.  I don't care if it's just back up to the room.  NO WHERE."
Bill apologized and said he really didn't consider that what he did was unsafe.  He agreed IT IS UNSAFE.
So you just tell that story to anybody you want to.  If something happened to Will when you had your guard down, you would never forgive yourself, it would destroy you.  Tell people so WHY take that chance?
People who prey on little kids are counting on the fact that those in small towns think their kids are safe.  It's not the people in the town that will hurt your child.  It's the ones who come there KNOWING people think their child is safe by walking to the park alone.  You just tell them that.  It is a FACT that this is exactly what child predators do.  They go to small towns and drive around the streets just waiting to see some child unattended.
One time in a small town two kids were picking up soda cans at the park ACROSS THE STREET FROM THEIR HOUSE.  A boy and girl, 12 years old.  A guy in a van came and scooped the girl up and left the boy behind as he was about 50 yards away from the girl.  That girl was raped and beat up and left for dead in some woods.  She survived, but she was lucky.
I'm sure her mother thought "she's right across the street, I can see her," and there was no problem with it.  And that she was with another kid.  WRONG.  Kids need to be accompanied by an adult at all times.  Even public restrooms are dangerous!
So Melissa, I'm PROUD that you are the way you are with Will.  If you weren't I'd be right on ya, nagging you to death.  So... you can either realize that hearing this crap from fools that don't understand the DANGERS of letting their kids walk around... or you can be GLAD that I'm not cussing you out everyday for letting Will roam free. 
So a good answer to them might be: "I'd rather have YOU saying that than CHARMAINE or MY MOM cussing me out for letting Will roam around.  Because WE ALL KNOW the dangers."  Let them know it's not just YOU Melissa.  All they have to do is go to any website to see what the authorities tell people about supervising their kids.  You don't need anyone to tell you, you have common sense, they don't. 
So don't let those bastids get you down or put you in a foul mood.  They don't get it, 'Liss.  I hope they never lose a child under their care because of their negligence.  That would be very hard to live with.  Maybe they should think about that.
I will call Rebecca soon and let her know of the College Fund for Diana.  I haven't told her yet.  Yes, it's wonderful, SO WONDERFUL.  BOTH MY GRANDKIDS ARE GOING TO COLLEGE!!!!
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Wolfi Hotmail
Date: 08/29/05 16:40:22
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Hurricane Katrina WOW
Hi Sweety Charmaine!
It sounds horrible, what Kathrina did in Florida, but it's unbelieveble, what she does in new Orleans now.
As she moved across Your region she was only Kategory 1 but now she has Kat.5.
We here in Germany we can't really imagine how strong winds and the rain could be near to those hurricans.
Though the weather should be - the "experts said" - more extreme: Stronger winds, more rain and longer stronger hurricans.
We in Southern Germany had last week the Flood, perhaps you have seen something about, they reported about our region on CNN!! Wow! Normaly Germany, especially Bavaria does not exsist on the news-maps in the USA.
But there was heavy rain at the alps, and all the water came down the mountains (in Austia and Switzerland with some mud and stones) and flooded large areas. Where we live here in Markt Schwaben we have only a small river, he was brown, muddy and higher than normal, but it wasn't very dangerous.
But the area where Mel and Eric are living (60 km south of Munich) the rivers ran over and flooded the villages, acres and grassland.
And in Munich, where the river "Isar" flows through, was in Alert, but they re-naturated the river, so the water could be higher without any damage to human and buildings.
So we hope that you haven't any damage to you and your family, all material things can be paid, but human lives does not.
And thank you very much for informing us bout all these weather capriols!
Warm Greetings, Hugs and kisses from
Vera and Wolfie

From: Cheryl Boone
Date: 08/29/05 21:51:30
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Hurricane Katrina Update
I am so glad you all (y'all) are safe.  Thank you so much for sending me the picture of the kids.  It is so beautiful.  B.J. looks so much like my favorite cousin Tommy, whose brother lives in St. Thomas and who I would have put B.J. in touch with had I known he was in the area.  I would like to paint that image, with some artistic license if you will give your permission......
Love, CheBoone

From: Dawn Hamlin
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2005 12:37 PM
To: Charmaine
Subject: Noah's Ark

This is fun but it will drive you nuts. 

Just click on the link below to see how good your reflexes are.......... 


From: Deanna Shaughnessy
Date: 08/30/05 16:41:54
To: Charmaine
Subject: RE: you will love this
I was so glad to hear you didn't have a lot of problems with Katrina.  I wonder sometimes, what are you thinking!!!  Then I look at the pictures on your website and understand.  I feel that way about where we are right now.  My friends all thought I was nuts for moving out here, but I wouldn't trade my decision for the world.  You guys have to come out here sometime.  I'd recommend coming during one of the art festivals, but you are so limited on space.  Of course if you found anything you like, you could always "store" it at my place!  
Check out the new job title on my signature.  I was just officially promoted today.  I am the Regional Director of Revenue Management for the northern New Mexico region.  Ok, so it is only two hotels, but we are working on acquiring another property in Santa Fe and one in Taos.  These will both fall under my region.  Patrick and I have always had a little friendly competition going on in regards to salaries, I finally have him beat! 
I have a few pictures from PORTA HS Prom 1992 (of course they are of Bj and I) that I have been meaning to scan and send to you.  I look at them regularly and smile.  I am so grateful that I had a chance to have all the wonderful memories that I have of all of you. 
I'll talk to you later-Miss D

From: Larry Goodman

Date: 08/31/05 22:01:51
To: Charmaine
Subject: SeptemberSea... Gator calling
Park your carcass, this will be a full windbag.
I went to your website. very impressive stuff. The Ships Log, was interesting reading. On one hand, a small petite woman handling a 44 all by herself, and with a queasy tummy, reading Josh Slocum.  Then ol' macho man giving up sleep to play with his new toys, "Damn the Torpedoes, Full speed ahead."  Then when things got really rough in heavy seas, he yells to the God of storms, "Surrender Hell, I have yet begun to fight", he cries, lashed to the mainmast.
A crew I can respect.  Although I did cross the Pacific 14 times in the roaring fifties, not to be confused with the roaring forties, I was not on a 44, but a 360 foot Navy man-O'-War.
I feel a sea story coming.
Sea Story 07  July 1955 San Francisco Bay
The only time I sailed on the Pacific was in a rather unorthodox fashion.
My friend was trying out his new Tahiti Ketch. Leaving Houseboat Heaven, we tacked across San Francisco Bay,  made a large 180 under the Bay Bridge and around Alca-fiz, with a warning to stay clear booming across the water. Then like a drunken sailor, three sheets to the wind, we headed for Sausalito, with visions of a cool one at the Glad Hand.
As we crossed near the Golden Gate, the tide went out. We were not making much headway with the sails so he kicked in the diesel smoker. With the engine, pedal to the metal, all sails full, the bow pointing toward Angel Island,  we went under the Golden Gate Bridge, backwards at 4 knots. We might have made it into the Guinness Book of records, had we recorded it.
How did you get from the west coast to the east coast?
My own adventure, again thanks to the Navy, was thru the Panama canal.
OH NO, not again.
Sea story 08
Later, in May of 1950, the ship was given a special job of taking Admiral Radford, then CinCPac, on a tour of the SoPac. He was to inspect the Navy installations and islands under American control. I forgot the actual count, but we stopped at over forty islands. Yes, I scuba dived in Samoa.
As this was also a goodwill trip, we stopped for the week-end in the Fiji's.  My getting drunk on Kava on Fiji went into the record book as a near international crises. In my inebriated condition, I insulted the Ritual and the Ceremonial Chief. One does not take the ceremonial cocoanut cup of Kava, and spill it on the Chief. Lucky me, they had discontinued the ritual of dining on their enemies.
Your comment about living in Paradise might find nay sayers up in the c-c-cold Nawth, but Dar and I have found a safe haven. I tell folks that this is as close to Heaven as I will get.
I can't carry a tune in a bucket, but I can fix damned near anything. So it doesn't really matter where I end up, they will need another Mr. Fixit.
Not everybody can set around and play harps. Somebody has to fix-em.
Getting back to boats.  My wife's idea of roughing-it is to leave the micro-wave home. Me, I am an Eagle Scout and I can start a fire by rubbing two
girl scouts together. Or something like that.
I spent twenty years talking her into selling our house and buying a boat.
Then we spent another three years looking for the perfect boat.
Then the first battle. She said, and I quote," I am part owner, I am not going to called MATE." She suggested Co-Captain, so I upgraded myself to Admiral.
Mind you, she had been camping in a 26 foot Holiday Rambler. She wanted 120VAC 24/7. She wanted a queen size bed. She wanted a full size refrigerator. Do you see where I am going?  I found plenty of good boats, but her last demand sunk them all. She did not want odd shaped bunks, like bow bunks, because sheets were not to be had. So that ruled out all sailboats in our price range. Oh yeah, it had to have a walk-around deck 360. If she was to handle lines, she did not want to go up and down ladders.
We finally decided on a 1968, 40 foot, all steel, River Queen Houseboat.
Then we spent another three years fitting it out to meet all her demands.
I built a pilothouse on top and equipped it with all the gadgets a powerboat needed plus some I didn't need but they looked nice.  (Listed under "Boy's Toys.")  By the time we had launched it and loaded it with all the things we"Needed", the boat sank six inches lower in the water from the original waterline. Those twin V-8 Chrysler engines could push the boat at 8.5 MPH all day with no strain, but they also sucked up 100 gallons of gas per day.
Save the moans and groans, been there, done that.
BUT, we did all this in comfort. I had a 6500watt genset up on the sundeck that could light up the boat and a few other boats nearby.
So what you are doing, and what we did, are two different worlds.
She also wrote articles for "Living Aboard." One had to do with "Home Schooling."
My new book is now on the shelves. I wrote an adventure story about the towboats that ply the inland rivers, in this case the OHIO.
I called it, "The Wake of the Swannee."  ISBN 1-4137-5687-5.
It is on the publishers website, publishamerica.com
Now that I have "Blown by you" with your rags a'flappin' , both my engines roaring, I will get to the anchorage and be sipping Kentucky Maker's Mark when you glide in on silent scuppers.
Any landing is a good one if you can walk away, but watch that first step.
We have been friends with "Punch" and Judy since 1989 when we were slipmates at Salty's Marina in South Haven,MI.
I never knew he drank until I saw him sober one time.

From: Christopher Snow
Date: 09/01/05 00:50:24
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] blank mails and attachments
Yes, yours have absolutely always gone through.  I only ever got blanks from Chris Coates (just like everyone else), and once or twice from someone else.  I just wanted you to know how yours were being received.  The attachment I added on purpose, it was what Outlook did to your emails if I told it not to show me HTML. 
By the way, I love your website,  if we make it to the Keys this winter maybe we will stop by and say Hi.  My wife was encouraged to know that there was another Sister out there living on a sailboat.  Of course she thinks it is just another crazy white husband's fault. ;-)

From: Kati Adams

Date: 09/01/05 12:45:09

To: Charmaine

Subject: FW: Humpbacked whale under the water

You've got to see this. It's incredible !! First, look and see the whale under the water.  Keep your cursor out of the picture until you see the whale. 

Then move your mouse cursor onto the picture, but stand back, you might get wet (it's like it's 3D).
>CLICK HERE:  <http://www.toilette-humor.com/cartoon.html> Worlds Most Dangerous Creature

Hey my friend, how are you doing ? I haven’t heard from you in a long time, have seen Bill, but not my sister.  Parisa said you had lost a lot of weight. I hope it was something you chose to do and not because of anything else.  Are you upset with us? Have we done something to hurt you? If so I am so sorry! well we survived Katrina with a few bumps, we had water coming in where we have never had it come in before. Have been doing repairs for the last few days. Fiberglass work. Yucky smelly stuff.  We moved this morning to Marathon Marina by Cabot’s. we would like to come by this weekend and see you guys if you want. Please let me know if you will be around and when ok? Love you and I hope your ok.

Kati Adams

From: Charmaine
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2005 11:14 AM
To: Kati Adams
Subject: LOVE YOU!!

Katie, my sister.

Girl, you know me much better than that.

We LOVE you and my Big Twin with ALL our hearts.  I hold nothing back, you know that.  If you or Tom ever did anything I didn't like... you would be the FIRST to know.

 I was down for over a week with my back.  And I mean DOWN.  Curled up in a fetal position, writhing in pain DOWN.  This has happened three times in the past three years.  When it blows, it just blows.  My spinal cord is being compressed, both vertically and horizontally... thus it can and does happen where a disc protrudes too far and I just have to lay and wait it out.  Pain meds just keep from killing myself... when this happens, it is all I can do.  It doesn't, however, get me back on my feet.

 I am SO SORRY we didn't get the chance to see you guys before you left.  We have still been busy with Bj's things (we just got his belongings from St. Croix right before my back went out... very emotional ordeal.

 We arrived in the Bahamas yesterday.  Our 33rd wedding anniversaryand this is our little getaway and celebration of it.  Our luggage is still not here... dayam.  I have no clothes, no toiletries... I am not diggin this... but I'm also not in New Orleans!  I count my blessings and shut my mouth.

 For you two to even remotely think we had some beef with you.. girl, I should just kiss you all over and hold you tightly.  You should know us better than that, my Love.  We are loving people and it's very difficult to tick us off... we love our friends so much.

 Parise said she thought I had lost weight before we went back home for all the services.  I went to the doctor and found I had lost thirty pounds.  No, I had no idea I'd lost weight, you'd think I'd realize it.  I hadn't.  To me, I don't see it... I think it's just the stress of Bj's passing, as I haven't knowingly changed the way I do things at all.

 I'm as happy as I could possibly be, you know I'm a survivor.  I look back at Bj and thank God we got thirty-one years with him.  We are so thankful for that.  I don't dwell in the past.

 How is my Parise doing?  You know she just lost her seven-year-old nephew who died after a tragic pool accident.  When I found about it, Parise and JC had left to go back home to Canada.  I haven't seen them yet, they're not back. This accident keeps things in perspective: his family only got seven years.  How can I complain? 

We LOVE you both sooo soooo much.  Can't wait to see you when we return.  We will just  have to make a POINT of seeing you, as we DO love you both so much.  You just don't know how blessed we feel that we have you in our lives.  We have ALWAYS felt that way.   

Kiss each other for me.. and don't forget the BIG HUGS!!!

 See you when we get back.

 All my Love,

 Charmaine (& Bill) in Freeport

"Life's a Gift.. Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Kati Adams
Date: 09/02/05 12:42:24
To: 'Charmaine'
Subject: RE: LOVE YOU!!

Whew… I have missed you and since I hadn’t seen or heard from you… well I’m sorry for being a Martha. And DAMN that Bill for not telling us about your back. Man we still have major drugs, patches, all kinds of good shit. And we would of even had Dr. Lynne come over and do some acupuncture on you. Tom’s sister did it to him on his back and it lasted for a couple of months with hardly no pain.

 So you’re in the Bahamas running around naked???  I know people like to go native but damn!!! Oh well now you can just get a new wardrobe! Tell Bill to break out the plastic!

Tom and I moved to our new home and last night sat outside and watched the sun set over the Seven mile bridge. Man it’s so beautiful!! And this morning we had coffee on the bow and looked out over a flat pink & blue ocean, it was gorgeous. Did you know at Cabot’s up until 6:00 pm all appetizers are ½ price and Margarita’s are $2.50, in big tall mugs too!! I had several of them. Yummy!  Well you and Bill hold and love each other. And Happy Anniversary too! If you get a chance to get over to Turtle Cay check it out a lot of boater friends of ours go there for the winter and love it.

Love you both very much!

Kati Adams

Florida Keys Rentals


From: mccormick
Date: 09/02/05 10:23:54
To: Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea; Natasha Secoquin, rashida shakir; tariaria; priljohn; Norma Samame; debbie mcferrin; Rand & Linda Frylinge Miller; Grayson Mitchell; mmbandur; yvette angela morrison; Breighan Ladd; Dan Lauer; Rayan Lauer; Melvina Lloyd; loiskprice; janette aceron-outlaw; carla michelle jones; Cjtrees; Chris Kafus; michelle kerr=spry; gwen; ernest & denise; charlene, Enyo Dewith; Jai Dewith; valerie boyd; derrick brownlee; Bryant Spry; taylor anderson; titiaandbill anderson; annefitz; annettedelprete
Subject: Prayers for Karen Bates
I am sure each of you are already praying for the victims of hurricane Katrina.  I write to ask that you pray a special prayer for our dear friend Karen Bates.  Karen was born and raised in New Orleans and most of her family still lives there.  Indeed her father and her mother were born and raised in New Orleans.  To date Karen has only heard from one cousin--he and his family did make it out in time.  She has not heard from any other family members--none of her aunts, uncles or cousins.  Nor has she heard from any of her many friends.  Needless to say Karen and her mother are devastated.  Worried beyond words.  But managing, somehow, to keep the faith.  Please pray for the Bates/Parker family.  God bless us all. 
Thanks, Peace & Blessings, 
Shannon & Steve
P.S.  Those of you who know Karen directly please do not call and ask her about her family and friends--these types of calls only worry her further.  She, literally, like so many others, knows nothing...she's just hanging in limbo until she can find someone, anyone.  Good company and listening ears, and of course, prayers is what she and her mother need right now.

From: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Date: 09/02/05 10:29:31

Re: Karen Bates

Hey my Loves,

Be sure that Karen knows about the website CNN has put up that lists all the names of people who have been found so far.  There is also a phone number.  Check CNN.com.  I'm hoping Karen will find good news there.  If not today, then perhaps tomorrow.
I have a feeling most in her family will be found alive.  Yes, thousands perhaps have died, but it is more those who had NO PLAN at all.  Any person who can add would know that a Category 5 hurricane hitting New Orleans (or even NEAR New Orleans) would mean rampant flooding of almost biblical proportions.  New Orleans is surrounded by water inhabited well below sea level.  Engineers have said for years the possibility of New Orleans being hit by a major hurricane was very real and that the levees must be made to withstand such a catastrophe.  We all know our hurricane seasons are bringing bigger and badder hurricanes with alarmingly increasing frequency.
I am praying Karen's family took heed of the warnings that Hurricane Katrina was coming, and got to safety.  However, different circumstances mean different situations for people.  Some could not get out.  With it's economically poor populace most don't have transportation.  Why weren't these people bussed out BEFORE Katrina arrived?  I don't understand it.  A Category 5 hurricane coming... this has been talked about for years, that New Orleans could be devastated by a major hurricane that broke the levees.  They were built to withstand only a Category 3.
What a nightmare and a shameful telling of what the U.S. needs to make sure we have a plan of action IN PLACE prior to such apocalyptic devastation brought on by nature or worse (terrorists).  It doesn't make me feel comfortable thinking we aren't ready for such events.
We are in the Bahamas, celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary.  I tell you, it is bittersweet for many reasons.  Wherever we are and whatever we are doing... it is very difficult to see our fellow brothers and sisters suffering this way.
It sure puts our losses in perspective.
We will be praying for Karen, her family, and all those who have lost so much and who are enduring that which most of us cannot even imagine.  People dying while awaiting rescue in an age where we have airplanes and helicopters...  I shake my head in utter disgust and frightful shame.
The last words spoken in Francis Ford Coppola's movie, "Apocalypse Now," comes to mind:
"The horror.  The horror."
Charmaine & Bill in Freeport at the Westin Hotel
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!"- C~


Above: Click on photo to view slide show taken by happy vacationers in New Orleans, September 2005.

If anyone knows any of these individuals, please thank them for us.  A slice of Nawlins before the horror.

 House of the Rising Sun

There is a house in New Orleans, they call the Risin' Sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy.
And God, I know I'm one.
My mother was a tailor.
She sewed my new blue jeans.
My father was a gamblin' man
Down in New Orleans.
Now, the only thing a gambler needs
Is a suitcase and a trunk.
And the only time that he's satisfied
Is when he's on a drunk.
Oh, Mother, tell your children
Not to do what I have done.
Spend your lives in sin and misery
In the house of the risin' sun.
Well, I've got one foot on the platform
the other foot on the train.
I'm goin' back to New Orleans
To wear that ball and chain.
Well, there is a house in New Orleans
They call the Risin' Sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy.
And God, I know I'm one.

Written by Georgia Turner & Bert Martin

Originally recorded by Texas Alexander in 1928.

Since recorded by many, including "The Doors" and "The Rolling Stones."

Click picture for side show brought to you by www.WWLTV.com

See www.Nola.com for the very latest on New Orleans.

Thanks to all!

From: Christopher Snow
Date: 09/03/05 11:25:47
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Fw: [liveaboard] blank mails and attachments
Unfortunately, we do not have a boat yet, and need to sell the house before we can afford one.  We are getting the house ready to sell now, hoping to put it on the market in the next month or two.  The market here looks like it might be turning down, but no hard crash yet.  So we assume closing in November or December, and then driving down to Florida to buy a boat and move aboard.
Like everyone we are spending much of our time the last few days watching the news from the Gulf.  It is just a national shame the situation those poor people were left in.  And that the help they are now getting still seems to be too little, too late.  Michelle and the kids are sorting through outgrown clothes and toys right now for the few hundred that are being
brought here to DC.
I am so sorry to hear about your son.  I cannot imagine.  I saw the pictures of your kids months ago on your website and must say I dreamed of my little boy growing up to be such a strong, handsome sailor.

From: Charmaine
Date: 09/03/05 12:56:17
To: Christopher Snow
Subject: Bless Your Heart
Bless your heart, Chris.
I received a number of emails sent to me offlist from those on the liveaboard list today.  All were saying, "So glad you spoke about the plight of those on the Gulf Coast."  What makes people say the things Jeremy did?  They deserved it because they were there?  That man never ceases to disgust me.
We're in the Bahamas, on our 33rd Honeymoon, yet I can't help but feel selfish that we're spending $400 a night for a room and those on the Gulf Coast sorely need such funds.  I will never forget the sights I've seen.  Truly a National tragedy.  But we're giving.
Thank you for your words about our son.  You're right.  You cannot imagine.  Nor could I until we lost him.  I sit and think of our son each and every day... every moment is another moment he cannot share with us.  My heart aches for his smell, his laugh, his love.  Will that ache ever end?  No.  I can live with that. 
We had 31 years with him.  He just turned 31 this past February.  He was born on the 25th, four days after my birthday and four days before his father's.  He truly was such a joy.  An intellectual who could sit and talk with aeronautical space engineers... yet he had time for every person on this earth.  He was much like me in the way of compassion and caring.  He loved all people.  He was never too busy to help someone in need.  He made people feel as if they were the only person in the world at that moment.  He gave his undivided attention.
Reading about your children brought a smile to my face.  How I adore children.  Bj had two kids, a son aged 7, William D. Ladd III (called "Boo") and a daughter, Diana, aged 6 (also called "Boo) we didn't even know existed.  How blessed we are to have our grandbabies.  They both are very much like Bj, and they look almost like twins.
Bj was a most handsome, loving, kind and generous young man.  Hundreds of people came from far and wide to pay their respects.  He is still loved by so many.  The stories we hear of how Bj touched people's lives, how he was there for them when they were in need.  Things I never heard from our son.  He was that way: very very humble.
He died the very same day my mother passed.  I called my father, totally distraught, to tell him about Bj, and as I said it, Daddy said, "Oh my Darling, your mother just died too."  I fainted.  What a day.
Thank you for writing, Christopher.  Thank you for sharing your family with us.  It makes our hearts leap with joy to hear of your children and your sweet wife, Michelle.  I do hope someday we shall meet.
I think it's wonderful you are considering the live aboard lifestyle.  For us, we went from a 7,000 sq. ft. house on 15 acres with swimming pool, tennis courts, etc. to a 36' sailboat sloop.  Our entire boat is not as big as my bedroom suite's bath.  And you know what?  I'm delighted!
I have time for freedom now.  Instead of being a slave to house upkeep and yard and flower garden maintenance: I can roam!  I can breathe!!  I have time for Bill and I to just sit back and enjoy life to its fullest.  We thought at first we couldn't live in anything less than 50'.  We were wrong.  I'm glad we realized it before we purchased a boat that would have tethered us needlessly to high maintenance much like a house.
You will love the life.  It's different, yes, because it's simpler.  That simplicity gives you more time to enjoy with your family.   In the long run, Michelle will have to be comfortable aboard, you both should work together to list the things you must have to ensure that comfort.  If your family is to share this dream of sailing and living aboard, every decision must be a joint one.  You all decide what it is you need and don't need.
A family that makes decisions together, sticks tough together no matter what.  You may already have thought of these things, if so, forgive my intrusion.  I've seen so many come and go with this lifestyle because they didn't start out doing things together.
Once off on the wrong foot, they never recovered.
Okay, back to my Honeymoon... LOL
Take care Chris.  Kiss your babies and hold them near.  Tell Michelle I love her already.  I'm sure you all will see your ideals come true.  If there is anyway I can help you, any questions I might be able to answer, just let me know. 
All the best,
Charmaine (& Bill) s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: mccormick
Date: 09/02/05 13:50:58
To: SeptemberSea
Subject: Re: Prayers for Karen Bates
Thanks, sweetie...Karen said she has been checking postings and posting names (and maybe photos) however I will be sure to double-check that she knows about CNN.  Karen reminded me that most people did not know that Katrina was a category 5; their electricity had already been hit.  Nobody knocked on doors to tell them that the sever storm that they figured they could ride out (afterall many, including Karen's family, had been throught sooo many floodings before--including Camille).  Karen believes many of her family and friends stayed with their  homes...especially because so many had elderly, sick and babies.  God bless them all.  She heard from one uncle on Sunday afternoon who said they were going to the other side of the river--that bridge collasped.  She doesn't know if he/they made it.....
Yeah, the government--federal, state and local--failed.  And if I see one more image of citizens waiting to be rescued AND ITS DAY FIVE, I am not going to be so polite on the phone with my elected officials.  Fortunately, the media is asking the same questions of government (I won't get into the bias reporting issue).  This is soo overwhelming!  This is sooo unacceptable.  I, too, am disgusted and disappointed....and deeply sadden.  God bless us all.  
Peace, Love and Happy Anniversay.  I am sooooo glad you two are okay.  I love you guys.  Kiss each other for me.  Shannon

From: Charmaine
Sent: Sep 5, 2005 12:30 PM
To: A Bunch of CoconutsSubject: National Geographic Article from 2004
 Subject: National Geographic Article from 2004
 The content of an October 2004 National Geographic article at the link below is bone chilling.  The slow response (or as I call it: the NO response) by our emergency services is put into perspective (as HORSESHIT) when you read the article.  From years and years ago, geologists have said a Category 3 hurricane hitting on the Gulf Coast would be a major, catastrophic disaster.  That people would lose their lives from starvation and dehydration while awaiting rescue.  New Orleans, being 8 feet below sea level in many places, would be totally destroyed.  Katrina was a Category 5 and hit as a Category 4.
The Louisiana Coast, especially, has been in jeopardy as a high, high risk for a very long time.  With that in mind, why didn't the U.S. evacuate all those people once they knew Katrina was coming as a Category 5?  Instead of saying go to the Superdome... it should have been "Get on buses at the Superdome and we'll drive you out."  They all could have been driven out of harm's way.  It's senseless.  Shameful.  Very, very disturbing.
Once you read the article and can clearly see this has been forecasted for some time... it makes me shake my head in utter disbelief that our brothers and sisters (yes, all of the ONLY race that matters: the human race) have suffered and died needlessly.  Babies dying in their mother's arms, dehydrated with no water or food; people died as they sat in their wheelchairs, blanket thrown over their bodies; people yet on rooftops awaiting rescue...  horrible horrible horrible. 
Once at the Superdome, there was nothing there for anyone.  No food, no water, no organization of any kind and no one in charge.  No Nothing.  After Katrina hit and ravaged the area, what were people supposed to do... sit and die?  President Bush said he would have zero tolerance for looters.  Looters?  For looters to be, there must be looting.  Looting?  I saw no looting.  I saw people who had decided to live instead of die.  They were seen carrying water, food, diapers, milk, necessities for survival.
Policemen have committed suicide over the situation, they couldn't take it any longer.  Don't you think the very people who were shipped in like cattle felt the same way as they watched people die before their eyes?  People, under dire stress, will do desperate and often senseless things.  I saw nothing that was as senseless as people who thought they were evacuating to a shelter -- to be set into an Apocalyptic scenario with their lives hanging by a thread.  Those who survived, most certainly did so by doing what they had to do.
One interesting interview from New Orleans showed the police all holed up in a Walmart.  The police officer said, speaking of himself and his officers: "We have nothing.  All we have is what the looters left."  Huh?  SURVIVE OR DIE.  I for one will admit right here and now that in the same situation I most definitely would do ANYTHING, yes ANYTHING to ensure my family and loved ones survival.  No one was LOOTING, they were LIVING.  Hanging onto our lives by doing that which would ensure their survival.  What a damn shame.
Why were buses all lined up outside the cities just sitting there?  Because they were AFRAID to go in.  The media reported wide spread looting like there was chaos and rioting in the streets.  Rape in the streets??  Oh please.  That is NOT what happened at all.  Not even close.  It cost people their lives that there was no organization, nothing at the shelters they were told to go to -- Nothing no where.  No one to rescue them.  I'm sure they felt as if perhaps the rest of the world was in the same state of devastation and therefore couldn't help them.  Once the media crews rolled in it was like: "Where is our help?"  This went on for a week and is still going on for those trapped in their homes or attics.  Left to die.  It's 2005 and this happened in the United States.
It could have been me or you or those you love.  We have got to ensure nothing like this will EVER happen again.  NEVER.  Arm yourself with education letting you know this was predicted to happen by scientists long ago.  How our obsession with the almighty dollar put millions of people in harm's way.  This should NOT have happened and could have been prevented.  So why wasn't it?
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Peggy & Edwin
Date: 09/06/05 13:00:45
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: National Geographic Article from 2004
YOU GO GIRL.....You are absolutely right...I have been screaming the same message!! Here we are off to third world Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama---and we are leaving 3rd world USA...we will let you know our findings.  We leave tomorrow Sept. 7 and return Sept. 28---right during peak Hurricane season--but hopefully we are in a good spot--however, definitely effected by surge and extreme tides, but do have floating docks.  Miss you both terribly, know you went through some tough times during your experience with Katrina-probably twice through.  We pray you are safe now.  We love you both, will call you upon return.  Peggy & Edwin

From: Charmaine
Date: 09/06/05 14:55:40
To: Peggy & Edwin
Subject: Re: National Geographic Article from 2004
Hey my Darlings Peggy  & Edwin,
Yes, we're fine.  Just got back from the Bahamas.  Of course it's hurricane season, so we flew.  Thought we'd celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary over there and thought a quick get away to room service was long overdue.  LOL
Be careful during your trip.  Please let me know you are fine.  I'll keep watch for your return.  Can't wait to hear all that you see and discover there, it may be where we go also.  You never know.
I tell you, Peggy, my heart cried for YOU during all this.  You too are a sensitive and caring person, I know you feel so much like I do.  It's like I just wanted to scream and shout, "What the hell is happening!!!"  Third World U.S. IS RIGHT.  Dayam shame.
Hugs and Kisses....
Talk to you when you get back.  In the meantime...
Your Sister,
Charmie )& Bill) Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Dr. Thomas Hamilton
Date: 09/08/05 06:45:20
To: Charmaine
You are acting like a caring human being. We are talking about the government that operates by strict rules. I frankly think that the military should take primary responsibility in these situations.  However, that infringes on state's rights. The mayor started screaming on Tuesday. The military was there by Friday. That may not be fast enough but it is pretty fast. Based on the well studied possibilities of what would happen if a cat 4 hurricane hit NO, perhaps the gov and mayor should have asked the president to let the military take primary
responsibility before the thing hit. The truth of the matter is probably pride prevented this. Also:, why did the city not have 5 days of food and water in the super dome. I was taught this from the time I was 4 yrs old living on the coast of south TX? Regards, Tom

Tropical Depression #18 -

Hurricane Rita

Hurricane Rita September 18th - September 25th Maximum Winds 175 (mph) Minimum Pressure 897 (mb)

     (Click to enlarge)    

From: Charmaine

Date: 09/18/05 15:22:40
To: All our Loved Ones
Subject: TD 18 - Hurricane in the Keys
We're hunkered down to prepare for what will be Hurricane Rita.  She's expected to hit the Keys Tuesday morning.  Looks like this will be another Category 1 must like Dennis and Katrina as they came through here.
We're prepared, so no worries.  We decided not to travel to Little Shark for this one.  We stayed here at the marina for both Dennis and Katrina, and did just fine.
Got all our provisions.  Tidal surge could be up to 7 ft., since we're in the astronomical moon phase right now (tides are already high).  In a boat, one thing you don't have to worry about is tidal surge!  Huge surges like 10 ft. and above just don't happen in the Keys.  The waters around here are very shallow and lots of places for the excess surge to go.
We'll stay in touch as long as we can.  Could be that cell phones won't work once the storm approaches.   Don't worry, we're old hands at this.  A category 1 where she hits will mean winds up to 73 mph here in the marina, even if she landed right on top of us.  We can certainly withstand tropical force winds like that.  Done it before, and I'm sure we'll do it again. 
Love to all.  Ray-Ray, so glad to hear you're doing better.  Glad you're getting some relief from your back pain.  Excellent!
Talk with everyone soon.
Hugs and Kisses
Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Shelly K. Ladd

Date: 09/19/05 09:05:46
To: Charmaine
Subject: RE: TD 18 - Hurricane in the Keys
Hi Charmaine,
We'll be thinking of you and praying for your safety. I know you are old hands at this now. I guess it's a part of living on the water, and if you are, then you better know what you are doing. So, I know you will be safe.
How's Breigh and Bill doing? Where is Breigh (Springfield)? Send us a reminder before you fly out for home.
Love ya,

From: Dawn Hamlin
Date: 09/19/05 09:22:24
To: Charmaine
Subject: RE: TD 18 - Hurricane in the Keys
Thanks for the update... I will be watching as it gets closer to you!  Talked to Bill the morning and he was calm - cool - and collected as usual!  I'm sure all will be fine!  You guys are pro's at this.  Talk to you soon!
From: Donna Forrest
Date: 09/19/05 09:46:30
To: 'Charmaine'
Subject: RE: TD 18 - Hurricane in the Keys

This shit is getting old, isn’t it?????

From: Charmaine [mailto:charmaine@septembersea.com]
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2005 9:56 AM
To: A Bunch of Coconuts
Subject: The Pick Up Guys
THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU!  I was sitting at a local outdoor cafe having lunch by myself and two men came up and had the unmitigated gall to seat  themselves right down at my table.  I gave them the death look, but they just casually sat at my table, not saying a word, and staring at me from behind their dark sunglasses.
Cowards.  Yeah, they both just sat there and wouldn't leave me alone. I said, "Look, excuse me, Fellahs, but I'm waiting for my husband and his partner to come back.  See, their plates right in front of you.  They'll be back here in a few minutes.
Absolutely no response.
I shined up my wedding ring under the table and then placed my hand on the table and said, "My husband is a Police Officer.  His partner is too."
Then I asked them again to please leave.  "Look, I don't know what you want... but I'm not interested in any of it.  Would you kindly leave now?"  They both had this kind of smirk on their faces.  They then turned and looked at each other and smiled.  Then they both just got up and left.
Thankfully for me, I captured their picture on my cell phone.  I'm sending you the picture as a warning... just in case they try and pick you up too.

Honestly, some men think they're God's gift to women.  Bastids.

Then... dammit, I fell out of bed and woke up!!!!!!



Love yaz...

Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea

"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~


From: Jo Powers

Date: 09/19/05 10:52:26
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: TD 18 - Hurricane in the Keys
Silly question, but do you ever get sick during these tidal surges?  Just wondering how you do it.
From: Charmaine
Date: 09/19/05 11:38:53
To: Jo Powers
Subject: Tidal Surges
Hahaha.  Nope. 
Tidal surges are not as you think.  I believe you're thinking of bashing and crashing waves heaving up and down.  A tidal surge is very gradual and simply means a rising of the waters.  You don't even notice it when it happens.  At the dock, you know the tide is rising because of where the boat is in relation to the dock pilings.
For the Keys, we may see a tidal surge of ten feet.  That's huge.  However, imagine a boat sitting in a slip with three pilings on each side.  You tie the boat up to the pilings using line that is specifically engineered for high stretch capability.   As the tide rises, you can feel the boat getting more snug in the slip.  You go out and check the lines.  If they need to be relaxed a bit, you do so.  Most often, the line used for this purpose stretches and contracts on its own.
Girl, I don't even get seasick.  LOL  Lots of those who live aboard do have problems with seasickness.  I tell each and every one of them to eat dry gingersnaps.  All the products you see on the market today for hangovers is basically a good dose of ginger.  Ginger works wonders on a queasy stomach. 
Bill is a bit different.  When we've been out on the water for a week, anchored at various sites and then sailing in between... he still gets weak sea legs once we're back at the marina and tied up to our slip.  He gets off the boat and everything is still moving on land.  LOL  Many people say the worst is taking a shower while after being out to sea.  They say the whole shower is constantly moving up and down, side to side, even though they are on land.  Fortunately for me, I have incredible sea legs and never notice any difference.
Hope all is well with you and Jim.  Love that Jim, he's a good man, Jo.  But I'm not telling ya anything you didn't know!  We'll be home in late October and am looking forward to spending some time with you guys this time.  Such a rush last trip and under such stressful circumstances.  We can't thank you and Jim enough for being there for us.  There is nothing like knowing your dear friendships base is full of wonderful people like you two.
Love ya and will write again after Rita does her thing.  LOL
Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Martha Nickelson
Date: 09/19/05 10:57:36
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: TD 18 - Hurricane in the Keys
Thanks for the update... Hunker down now......
Keep in touch,
Marty & LaMar
From: Charmaine
Sent: Sep 19, 2005 12:31 PM
To: Antoinette Genesis , becca keffer , Breigh-Baby , Buddy , Cheboone , Chucky Hubbard , Deanna Shaughnessy , Debbie Grant , Denny & Judy Aboard , Denise Lilley , Diana in Wrigleyville , Edie , Ennie , Enyo , Ernest & Betty , Iris , jai lanre , Jeff & Marty , Jo Powers , John Murray , John Porter , Katy & G-Man Charlie , LaMar & Marty , Letitia & Bill , Linda Borst , Lanny Stowe Lonie , Liz & Sir Charles on Espchiel , Lovin' Larry , Melissa , Michael & Sandee , Mom & Dad Ladd , My Price , Nae 'Nae , Peggy & Edwin , Pat Schad , Reece & Dianna , Richard Goodwin , Rose Caillier , Shannon & Steve , Shelly Kay , "Sister Kitty (Deacon)" , Steve Ladd , Tempestuous , Toddkins , Wally Wonderfull , Zach my Cuz , "Wolfie, my German son" , Kati my Sister , "Dr. Dlugie" , Dunc
Subject: Update on TD 18 - Hurricane Rita
Hey my Sweeties... here's an email I just wrote to my dear, dear friend, Dawn Hamlin [with her replies in blue] (she's a hurricane survivor... remember me talking to you about my good friends caught in Hurricane Emily (low Category 4) in the Yucatan peninsula while on vacation?  Dat's her... now you can see why she's worried.  A hurricane can do many things unexpectedly... like come WAY closer than we thought!!
I thought since the wind is beginning to howl, we could lose our internet connection... so I'm sending
you the same email that should answer all your concerns.
Not to worry.  The more you know about what we're facing, the more you'll rest assured that Bill and I
will be just fine.
I am LOVING YOU all...
Charmaine & Bill

From: Charmaine [mailto:charmaine@septembersea.com]
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2005 12:22 PM
To: Dawn Hamlin
Subject: TD 18 - Hurricane Rita

Hey Sweetheart,
Girl, I know that if you just looked at Brad Pitt and George Clooney without batting an eyelash... you are WORRIED!!  Don't be worried, Honey.  Let me explain the situation:[Dawn Hamlin]  Yes - A little concerned...   
Tropical Depression #18, or what should be by this evening, Hurricane Rita, is expected to be a Category 1 (winds 74-95 mph).  She is heading right for the Keys.  Key West and the Middle Keys (where we live in Marathon) are expecting tidal surges of up to 10 feet and torrential rains.  [Dawn Hamlin] Thats ALOT down there... There isn't alot of LAND...   
We are at the marina and have a condo for our use in the event we think its better to leave the boat.  The winds don't bother me, even 90-100 mph winds we'd be quite comfortable aboard, but the tidal surge is the worry.  If we get that kind of surge, the boat will be sitting overtop the pilings of the marina.  That's how boats get holed.  When the tide recedes, boats often come right down on top of the piling and it become impaled, then sinks.  [Dawn Hamlin]   Pleeeeeease - Don't be on the boat in that case...  
We've decided that if the surge goes over the finger pier (boardwalk to our boat) by more than two feet, then we're off the boat.  We have a ditch bag of necessary items in the car (which is on higher ground nearby behind the condos), and will grab food and water for three days and head to the second
story condo waiting for us. [Dawn Hamlin]   Do you have a reserved space - Definitely take plenty of ALCOHOL - That way you can laugh at the bitch as she roars through! 
Hopefully we won't get that kind of surge back here in the canals where our marina is.  But they are forecasting for a ten foot tidal surge, mostly due to the astronomical lunar tides we have right now with the full moon.  [Dawn Hamlin]   GREAT - Even better luck!!!  Damn moon phases! 
Keep your fingers crossed.  We will be fine, don't worry about us.  You know we're not foolish.  There is no doubt had I any inkling we could get a huge surge like this in this marina, we would have gone to Little Shark River. It still remains to be seen.  Hurricane Rita will show us what the marina's
weaknesses are.  There is no way I'd ever stay for a hurricane in marina when there is that kind of tidal surge possible.  [Dawn Hamlin]   Oh, I know your not foolish... We are the dumb asses that went to Mexico with Emily headed straight for us - HA HA 
The NOAA out of Key West issued a statement, but it's not totally clear which areas are in the danger zone of these huge tides.  Imagine, ten feet over our normal tide.  That means our boat will be floating even with the roof line of the first floor condo.  DAYAM.  Well, live and learn.  You'll never
see me jeopardize our home like this again.  I honestly had NO idea.  [Dawn Hamlin]   Shit, we still don't have any idea... Is there any chance it can gain speed quickly and turn into a category 2 or 3????????????????? 
Let's hope we're in an area that doesn't see that kind of flooding.  The Labor Day Hurricane (unnamed) in the Keys of 1935 was a Category 5 monster.  I still don't recall finding evidence that the Keys were totally flooded with surges like that.  Rita is just a Category 1.  I believe there might be some
embellishment on the part of the Weather Center just to get people to get the hell out of here.  [Dawn Hamlin]   I can believe that... Although there are no dumb asses with the names Dawn and Wally down there !!!!   
All of the Keys is under a mandatory evacuation now.  Shit, Dawn.  They don't know exactly where Rita will hit.  We could get in the car and try to outrun it, but then the streets will flood and you're stuck.  For all I know, we could be moving INTO harm's way.  The cones you see at the website
www.wunderground.com are actually called "error cones."  The path you see means the center of the hurricane could be anywhere in that cone... far right, far left, anywhere.  And that cone has a 250 mile error margin.  That's a lot of error!  [Dawn Hamlin]  250 FREAKING MILES... Shit!!!   Are the people boarding up - Are the business owners leaving????  Are there going to be other people there with you??? 
Looks like Rita will pass us tomorrow mid-morning and we should be with her for about 24 hours.  The good thing about that is that we can see the tidal changes in the light of day.  From that we'll know whether or not to get off the boat.  Nothing like the daytime!  [Dawn Hamlin] True - Luck is on your side there!  Night time is miserable when the power is out! 
Rita is currently on track to pass within 35 miles of us.  That is much, much closer than originally projected.  Yet, Marathon and Key West's chance of getting hit with hurricane force winds is still only 35%.  Tropical storm  force winds is simply a given at this point.  But, that will be the least of our
worries.  Fortunately, she is a small system and the likelihood of her gaining Category 2 status while in the Keys is very slim.[  Dawn Hamlin]   Okay... You answered my question above...  I will keep watching throughout the day and night!  I know you're safe and not careless but strange things can happen - High water - Even flying debris could put you and Bill in danger!  If you do have to abandon the boat - Get your asses out of there before the winds get to strong!  PLEEEEEASE!!!!
I'll keep in touch!  I have to leave early today to take Miss Hailey to see her boyfriend in Champaign... We are going down to have dinner with him!!!  Can't believe she wants me (and ALEX ) to go!!!  Maybe at 16 she is learning to like me a little - Is that how it happens???  Take Care!  - I'll say a little prayer for you - That's a song...  You know it!
We'll talk soon!   
Big Hugs~

From: Dawn Hamlin
Date: 09/19/05 13:49:43
To: Charmaine
Subject: RE: The Pick Up Guys
Okay Girl Friend... I just checked on Rita... am I seeing things or is it looking like your going to get more of a brunt than we thought this morning... I didn't print out my info this morning and now am concerned it looks closer - I know your in the 20 % category but what about once it passes over the Bahamas ?  If I don't here back... I'm printing this sucker and will check back later in the afternoon!  I know your keeping your eyes and ears open...
From: Michael Glanz
Date: 09/19/05 14:39:41
To: 'Charmaine'
Subject: RE: Update on TD 18 - Hurricane Rita
Best wishes, sweetie.  Keep safe and let us know when its over how well you survived...lol.  I know you will.  We pray for your safety!
The boat is floating, we are livaboard.....the motor is running and the rigging and mast need to be repaired, now.  Then we will sail again...lol.  Hooray!!!!
The solutions of today are the issues of tomorrow.

From: Kathleen & Jim

Date: 09/19/05 15:27:11
To: charmaine@septembersea.com
Subject: TD 18 - Hurricane Rita
Hey you two.  Thanks for keeping us posted on your welfare.  I'm hopeful that Rita will be kind.  I suspect that you are right and you will be safe and sound in Sombrero.  Let us know how it went when the dust settles.  Take care and we love you.  Kathleen and Jim Aboard s/v Drummer in Grenada
From: Julie Becker
Date: 09/19/05 17:16:40
To: Charmaine and Bill Aboard
Subject: Hang Tight!
Dear Charmaine & Bill,
Sorry I haven't replied yet to your message last week.  Time gets away from me at the office sometimes.  From your email you sound as if you are coping as best you can. I pray that everyone's continued love and support will help ease your pain with time.
I see Rita is now bearing down on you, just wanted to let you know, as always, you are in our thoughts & prayers.  Hope you are on your way or already at your safe haven.  Lots of love to you,
From: Brenda McLaughlin
Date: 09/19/05 19:49:37
To: Charmaine
just thinking of you and thought i would drop a line to let you know.  i will pray for your safe keeping.
love to you and bill, bren
From: Peggy & Edwin
Date: 09/19/05 21:36:46
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Update on TD 18 - Hurricane Rita
Here we are in Costa Rica, and worrying the crap outta you guys, ,You have had far enough of this stuff, and not to mention the inward trauma of the past.... Our prayers, and inward thoughts and Karma and what ever else works are in your favor re: our vibes towards you two....please know that, we know we will hear from you, but we have an awesome CNN here.... not like the USA but far more detailed and we are following you every step of the way.... Hang on there you two, we love you sooooo, Peggy & Edwin....
From: betty
Date: 09/19/05 23:29:10
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Update on TD 18 - Hurricane Rita
We pray that you all are safe. We are keeping an eye on the news. Take care. Love Betty
From: r.caillier
Date: 09/19/05 23:41:06
To: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Subject: keep us posted
hey how are ya .keep us inform on rita and lets us know your safe and sound when it over and before. there sure has been alot of hurricanes going on. i dont know much about hurricane season but man they sure are hitting hard this month. we're keeping an eye and ears on those hurricanes especially where your at. gotta make sure (you) and family's safe .  well  just want to check on ya see how ya doing. we're all fine here. love ya and miss ya rose and john
From: Dawn Hamlin
Date: 09/19/05 23:47:47
To: Charmaine@SeptemberSea.com
Subject: Hurricane Rita
Charmaine... Just checked in... The outlook doesn't seem any better... A bit worse!  If I am reading things right!  Still a CAT 1 but more in your direction - Am I wrong... Let me know if you get this and what your plans are - I will be here tonight for a bit then at my email at work in the morning!  If you think you will loose power - email me at work, so I won't be worried all day as to what your plan is ~ Take Care! 
Thinking of you...  
From: Charmaine
Date: 09/20/05 00:29:58
To: LiveAboard List
Subject: [liveaboard] Waiting for Rita
Hey my List Mates, 
We're hunkered down for Hurricane Rita here in the Keys.  She's to be a Category 2 by tomorrow.  We've done all we can  
do and all is well prepared.  They are predicting a storm surge of 7-10 feet and I tell you, I cannot imagine.  We live in the 
middle keys so we're preparing for her to pitch a fit.  The Keys have been evacuated and those who stayed behind are typing
emails in a hurry (ha!). 
This time we didn't run for cover to the Little Shark River... Rita was a Tropical Depression (#18) and looked like she was  
going to be quite a bit south of here.  But noooo.... LOL.  What I've learned from all my experience with these systems is to err on the side of extreme caution.  So then why the hell am I sitting here??  Because I actually thought this one might do what it was originally projected to do.  WAY DUMB.  Oh yeah, I know.  Mea Cupla.  However, we do have a solid plan.  We've prepared in the event we need to make a quick getaway (Rita moves at 12 mph, Toyota moves at 85 mph).
We have a condo in front of the boat that we'll hole up in if it looks like it won't be too bad by tomorrow.  September Sea  
should be just fine, as we spent the entire day in preparations.
We backed the boat out of the slip so that only her nose is in it... so her widest beam is spider webbed in the canal.  Fortunately, we have pilings farther back, but a whole slip away on each side of us.  The marina is almost empty, that's good too--no boats to drag down on us.  Having the boat out of its slip will ensure it can't possibly be impaled on a piling when coming back down from the surge.  Let's HOPE it doesn't even come close to that.
No matter what happens here, it won't seem to be much more than an inconvenience as Rita heads away from us towards the  
Gulf Coast again.  She is to be at least a Category 3 as she crosses over to and through the Gulf.  Texas could get hit hard.
Hell, anybody along there could really be in for a nightmare.  My prayers are ringing loud and long... may we all get past this one.  Anyway, found a link I thought some of you would really enjoy.  It's "The Creation of Storm Surge," and it's an animated "101" on what causes storm surges and where to expect them.  
Enjoy.  We'll be safe, you can count on that.  The more we know, the less we have to fear... (or is that the other way around??).  I'm sure to have much to share with you all once this is over.  After the 2004 season when we tangled with Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, then were watching Karl and Lisa...  oh well... you can see we're pretty much old hat on these... but I sure wish I'd a tied up in the river....  'cause I'd surely be sound asleep by now. 
Live, Laugh, and LEARN.  (Remember to remind me of that little ditty the next time I get to wondering if I can be "Ms.
Contrary-to-What-I-Should-Know"). -- When in doubt, GET OUT! 
See you all soon! 
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~
From: 'bella
Date: 09/20/05 00:43:13
To: LiveAboard
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] Waiting for Rita
heyas sister girl.. you and bill and september sea just be safe.  I called, left a message this eveing after i heard a weather snippet.. you are a far braver woman than I .. lol.  me and my boat would have already beat feet for somewhere out of the lady's path...anywhere...  my prayers are with you and the keys
s/v thunder

When I pulled this up from www.wunderground.com I almost fainted.  Then I realized it was an error.

The YELLOW and RED are erroneously reversed.  WHEW!  Have mercy.  I thought it was the end of the world.

From: Pierre Buhler

Date: 09/20/05 04:06:59
To: LiveAboard
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] Waiting for Rita
I want to wish you and your family good luck.  May September Sea weather the storm.
From: Wolfi Bachmaier
Date: 09/20/05 05:36:38
To: Charmaine
Subject: Holliday
Dear Charmaine,
We want to inform you, that we will fly to Corfu today. Don´t be worry about the hurricanes, the season will be over soon.
We wish you a nice time.
Will be back at the 4th of October.
Hugs and kisses from your children
Wolfi and Vera (Germany)
From: Dawn Hamlin
Date: 09/20/05 07:24:24
To: charmaine@septembersea.com
Subject: Re: Rita
Okay ~ I'm up and back at it! Haven't checked the underground yet but you sound like your on top of things... I just printed out those numbers... I have Breigh's already but will put the others in my cell phone!  Wally is out - in PA so I will keep him posted and I will snoop in his email!  You two take care down there and give Rita a piece of me when she hovers over!  I'm thinking of you and I will let Hailey and Alex know your coming!

Love you guys...
Take Care
From: Larry Goodman
Date: 09/20/05 07:25:46
To: Charmaine
Subject: Can you run and smile?
While you are running from this storm, here is a tidbit that might put a smile on your face. 
By the way, did it ever occur to you that there might be something on your boat that attracts storms?
Guy gets on a plane and finds himself seated next to a cute blonde. He immediately turns to her and makes his move.

"You know," he says, "I've heard that flights will go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger. So let's talk."

The blonde, who had just opened her book, closes it slowly and says to the guy, "What would you like to discuss?"

"Oh, I don't know," says the guy. "How about nuclear power?"

"OK," says the blonde. "That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff--grass. Yet the deer excretes little pellets, the cow turns out a flat patty, and the horse produces muffins of dried poop. Why do you suppose that is?"

The guy is dumbfounded. Finally he replies, "I haven't the slightest idea."

"So tell me," says the blonde, "How is it that you feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don't know shit?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Thank you

From: Steve Weinstein
Date: 09/20/05 08:11:57
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Waiting for Rita
You stay hunkered, girl!  My heart and prayers are with you! I'll try
calling later.... 
Steve Weinstein
From: Charmaine
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 8:39 AM
To: Alicia; Andy; Antoinette Genesis; becca keffer; 'bella; Big Ed; Big Twin; Brandi Simpson; Breigh-Baby; Bren Bren; Brooke-I-Have-Now-Met; Bryce; Buddy; Capt Marti; Cheboone; Chris & Yanni; Chucky Hubbard; Danny & Diane; Danny y Debbie y Lobita; Dawnie Girl; Deanna Shaughnessy; Deb & Doug; Debbie & Bobby; Debbie Grant; Denise Lilley; Denny & Judy Aboard; Diana in Wrigleyville; Dick Conklin; Dolphin Lady Carol; Donna & Ray; Dr. Dlugie; Dunc; Edie; Ennie; Enyo; Ernest & Betty; Iris; jai lanre; Janet & Greggers; Keys Florida; Jeannie and Philip; Jeff & Marty; Jenny-Jen; Jim Powers; Jo Powers; John Murray; John Porter; Joshola; Kathy & Capt Jack; Kati my Sister; Katy & G-Man Charlie; Ken & Carolyn Vance; Krista Kay; LaMar & Marty; Lancer 36 Tom; Lanny Stowe Lonie; Letitia & Bill; Liz & Sir Charles on Espchiel; Loren my Dearest; Lori and Steve; Lovin' Larry; Maggie May; marathonflorist@aol.com; Margaret; Marlene & Reynold; Melissa; Michael & Sandee; Mighty Mite; Mike & Harriet; Mike on Liveaboard List; Mom & Dad Hotmail; Mom & Dad Ladd; Nae 'Nae; New; Norma Jean & Jim; Pat Schad; Peggy & Edwin; Randy; Reece & Dianna; Renee; Rhode Island Mike; Rick & Leann; Rob & Garth Aboard Whatever; Rose Caillier; Sandee Glanz; Sarah Smrcina; Scottie; Shane; Shannon & Steve; Shaolin Poker; Shelly & Ken; Sister Kitty (Deacon); Staci my Sistah; Steve & Beth (Four Ladds); Steve Ladd; Suzi; Tempestuous; Toddkins; Tom & Ellen; Wally Wonderfull; Wolfie, my German son; Zach my Cuz; Shelly Kay; My Honey; My Price
Subject: Tropical Storm Rita
  CC: Liveaboard List
We're doing great.  Internet still up.  The torrential rains that were scheduled for last night have just now arrived.  Rita is still not a hurricane.  Thank goodness!
She's moving at 20 knots and will be past us before she can strengthen, or so it seems.  Looks like she won't be a major hurricane for us here in the Keys.  Of course, things can change and I haven't had my morning coffee yet.
September Sea is doing a great job protecting her crew.  Love that beauty of ours.  Since last night, we've been having 40 knots of sustained wind and gusts much, much higher than that so far.  Looks like the highest winds we will see are the 60 mph winds we're having now and topping out around 70 knots at the most.
Thunderstorms galore and lots of lightning last night.  Went to bed at about 4 a.m. and up now (no wonder I can't see!).  Wanted to get this out to you all asap.
Right now it's bands of torrential rain... I just felt a lull.  It's great to look at Rita on the radar to see the bands as they hit us.  Technology works... fantastic.
Rita will be here by 10 am... or so my calculations say, since she's moving at 20 knots she will blow through here quickly.  That's when we should get the most intense winds.  But she's moving FAST... so let her blow right on by.  NOAA has moved her course farther south away from us.  Looks like so far, so good.  At 8 am Rita was located 60 miles ESE of Marathon, and 100 miles ESE of Key West.  WAY better location for her to be.
They'd now said the tidal surges will affect the Lower Keys, not us.  WOOO HOOOOO!!!!  But we're under a a tornado watch (duh!)... but knowing we won't have that horrible surge is music to my ears.  Bill is actually smiling... We haven't slapped high fives just yet... but somehow I think it might be done over lunch.
Hurrying off now... will write later if we're still up and running.  Love to each and everyone of you!
Charmaine & Bill STILL Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Dick Conklin

Date: 09/20/05 08:48:25
To: Charmaine
Subject: RE: Tropical Storm Rita
Hey Mainey -- glad to hear that y'all are still afloat! We visited the hurricane party at the Oversleaze Lounge last night; lots of folks were there; many liveaboards planning to sleep on the floor. Looked like a great pajama party. We are also OK; hopefully a little later today we will be celebrating another dodged bullet!
Dick Conklin
Conch Communications
Freelance writing and journalism
(305) 289-0765  cell (305) 632-6287
Date: 09/20/05 09:10:35
To: 'Charmaine'
Subject: RE: [liveaboard] Waiting for Rita
Great update from the front (no pun intended) Charmaine.  I've been watching the storm radars and reports.  Looks like...though it's not over...you've lucked out.  But it's not over...you're still on the bad side of this one - be careful!
Be well, stay safe.
S/V Calliste
From: Dawn Hamlin
Date: 09/20/05 09:13:53
To: Charmaine
Subject: RE: Tropical Storm Rita
Great News... How are you still going girl... I know Bill was snoring at Mid-Night - Ha Ha ... I will wait for the updates as you send them!  Your a sweetie!  Hang in there!  TTYS!
From: Carol Chass
Date: 09/20/05 09:24:00
To: charmaine@septembersea.com
Subject: Re: Tropical Storm Rita

Glad to hear from you. Plus the great news.  We are in Miami, husband watched to much TV and had a hurricane panic attack, so to make him feel better we drove up to Miami.  Keeping flippers crossed for our dolphin kids.  They have great people taking care of them.

So stay safe and look forward to updates..............

Sea ya  Love Carol

From: Jeannie Phillip
Date: 09/20/05 09:26:28
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Tropical Storm Rita
Thinking of you.  A few years ago Jeannie and I rode out a cat 1 (Dennis maybe) at anchor.  Went to sleep in early am partying because it was to pass west of keys.  Over Cuba changed and woke up to a rockiin',rolling, lunging morning!  At about 0900 decided to get ashore to our friends in Galloway Bay.  Just absolutely wild getting into the dink (10' Caribe
inflatible)!  Only time we ever put on the bulky offshore vests.  The ride into the city marina had us screamming YAHOO all the way and then it was a riot getting to the dinghy dock.  All the vessels along the wall had lines across the canal so instead of the engine it was -- she would lift a line above her head  to hand to me above my head to put it behind us - and so on and so on and so on (one heck of a lot of them
While on Winds of Change we had received pages from my son, all three of her sons, and a few more!  The week after we got our first cell phone so that in the future we could let people know not to worry and all was
We are with you in spirit - rideen' cowboy!!!
Just US - Jeannie and PHILIP




Hurricane Rita Local Statement National Weather Service Key West FL 920 AM
EDT Tue Sep 20 2005 
... Hurricane Warning In Effect For The Florida Keys... ... Tornado Watch In Effect For The Florida Keys... ... Flood Watch In Effect For The Florida Keys...
... New Information Since Last Issuance... Storm Information Updated. Wind Impacts Updated. Rainfall Impacts Updated.
 ... Areas Affected... This Statement Is Specific To The Florida Keys Of Monroe County Including The Dry Tortugas. 
... Watches And Warnings... A Hurricane Warning Is In Effect For All Of The Florida Keys And Adjoining Waters... From Ocean Reef To The Dry Tortugas... Including Florida Bay. A Hurricane Warning Means That Hurricane Conditions..   Winds Of 74 Mph Or Greater And Storm Surge Flooding... Are Expected Within The Next 24 Hours. A Flood Watch Is In Effect For All Of The Florida Keys For Today And Tonight. A Flood Watch Means That Conditions Are Favorable For Heavy Rains And Possible Flooding. A Tornado Watch Has Been Issued For The Florida Keys. A Tornado Watch Means That Conditions Are Favorable For Tornadoes In And Close To The Watch Area. 
... Storm Information... At 915 AM EDT... The Center Of Hurricane Rita Was Located Near Latitude 23.8 North... Longitude 80.4 West... Or About 60 Miles East-Southeast Of Marathon... And About 90 Miles East-Southeast Of Key West. Hurricane Rita Is Moving West-Northwest Near 15 Mph. This General Motion Is Expected To Continue For The Next 24 Hours. On The Forecast Track... The Center Of Rita Will Be Passing Near The Lower Florida Keys By Early This Afternoon. Maximum Sustained Winds Are Near 75 Mph... With Higher Gusts. The Minimum Central Pressure Was 985 Mb... Or 29.09 Inches Of Mercury. 
... Precautionary/Preparedness Actions... All Storm Preparations Should Be Complete And Further Evacuations Are Not Advisable Due To Hazardous Weather Conditions. Residents And Visitors Who Have Remained In The Keys Should Stay In Place Or Seek Shelter At The Following Refuges Of Last Resort... In Key West... Harvey Government Center... 1200 Truman Avenue. Crown Plaza La Concha... 403 Duval Street. Wyndam Casa Marina Resort... 1500 Reynolds Street. On Duck Key... Hawks Cay Resort... Mile Marker 61. In Islamorada... Islamorada Library... Mile Marker 81.5. Island Christian School... Mile Marker 83.4. On Plantation Key... St. James Episcopal Church. In Tavernier..   Tavernier Health Department... 148 Georgia Avenue In Key Largo... Westin Beach Resort... Mile Marker 98. Marriot Key Largo Bay Beach Resort... Mile Marker 103. 
... Storm Surge Flood And Storm Tide Impacts... Total Storm Tides Of 4 To 7 Feet Are Expected This Afternoon... Mainly Along South-Facing Shores... With The Highest Storm Tides In The Lower Keys. This Will Inundate Some Roads And Low Sections Of The Overseas Highway. High Tides At Whale Harbor Channel Are At 1118 AM And 1129 PM Today. High Tides At Key West Harbor Are At 230 PM Today... 1208 AM Early Wednesday.
... Wind Impacts... At 915 AM... Spiral Rainbands Are Overspreading The Florida Keys. North Winds Were Sustained Near 30 Mph Over The Lower Keys. Sustained Tropical Storm Force Winds Of 39 To 73 Mph Are Imminent In The Lower Keys. Sustained Tropical Storm Force Winds Of 39 To 73 Mph Have Already Overspread The Middle And Upper Keys. Residents Of The Florida Keys May Receive Some Roof Damage To Homes And Businesses. Some Trees And Power Poles May Be Toppled As Well. Mobile Homes Are Not Safe. Power Outages Will Be Likely In Many Island Communities By Later This Morning. 
... Marine Impacts... Damage To Piers And Docks Is Likely This Afternoon And Tonight... And Marinas May Be Flooded. Small Craft In Unprotected Anchorages Will Be Torn From Moorings. Seas Will Build To 15 To 20 Feet Beyond The Reef Today... With Seas Of 25 To 30 Feet Near The Center Of Tropical Storm Rita. 
... Tornado Impacts... A Tornado Watch Is In Effect For The Florida Keys. Isolated Tornadoes Will Be Possible In Spiral Rainbands Moving Through The Florida Keys Today And Tonight. 
... Rainfall Impacts... A Flood Watch Is In Effect For All Of The Florida Keys For Today And Tonight. Rainfall Amounts From 6 To 8 Inches Are Expected With Locally Higher Amounts Possible. Rain Water Is Likely To Accumulate And Enter Some Homes... And Many Streets Will Be Impassable From Water And Debris. 
... Probability Of Hurricane Conditions... The Probability Of Hurricane Force Winds Is 16 Percent At Marathon And 34 Percent At Key West.
... Next Update... The Next Local Statement Concerning The Impacts Of Tropical Storm Rita On The Florida Keys Will Be Issued At About 1130 AM EDT.   Or Sooner If New Information Becomes Available. For Additional Information You May Visit The National Weather Service Key West Web Site At www.WeatherGov/Keywest.com.

From: Breighan Ladd

Date: 09/20/05 09:41:46
To: charmaine@septembersea.com
Subject: RE: Tropical Storm Rita
You're a silly mom. Up at 7:39 this morning.  Your daughter wasn't even up that early, around 8:15 actually.  Ha!  Sister and I are going to look at wedding dresses on Thursday since we can now all talk about it.  She told Iris last night and I get to be Maid of Honor.  How cool is that? 

I'll call tonight around 8pm (9pm your time)

Love to ya!



Weather Update Hurricane Rita

Hurricane Rita Discussion Number 11

Statement as of 11:00 am EDT on September 20, 2005 

Rita has become the ninth hurricane of the 2005 season. Data from Doppler radar from Key West...satellite and reconnaissance aircraft indicate that Rita has become a hurricane. Doppler radar peak winds at 5 to 10 thousand feet have been oscillating between 90 and 95 knots with an isolated peak of 100 knots...and dropsondes in the eyewall support an initial intensity of 75 knots. The pressure has decreased to 982 mb...and the satellite presentation has improved with very deep convection and well-established outflow. Both the upper-level environment and the ocean below Rita are conducive for additional intensification. The official forecast gradually brings the winds up but...it does not include the distinct possibility of rapid intensification in the Gulf of Mexico since it is difficult to forecast. Rita will have plenty of time over the Gulf of Mexico to go up and down in intensity due to eyewall replacement cycles.  
Rita is moving westward or 270 degrees at 13 knots since it is already south of a deep layer mean ridge.  This pattern is forecast  
to persist for the next 24 to 48 hours. Thereafter...the high is expected to move eastward leaving a weakness over the western Gulf
of Mexico. This forecast pattern should eventually force Rita toward the northwest toward the Texas coast. This is one the cases  
of relatively high confidence in the track forecast since most of the reliable guidance are tightly clustered. For those who follow  
just the skinny black line...it is always good to remind them that 3 to 5 day forecast errors can be large.
Forecaster Avila

From: MCOMCorp

Date: 09/20/05 11:01:51
To: charmaine@septembersea.com
Subject: Re: Tropical Storm Rita
Hang in there Charmaine!!!
It has been a non event so far in Key Largo, gusts to 40 maybe, but all secure and ok
Michael Cannon
Portsmouth Downeast '30
From: Michael Glanz
Date: 09/20/05 11:14:57
To: LiveAboard
Subject: RE: [liveaboard] Waiting for Rita
Charmaine wrote:
Of course, things can still change and I haven't had my morning coffee yet.
Me either...it seems that everything is up in the air with boats.  Went aground yesterday...minor, but probably ruined the new Trinidad SR keel and the engine had issues....still don't know what that is about.  Oh well....it is a boat.
Glad September Sea and Crew are safe.  You just enjoy that rain while you have it, now, ya hear?  Hehehe.
C-30 #1269
As-yet un-named

From: Charmaine [mailto:charmaine@septembersea.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2005 11:22 AM
To: Alicia; Andy; Antoinette Genesis; becca keffer; 'bella; Big Ed; Big Twin; Brandi Simpson; Breigh-Baby; Bren Bren; Brooke-I-Have-Now-Met; Bryce; Buddy; Capt Marti; Cheboone; Chris & Yanni; Chucky Hubbard; Danny & Diane; Danny y Debbie y Lobita; Dawnie Girl; Deanna Shaughnessy; Deb & Doug; Debbie & Bobby; Debbie Grant; Denise Lilley; Denny & Judy Aboard; Diana in Wrigleyville; Dick Conklin; Dolphin Lady Carol; Donna & Ray; Dr. Dlugie; Dunc; Edie; Ennie; Enyo; Ernest & Betty; Iris; jai lanre; Janet & Greggers; Keys Florida; Jeannie and Philip; Jeff & Marty; Jenny-Jen; Jim Powers; Jo Powers; John Murray; John Porter; Joshola; Kathy & Capt Jack; Kati my Sister; Katy & G-Man Charlie; Ken & Carolyn Vance; Krista Kay; LaMar & Marty; Lancer 36 Tom; Lanny Stowe Lonie; Letitia & Bill; Liz & Sir Charles on Espchiel; Loren my Dearest; Lori and Steve; Lovin' Larry; Maggie May; marathonflorist@aol.com; Margaret; Marlene & Reynold; Melissa; Michael & Sandee; Mighty Mite; Mike & Harriet; Mike on Liveaboard List; Mom & Dad Hotmail; Mom & Dad Ladd; Nae 'Nae; New; Norma Jean & Jim; Pat Schad; Peggy & Edwin; Randy; Reece & Dianna; Renee; Rhode Island Mike; Rick & Leann; Rob & Garth Aboard Whatever; Rose Caillier; Sandee Glanz; Sarah Smrcina; Scottie; Shane; Shannon & Steve; Shaolin Poker; Shelly & Ken; Sister Kitty (Deacon); Staci my Sistah; Steve & Beth (Four Ladds); Steve Ladd; Suzi; Tempestuous; Toddkins; Tom & Ellen; Wally Wonderfull; Wolfie, my German son; Zach my Cuz; Shelly Kay; My Honey; My Price
Subject: Hurricane Rita - What a Difference


Hey my Sweeties,


What a difference a day made 
Twenty-four little hours 
Brought the sun and the flowers 
Where there used to be rain 

My yesterday was blue, dear 
Today I'm part of you, dear 
My lonely nights are through, dear 
Since you said you were mine 

What a difference a day makes 
There's a rainbow before me 
Skies above can't be stormy 
Since that moment of bliss, that thrilling miss 

It's heaven when you find romance on your menu
What a difference a day made 
And the difference is you 

What a difference a day makes 
There's a rainbow before me 
Skies above can't be stormy 
Since that moment of bliss, that thrilling miss 

It's heaven when you find romance on your menu 
What a difference a day made 
And the difference is you 

Song written by Maria Grever and Stanley Adams as recorded by the great legend, Miss Dinah Washington. 


Daddy always whistled and sang during all my childhood years.  He still does to this day.  But it was Mother who loved Dinah

WashingtonWhen Mom was happy, she'd be humming and singing all through the house.  I remember as a child, sitting

and listening to her and I'd wonder how did she know all those words to all those songs!  I'd look in wonder at the beauty of

Mom and realized not only how strikingly beautiful she was, but that she had a lovely voice to match that beauty.  It is so very,

very true... there was no greater happiness in our home as when Mother was singing.




AMEN AMEN AMEN.  Layed down to sleep about 4 am and got up at 8 am, jumped on the computer to look at the radar and tropical forecast... and YES YES YES... Rita still can't get her ass up to be a hurricane.  Hallelujah!!  I just might find religion after this... Can you imagine me starring in "Sister Act IV?"  Whoppie and I would make one hell of a team.  LOL


Got my coffee.  Sitting in the wonderful air conditioning, life is good.  "We don't need no stinking condo!"  Thank goodness that's what I'm saying.  It's not over yet, far from it... but it sure is looking so much better than last night's forecast.  Never turn your back on a crazy woman, and that is what Tropical Storm wannabe-a-Hurricane Lovely Rita Meter Maid is. 


We're still watching her like a hawk.  The highest winds now are gusting around 60 mph, which doesn't sound all that bad,

but you have to consider what the water is doing at the same time.  Back here in our slip, the water is churned up pretty good,

but no really bad waves.  It is just that the water is like it's in a blender.  The boat is in the water.  We're in the boat.  We could be  Smoothie before this is over.  LOL  Actually, it's a pretty darn smooth ride when you consider what's going on with the weather.


Sure feels like a lot more wind.  Rita is hitting us pretty dayam skippy, but the twisted nylon hurricane lines are handling the job beautifully.  They'll stretch 30% if need be, and I tell you, it's a remarkable thing of beauty (and to think you never hear of it... yet you hear all the fuss about space shuttles).  Give me the thrill of marveling over the incredibly simple strength of

twisted nylon any day!


Every lull we run out and adjust the lines. Considering the amount of sustained wind right now, we're sitting quite comfortably.

Incredible.  Our slip faces east, just a tad northeast, actually.  Perfect position for riding out the NE winds we're getting--boats

love to point into the wind.  Of course, as Rita passes, we'll get winds from the SE...  but that direction will offer us even more

protection than where we're positioned now.


The great thing is that high tide is just an hour away, and we're doing just fine.  As I said before, the only thing that really

concerned me with Rita was the potential for a 7-10 ft. storm surge (what being on the "bad" side of a hurricane can do).  It

looks like at least that threat is gone.  Whew!


We dodged a bullet, my Babies.  A bullet.  I know that blessing has got to have a little something to do with a whole lot of

callous on all your knees...


Oh, how we love you! 


Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea

"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Donna Forrest
Date: 09/20/05 11:32:43
To: 'Charmaine'
Subject: RE: Hurricane Rita - What a Difference


You can’t star with Whoopi……she would never get another job once they got a look at you, my darlin’.

Glad all is well.  Continue to take care!


From: Michael Glanz
Date: 09/20/05 12:35:47
To: 'Charmaine'
Subject: RE: Hurricane Rita - What a Difference
We are praying you find religion...hehehe.....like Forrest Gump's Lieutenant Dan.  We do pray for you, sweetie.  Glad the main man is answering in the positive.
Mike and Sandee
C-30 #1269
As-yet un-named
From: betty
Date: 09/20/05 12:37:28
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Tropical Storm Rita
So good to hear the good news- hope everything turns out OK. Love Betty & Ernie
From: Woodward, Melissa
Date: 09/20/05 12:37:48
To: Charmaine
Subject: RE: Hurricane Rita - What a Difference
I'm so glad to hear from you!! I love you both but your C-R-A-Z-Y!! Remember I'm a Divernon Girl & yes I have been praying for the both of you.
Liss & Boo love you both very much. You guys have to understand we just saw what Katrina can do!! So it makes us very nervous. For Will , they talk about this in the classroom. So when they say the Florida Keys, Little Man Gets Nervous!! Just keep me updated. Love Liss
From: Larry Goodman
Date: 09/20/05 13:04:41
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Can you run and smile?
Anytime you need a lift, or just an ear, or a shoulder, Charmaine, I am right here at the keyboard. I am a night-owl and stay up late writing, editing, and putting together the manuscript for my next book. 
I enjoy your remarks and get a smile when your email addy appears at my 'puter screen. So unload your cares and woes, I have broad shoulders and a wide open mind.  Just for the record, I think black is beautiful. I loved Lena Horne until I saw the Secretary on Mannix. That love affair lasted until I saw the radio operator on Star Trek. I am a Trekky, but only because of that radio operator.
Where are you and what are your plans for evacuation?
Good friends are hard to find, but
Close friends are just a whisper away.
From: Jeannie Phillip
Date: 09/20/05 13:35:05
To: Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
Subject: Typos
Sorry about the spelling but was in the midst of passing the 3rd kidney stone in a row and was headed out the door for the emergency room.  Good news is the CAT scan indicates only 2 more to go (good because 5 yes ago on the boat I passed 9 in approx 11 hours - realllllly bad.
Hang in there inht's only a little bitty class 1 LOL. 2 of above (like Georges) was our leave the keys point.  A one is just a good stiff breeze (well, maybeeeee a bit more that that) - keep up the good spirits because one of of the best things of being on a
boat is if everyone on land loses their power/ water, etc, you're self contained!


Weather Updates - Hurricane Rita


ALERT 2 - Hurricane Local Statement


Issue Time: 1:14PM EDT, Tuesday Sep 20, 2005 

Valid Until: 2:30PM EDT, Tuesday Sep 20, 2005

Hurricane Rita Local Statement... Updated National Weather Service Key West FL 120 PM EDT Tue Sep 20 2005 
... Rita Now A Category 2 Hurricane... ... Hurricane Warning In Effect For The Florida Keys... ... Tornado Watch In Effect For The Florida Keys... ... Flood Watch In Effect For The Florida Keys... 
... New Information Since Last Issuance... Storm Information Updated.  
... Areas Affected... This Statement Is Specific To The Florida Keys Of Monroe County Including The Dry Tortugas. 
... Watches And Warnings... A Hurricane Warning Is In Effect For All Of The Florida Keys And Adjoining Waters... From Ocean Reef To The Dry Tortugas... Including Florida Bay. A Hurricane Warning Means That Hurricane Conditions..   Winds Of 74 Mph Or Greater And Storm Surge Flooding... Are Expected Within The Next 24 Hours. A Flood Watch Is In Effect For All Of The Florida Keys For Today And Tonight. A Flood Watch Means That Conditions Are Favorable For Heavy Rains And Possible Flooding. A Tornado Watch Is In Effect For The Florida Keys. A Tornado Watch Means That Conditions Are Favorable For Tornadoes In And Close To The Watch Area. 
... Storm Information... At 1100 AM EDT... The Center Of Hurricane Rita Was Located Near Latitude 23.8 North... Longitude 81.0 West... Or About 60 Miles South Of Marathon... And About 75 Miles Southeast Of Key West. Hurricane Rita Is Moving West Near 15 Mph. This General Motion Is Expected To Continue For The Next 24 Hours. On The Forecast Track... The Center Of Rita Will Pass Over The Florida Straits... Just South Of The Lower Keys Early This Afternoon. At 115 PM EDT... Maximum Sustained Winds Associated With Hurricane Rita Have Increased To Category Two Status And Are Near 100 Mph...
With Higher Gusts. The Minimum Central Pressure Was 978 Mb... Or 28.88 Inches Of Mercury.
forecast positions and Max winds 
initial      20/1500z 23.8n  81.0w    75 kt
  12hr VT     21/0000z 24.0n  83.1w    80 kt
  24hr VT     21/1200z 24.3n  85.8w    85 kt
  36hr VT     22/0000z 24.5n  88.3w    90 kt
  48hr VT     22/1200z 24.5n  90.5w    95 kt
  72hr VT     23/1200z 26.0n  94.0w   100 kt
  96hr VT     24/1200z 29.5n  96.4w    65 kt...inland
120hr VT     25/1200z 33.5n  97.5w    30 kt...inland
ALERT 4 - Flash Flood Watch
Issue Time: 11:14AM EDT, Tuesday Sep 20, 2005
Valid Until: 8:00PM EDT, Tuesday Sep 20, 2005
Urgent - Immediate Broadcast Requested Flood Watch National Weather Service
Key West FL 1100 AM EDT Tue Sep 20 2005
Recently Upgraded Hurricane Rita Will Continue To Move Through The Florida Straits This Afternoon... And Then Into The Southeastern Gulf Of Mexico Later This Evening. Very Heavy Rainfall... Especially In Bands Around Rita..   Will Occur This Afternoon And Evening.
Monroe Upper Keys-Monroe Middle Keys-Monroe Lower Keys- 1100 AM EDT Tue Sep
20 2005 
... A Flood Watch Is In Effect For The Florida Keys Through This Evening...
Hurricane Rita Will Periodically Produce Torrential Rainfall As Rain Bands Cross The Keys Today. Additional Rainfall Of 6 To 8 Inches Can Be Expected Over Much Of The Island Chain... With Isolated Amounts Of 10 To 12 Inches Possible. High Tide Occurs Late Tuesday Morning Or Early Afternoon Along The Islands... Compounding Flooding... Especially In Low Lying And Poor Drainage
Areas. Water Has Already Been Reported Over Highway One In A Couple Of Locations In The Middle And Upper Keys. 
A Flood Watch Means Severe Flooding Is Possible Within The Watch Area. Be Especially Cautious At Night When It Is Harder To Recognize The Dangers Of Floods. Persons Should Not Be Out On The Roads In The Keys.
Stay Tuned To Noaa Weather Radio... Commercial Radio Or Television Stations.   Or Your Cable Television Provider For Later Statements Concerning This Potentially Dangerous Flood Threat.

From: becca keffer
Date: 09/20/05 14:21:53
To: charmaine@septembersea.com
Subject: hey there
Hey  Girl glad to know your doing ok. I've been keeping you in my prayers. I love the little jokes you've been sending me. well I'll talk to you later love bec
From: wzs1
Date: 09/20/05 14:45:00
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Rita is a Category 2
Ok Char,
Just be careful darling I love you dearly, and you better know it too.
From: Kevin Miles
Date: 09/20/05 16:08:29
To: LiveAboard
Subject: RE: [liveaboard] Waiting for Rita
Very glad to hear that, Charmaine.  Keep us informed as you are able.
Best wishes and bless you.
Puget Sound
From: Charmaine
Date: 09/20/05 17:00:05
To: LiveAboard
Subject: RE: [liveaboard] Waiting for Rita
Thanks so much, Kevin.  I'm glad to report that we got through the surge.  The water was very high and we had a bit more than one foot left to see of the pilings.   The timing for Rita's storm surge (as a Category 2 when she hit the Keys) was perfect. Here she was dumping all that built up water she had suctioned and the tide was trying to recede.  So it worked perfectly.  She was bringing water in, and water was already on its way out. Fabulous.  It was close, let me tell ya.  I don't think I've ever been happier watching a tide.  LOL
Things get pretty dang simple when you are in something like Hurricane Rita.  She has hit us with tropical storm force winds of about 70 mph fairly consistently.  We have had gusts nearing 90.  Whew!  September Sea handled it all beautifully, and she's still got more to do.  She's not hobbyhorsing at all, just at times you feel as if you're being pushed by a heavy hand on the beam.  Right now, the winds are more from the SE.  When the
wind clocked around from SE to East, things were really nice.  Though it was howling, I never once have heard the rigging make that awful screaming noise.  Anyone who has heard it, knows exactly what I'm talking about.
During Katrina's pass by the Keys, the rigging screamed bloody murder damn near the whole time.  I said all along that the wind reported for Katrina here in the Keys was way off. I was in it.  So far, in comparison, Chief of Police Katrina makes Rita look like she's nothing more than a Meter Maid.
That's not to say she's not powerful, it's just that Katrina was not given the credit she should have been given by the media as she hit the Keys.  I sat here and wrote to everyone telling them that Category 1 Katrina is a force to be reckoned with...  she was not playing games.  How they say she was just a one when she passed right near Key West makes me think we must have been in the Twilight Zone and were the only ones to really feel what was happening.  But others here have said the very same thing.  Katrina was stronger and hit us for a
constant 24 hours.
All in all, we're just fabulous!  All is going very well considering what has gone on.  We're holding on just fine and life aboard is still damn good!
My best to everyone and thanks for all the well wishes.  You
guys are the greatest.
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: 'bella

Date: 09/20/05 16:32:20
To: LiveAboard, Charmaine
Subject: [liveaboard] rita...
hiyas all...
this is a great blog... and the current sat shot of lovely rita meter maid is just plain awesome... the blog changes from time to time as jeff adds to it..so the current sat shot might not be the same as the when i post the url.. right now its showing the eye of rita just SW of Cayo Hueso bella, stuck on land and hating it with a passion...
Put on your big girl panties and DEAL with it.......
From: Pierre Buhler
Date: 09/20/05 17:20:54
To: LiveAboard
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] Waiting for Rita
Great news for you and September Sea.
At least you still have power and internet.  When we were hit in North/Central FL last year, we were out for 5 days...
Congratulations again,
s/v Echappee
From: 'bella
Date: 09/20/05 17:24:01
To: LiveAboard
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] Waiting for Rita
charmaines internet is like mine...via an air card and the cellular towers. .... even in new orleans after the flood..the cell phones were working when nothing else was.. I know, i got daily reports from friends who were still there in the garden district/french quarter..and one was online with me each day via her air card. don't think i will ever go back to being hooked up to a phone line/cable modem again. this is fabulous. Expensive, i have sprint.. but t mobile is cheap.
From: Noel Russell
Date: 09/20/05 17:24:01
To: LiveAboard Charmaine
Subject: RE: [liveaboard] Waiting for Rita
Very glad you guys made it. Stop worrying us. You are more than welcome to join me in Orlando. (if you need to be on a boat, I'll get you on the universal water taxi; me p/t job)
From: Charmaine
Date: 09/20/05 18:15:17
To: LiveAboard
Subject: RE: [liveaboard] Waiting for Rita
LOL Noel.  We are not captives on the boat, so sorry to worry ya.  We have a sturdy condo right in front of us which we could have gone into at any time. .. and still can.  But we haven't had the need for it.  Hope that makes you worry less.
The only real danger I might want to experience is if George Clooney came to town and was sent my way with a craving for ham hocks and greens.  I got some soul food for him he ain't ever had!  LOL
Thanks, Noel.  Love those water taxis, but Orlando is way too busy for me... and has one too many little peoples that walk around with grubby fingers cause they eat all day while incessantly asking, "Are we there yet?".
Ha!  I promise... we're almost there.
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

You can see Rita's big eye... and she's flinging rain everywhere.  Key Largo is taking a big hit.

Marathon, where we live, stayed in an area with far less rain bands (see the clear spot) most of the time.  Very fortunate. The green red indicates heavy rain.  Now you can see why there is so much rain for those when the eye passes right over them.  Not only does the eye create suction and pull water up from the ocean, but it ends up dumping it all on wherever the eye hit land.  Rita had 45 ft. waves out at sea.

From: Charmaine

Date: 09/20/05 17:54:01
To: LiveAboard
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] rita...
78 mph at Sombrero Key light...
I can attest to that for sure.  Will a size 2x be big enough?  Ha!  Damn skippy they big enough!  I love my 'bella.  Dang
girl, I have missed you!  So glad you're back around.  Sorry we missed your call, my phone is internet based, so if we get
a blip or a low signal internet-wise... the phone won't work. Thank goodness for cell and satellite phones.
There have been readings of 90 and Jeff missed that one...  tell him to come over here and I'll show him a thing or two about
actual wind.  LOL
Marathon Airport earlier read wind gusts of 30 knots... that's when we were getting hit with at least 55 knot winds.  But
then again, the airport is far removed from the water.  It's nice to have a wind gauge on board just so you know you're really
getting slammed (as if the feel of it ain't enough).  Dang, we are suckers for punishment, LOL.
Doing fine, shouldn't be too long from now we'll be out of the high winds.  The thing is that the wind is relentless.  It just
keeps on coming.  But the riggin ain't howling, so things are pretty darn good.
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~
From: 'bella
Date: 09/20/05 18:22:58
To: LiveAboard
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] rita...
on rita...prolly, but she is a BIG girl...lol...
  no problem, I totally freaked when i heard ''cat 3 and keys' in the same sentence on the local 6 oclock weather news.
My first thought was that september sea did not have a chance to clear out so close to the storm. Would not like to hear that Charmaine or Bill, or the boat was hurt.. or anyone else who rode it out in Marathon.    where is mile marker 73? its impassible according to one bit of news from the keys. 

 i took charmaines advice and got an air card. NO way to get a phone in my building, where my studio is in the middle of the basement.. and the cable company refuses to install cable for just two ppl.. so its either a sat dish or the air card.. air card more portable.   just thrilled to see that marathon and key west dodged the bullet..    know this might sound sappy..but that grotto still stands and st mary once again saved key west.. thank you lady.

From: Charmaine
Date: 09/20/05 20:16:23
To: LiveAboard
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] rita...
Yes, 'bella... you and a whole lot of others put a whole lot of faith in seeing that grotto remain intact.  It's so wonderful that's the case.
Love you, 'bella.  Mile Marker 73 is near Islamorada, 25 miles northeast of us.  I heard that Key Largo (50 miles northeast of us) also had some flooding on US 1 as well.  The Upper Keys got more rain than we did, as the bands sometimes hit some areas and not others.  You have to remember that U S. 1 is the only way in and out of the Keys, and it winds and meanders along with going up and down... some areas will flood pretty easily.  "Impassable" makes it sound like it only floods during hurricanes.  I hear ya.  Sorry to scare ya like that, my Darlin.
I've seen thunderstorms with a lot of rain that made parts of U.S. 1 impassable.  The K-Mart parking lot here in Marathon with just a little rain is a virtual pond.  Only thing missing are the fish.  Ha!
I'm sure it sounded much worse than it really is.  We're snug as bugs (even with the air set at 68, ya just gotta love those long hot flashes at my age. ..) and never lost power.  If you are tied up right (and we are) riding this out is not that big of a deal.  However, it wasn't our only way to handle this storm.  We had lots of Plans.  Plan A, B, C and Get the flock outta Dodge!  For us, it worked smoothly.  We looked at Rita as she was forming and as she was coming along and we decisions accordingly.
Once we decided not to run up North, the window of opportunity at the time was only a matter of hours.   The Gulf was already beginning to churn up and the winds were blowing 25-30 knots long before Rita got here.  We thought it doesn't make sense to run from a hurricane if the running could put you in even more danger.  That also played in our decision to stay.
Many people would freak to the max at this.  One friend of mine here in Marathon sent me an email from Miami.  She said they left Marathon Monday afternoon because her husband had a "hurricane panic attack" from watching too much of the hurricane coverage.  It's not for the faint of heart nor those who get stressed easily.  I'm the kind who rarely, if ever, gets stressed about anything.  What's stress gonna do?  LOL  We each handle things in different ways.  But... just to let you know I'm all human... you
ll never see me bungee-jumping or parachuting out of an airplane.  Never!
The main reason to report to the List is to let you all know what really is going on.  There are so many who know we're here in the Keys and would like to know we and September Sea are safe.  I mean to tell ya, I have been sitting in it the whole time and when I watched ten minutes of The Weather Channel... I turned it off.  Ever since Katrina the media has turned into a bunch of doom-staters when it comes to hurricanes.  It gets the ratings up if a forecaster reports, "Oh my, if Rita had hit just ten miles more to the
north, Key West would have been totally devastated and many, many lives lost "  I actually heard that on the news.  If this and If that...  no wonder everyone is scared.  What they showed and said... and what we here aboard September Sea have endured are two completely different experiences.
CT said it right, I believe it was CT, who said many boats did not fair as well as September Sea.  He also said, but those boats probably didn't have a sailing crew like us.  I have seen it time and time again where people do not prepare at all, or prepare so little it's useless.  I think one look at all the listings on Yachtworld can show you there must be some percentage of sellers who are desperate to sell their boats.  If it doesn't sell fast enough, maybe a hurricane will blow it to bits and the insurance check will
pay for a new car.  I kid you not!
I've actually heard people say that.  Of course I was the one who said, "You jerk.  You're the ones who ram into properly secured boats.  Are you crazy?"   It's so true.  We knew what was coming and we prepared big time.  Took us a full 24-hours to do all that needed to be done to prepare for a Category 2 hurricane (and that was our mindset as to what Rita could possibly be), and
our boat is only 36-feet in length.
Maybe there are some who will read this and think, "Oh, never thought about my boat breaking loose and damaging someone else's boat or hurting someone."   Well, think about it... it will happen someday if you don't take responsibility for properly securing your vessel.  DUH.
We're doing good.  Miami is being hit with big bands of weather, just saw that.  Right now the winds here in Marathon are probably about 45-50 knots sustained still; and we've gotten quite used to it.  I think there's a bit of a lull...  ha.  Good thing to have that Doppler radar at hand, as we can see what is coming before it gets here.
All in all, looking good.  Will I do this again?  Well, under the same circumstances... yes.  But I'd rather hope that next time we'll have the opportunity to sail safely to our hurricane hole.
Love ya my 'bella.
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Julie Weston

Date: 09/20/05 18:25:02
To: Julie
Subject: Rita!
Just wondering how you are all doing???? 
My VERY positive thoughts are with you! and positive vibes sending Rita away from the Keys!
Please stay safe,
Hurricane Hugs!
Julie  (in England)
From: Admiral
Date: 09/20/05 20:51:01
To: LiveAboard
Subject: RE:[liveaboard] Weather - Hurricane Rita - Rita
As you might imagine, I have been a bit busy lately here on the Texas coast.  My son came by and helped me strip the outside of the boat. Mandatory evacuation by tomorrow evening. I will tie up as best I can and then head for San Antonio to help my mother. By the time the storm gets to San Antonio it is still going to be a hurricane. Mama lives alone and is 74 years old. Probably best to have someone with her. 
They are saying that what hit Florida is merely the hours devours. The main course is supposed to be cat IV on the Texas Coast of the magnitude of the 1900 storm that killed 7000 and Hurricane Carla that raked the entire cost and laid it to waste in 1961. 
I will get back here to whatever is left of my boat as soon as I can and will try to let you know how the Kerry Dancer came through it all.
Thomas R. Wright, MBA, CISA, W4TRW
S/V Kerry Dancer
Crealock 37 #14
Admiral # ev1.net
From: Charmaine
Date: 09/20/05 22:14:01
To: LiveAboard
Subject: RE:[liveaboard] Weather - Hurricane Rita - Rita
Oh my Sweet Admiral, 
I'm so sorry.  You must get to your mother.  Life is first.  She needs your help and you are a good son.  Bless your heart.
I pray that Kerry Dancer survives somehow.  You know, Admiral, just think of the 32 Westsail, s/v Mistral was set loose to fend for itself off during The Perfect Storm."  The boat was later found on the shore, sitting perfectly in tact.  I forget how far away it was... but it was far... the owner had to hire people to help him search for it.  
Boats do pretty good when not in a crowed marina.  Left on their own with a few anchors in a semi-secluded area and most will survive if they stay dry. Even if the hurricane... well, listen.  Kerry Dancer is the least of your problems right now.  I am humbled by what you stand to face.  What we have gone through will be nothing in comparison to when it hits the coast.  I have said earlier that I pray for everyone along the Gulf coast who could be affected by Rita.
Admiral... be safe.  I know you will take your family and go far, far inland   You go do what you have to do to protect your family... we will be anxious to hear from you.  I will be praying for you.  I am now. 
Bless you and yours, my friend. 
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~
From: Charmaine
Date: 09/20/05 22:31:32
To: A Bunch of Coconuts
Subject: Update
Hey my Sweeties,
We're doing just fine.  Hurricane Rita is still hanging around.  We're in a lull right now.  Feels good.  The tidal storm surge is higher this time than it was at 11 am.  We don't have much room on the pilings, and it's not quite high tide just yet.  Worst case, we'll have to allow the boat to go backwards outside of its slip until the tide subsides.  Out there, we still have lines to pilings far from us.  No danger for us there.  A minor inconvenience is that we'll have to cut shore power.  So if you don't hear from me, that's all that has happened and nothing more.
I'll be back online later on and let you know that all is still well, which I'm sure it will be.
Now everyone is looking at Texas.  They have a monster Hurricane coming to them: a Category 4.  To give you some perspective, a Category 5 is 100 times more intense than a Category 1.
Somewhere on the Gulf Coast is going to be devastation much like New Orleans   Incredible, this soon.  However, this is what is known as the end of our lull period with hurricanes.  They started back up around 1995 after being
quiet for some time.  It is only going to get worse and more people are going to be in harm's way.
So Jai, that means hang on to your pantyhose... cause we just might be sailing to Venezuela at the end of this hurricane season.  I ain't kiddin. This is terrible and will just continue.  It's not like I've had enough, it s just that one of these times we're going to lose September Sea in a major hurricane.  All the running we've been doing, it's only a matter of time before a big one hits us with devastation.
Anyway, say some prayers tonight for those in harm's way of Rita.  I hope they evacuate everyone anywhere... anywhere at all remotely close to the path of Rita.  She is a killer.
I am LOVING YOU all,
We're fine and well... just heard a wake up call.  LOL
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Vonage

Date: 09/20/05 23:02:48
To: charmaine
Subject: You have received a new voicemail message
Date: Sep 20 2005 11:02:37 PM
From: Outside Caller (1217000-0000)
(Click play to hear message from our grandson, Will, aka "Boo.")

I'm working on getting this up and running, bear with me, please.

My Liveaboard List friend, Thomas Wright (aka Admiral) reports below the conditions at the San Antonio evacuation center as he arrived with his aged mother.  GOOD NEWS is always great to hear.  Looks like the center couldn't have been any more efficient and effective in assisting those displaced as comfortable as possible.  Thank you for allowing me to reprint your report here, Thomas.  You're a peach!

From: Admiral
Date: 09/23/05 02:24:03
To: LiveAboard
Subject: [liveaboard] Rita [was: hello]
Safe and warm in San Antonio...
Went to McCreeless Mall today which is the staging area for refugees. As soon as we arrived, they ran to the car with bottles of ice water and breakfast for both me and my friend that drove me here. They sent us to Windsor Park Mall where the refugees are going to stay. The lines moved quickly, the people were extremely nice and understanding and they just couldn't do enough for us. They got someone to drive me to a clinic where I was seen by a doctor that not only gave me prescriptions for my meds but gave me a complete checkup and updated my medications to something much better that what I was taking. They faxed the information to the pharmacy.  The driver returned and picked me up and took me back to the center. Then the driver went to the pharmacy and picked up the medications for me while the center fed me lunch. Every time I had to stand in line, they brought chairs and ice water. I couldn't sit or stand anywhere without a bottle of water in my hand. I grew up in this town many years ago and I have never seen so many people being this nice to each other in this city. After all the criticism and mistakes in New Orleans and the problems in
Houston and the people all crying for "more money" I thought someone should tell just how really great these people are and what a good job they are doing.
Thomas R. Wright, MBA, CISA, W4TRW
S/V Kerry Dancer
Crealock 37 #14
Admiral # ev1.net

Two computer models show Rita doing a U-turn and coming back out through the Alabama/Mississippi border.  I've learned that the BAM model is very accurate, usually.  Seeing that two of the models predict that particular scenario, I would only hope those in harm's way take heed.  Though Rita's winds are dissipating quickly, the huge amounts of debris already in these areas could cause very dangerous results.  Thank goodness she hit as only a Category 3. WOOOO HOOOOO.  It's a blessing.  A blessing.  Normally, I don't write of the hurricanes once they are out of our hair... but knowing my friend, Thomas Wright, is right in the middle of it with his aging mother, I am compelled to continue the report on Hurricane Rita.

Hurricane Rita Discussion Number 28

Statement as of 11:00 am EDT on September 24, 2005

Rita has continued to weaken as it moves farther inland. Doppler radar indicate that winds are about 80 to 90 knots at about 5000 feet. This would support sustained winds of 65 knots at the surface but much higher gusts. Now that the core of Rita is well inland weakening should continue as indicated by decay SHIPS model.

Rita is moving toward the north or 350 degrees at 10 knots. Steering currents are forecast to become very light so only a small eastward drift is anticipated beyond 24 hours. Rita should produce torrential rain as it drifts eastward.

Forecaster Avila

forecast positions and Max winds

initial      24/1500z 31.0n  94.3w    65 kt
 12hr VT     25/0000z 32.5n  94.5w    40 kt...inland
 24hr VT     25/1200z 34.0n  93.5w    30 kt...inland
 36hr VT     26/0000z 34.5n  92.0w    25 kt...inland
 48hr VT     26/1200z 34.5n  91.5w    25 kt...inland
 72hr VT     27/1200z 34.5n  90.0w    25 kt...remnant low
 96hr VT     28/1200z 34.5n  90.0w    25 kt...remnant low
120hr VT     29/1200z 34.5n  90.0w    25 kt...dissipating

From: Peggy & Edwin
Date: 09/24/05 20:05:37
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Rita is Gone
Have been thinking of you big time... Am typing in the dark, because in Nicaragua, they conserve electricity, so forgive typos, because I ain´t gonna go back and correct.  Just to say, we have been holding our breath for you, and  so glad all is well, and you got through this and that and this again ''dayam," as you say. Love you guys soo much, and miss you as much.  What about Whatever, and Katy and Tom.... are they still there or what, and just to let you know, we are loving Nicaragua, and so would you guys, just love being back in third world, where nothing works, and everyone smiles big time!!! Will get more detailed upon return, just thinking of you and already prayed out over you.  Love to both, Peggy / Edwin

From: Charmaine

Date: 09/24/05 20:23:12
To: Peggy & Edwin
Subject: Re: Rita is Gone
 Quick note... dinner's ready... all is FANTASTIC, my Loves.  Katie and Tom moved over to Marathon Marina September 1st.  I was sick with my back and didn't even get to see them before they left... you'll get a kick out of an email from Katie asking if she and Tom had offended us in any way... like we were avoiding them... GEEZE... I called her a MARTHA and told her to stop being SO FRIGGEN' BLONDE !!  LOL  Love her and Tom with ALL my heart. 
DAYAM  Speaking of BLONDE.... check out the link below... HYSTERICAL!!!  Breighan sent it to me... I laughed my ass off.  Either go to the website shown or click on the logo if you have a Media player... it's ready to rock and roll!

       http://www.smartelic.com/       Or click on the logo: blondestar copy.jpg (19265 bytes)

Anyway, check out our website, I'm just documenting the NEW HURRICANE CHRONICLES of 2005.  Let's hope there are no more names to add to DENNIS, EMILY, KATRINA and RITA.
I think I'm gonna let my hair grow out and change my name to GLORIA GAYNOR>
HUGS AND KISSES... You know Peg, we just might go wherever you guys go... or at least sail to visit... 'cause we LOVE YOU and MISS YOU BOTH THAT MUCH>
Ooooh, my Peek-a-BOOOOOO
Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's ... oh, you know all that shit....

From: Jeff Wilday
Date: 09/25/05 10:56:39
To: Charmaine
Subject: RE: Blondestar

Brutal!   Glad you were able to ride the storm out once again. 

From: Joyce (Guthrie) Eans
Date: 09/26/05 10:57:52
To: charmaine@septembersea.com
I was so glad Chey forwarded your e-mail.  I asked Friday afternoon if she'd heard from you, and she sent your "Rita" note on to me.  I think of you and Bill each time the wind blows in your neck of the woods, and it looked like you got a REALLY GOOD ONE this time!! 
My friends and I are so enjoying all your beautiful pictures (at your website).  I gave Chey a CD with pics I took at the memorial service, but told her I wasn't sure there would be anything on it.  I can see stuff, but when I take a CD into the office...nothing's there!!  I only have Juno, so can send 2 pics at a time; must have taken about 40 that day, so it would take me forever to send all to you.  I'm having her come over to try out the new hot tub Fred and I bought for our anniversary (16 years on Sept. 16), and will have her help me move stuff to a CD once again.  Not giving up on this!!!!  (My cousin used to say, "You gotta be smarter than the object you're working with."  My new laptop is WAY over my head, but I'm workin' on it.)  ;>)
many hugs


Yabba - Dabba - Don't!!

Hurricane Wilma October 15th - October 25th Maximum Winds 175 (mph) Minimum Pressure 882 (mb)

A strong, strong hurricane… pummeling Cozumel (Mexico) for hours and hours as a Category 5, and expected to take a big turn to the Northeast.  Here we are… sitting smack in the middle of the Keys in Marathon.  Wilma’s coming… and she’s projected to be heading right for the Florida Keys.  Oh yeah… time to get the flock outta Dodge.  We gotta get out of here, and fast!

As Wilma wreaked havoc and devastation on Cozumel and much of the Yucatan Peninsula… sure brought back memories of talking with Wally and Dawn Hamlin who were vacationing there during Hurricane Emily.  Emily was a low Category 3… the pictures from the aftermath were so frightening, to say the least… and Wilma is a Category 5.  What a horrible replay for the people there… with Emily they were in a Ronald Regan B-movie… you’ll live, but ask “Where’s the rest of me?”  With Wilma they had Freddy Kruger all over them.  The Horror.  The Horror.  Sheer terror and life threatening danger.

We stayed in the Marina for Hurricanes Dennis, Rita, and Katrina.  Our slip faces nearly dead East, and when tracking those hurricanes, all Category 1’s… we decided we’d be safe staying tied up to the docks here.  When you read about our experiences with Dennis, Rita, and Katrina, you’ll see we were snug as bugs, very safe here.  The long line of two-story concrete condos that run across the east side of the Marina were considered as a heavy protective barrier that would protect us from the strongest winds of all three hurricanes.  Katrina wasn’t listening when we surmised that… in fact, we didn’t even know she was coming down to the Keys.  She turned direction, unexpectedly, and headed right for us.  Had we the time, we would have surely decided to run for the protection of the Little Shark River.  An up to 12-hour trek (depending on the currents and wind direction), we just didn’t have time to get there safely.  The Gulf of Mexico was already churned up and blowing 25-30 knots.  We’d just have to do what is necessary to tie September Sea up properly and ride it out. 

Katrina pushed us hard from the southeast, winds of 80+ mph… for hours and hours.  But September Sea and her crew came out just fine.  Life is good.

~ ~ ~ 

Watching Hurricane Wilma as she headed to the Yucatan Peninsula… yet she was expected by all computer models to make a 90 degree turn after leaving the Yucatan and head northeast... heading right for the Southwest coast of Florida.  As she makes the full turn... she's expected to hit THE KEYS.  Projected to be either a Category 2 or 3 when she hits the Keys.  OUCH! 

Fortunately, this time we had the window of opportunity to make preparations -- GET OUT -- and sail up to the Little Shark.

You'll get the whole blow by blow soon.  Off to Illinois early Friday morning, October 28th.  I'm making notes and will get it all down for you all soon.


From: Charmaine
Date: 10/18/05 16:22:01
To: Friends & Family (A Bunch of Coconuts)
Subject: Sailing & Wilmaaaa!!
Hey my Darlings,
Right now, Hurricane Wilma, the 12th hurricane of the season (which ties the record set in 1969 for most hurricanes in one season), is predicated to come through the Keys by Saturday am/Sunday pm.  Unreal.  Have mercy, what an incredible season.  It's predicted to get worse for next year... if ya can imagine WORSE than this year.  DAYAM.  All the more reason to get the flock outta the Keys before next year's hurricane season... down below the hurricane belt, around the 10th latitude.  AMEN to that!!
We just got back from a glorious week of sailing... fantastic weather and wonderful wind.  Just an exhilarating and fabulous trip!  We so enjoyed it.  We even enjoyed the 12-hour return trip from Key Lois (took us three hours to get up there).  The wind changed and the seas were around 4-6 ft. right outside the reef (which we had to go out there to have room to tack back and forth as we beat to windward into a 27 knot headwind).  WOW!  Talk about YEE-HAW!!!  Actually, as sick as it may sound, I absolutely enjoyed it.  The moon was full
and lit our way (great to see crab pots before getting 'em tangled up in the prop!).
We'd had a bit of engine trouble at the mouth of Bahia Honda, which is about half-way back to Marathon from Key Lois.  The winds were so high and the seas contrary and angry... so we thought we'd duck into
Bahia Honda and ride it out.  Ha!
Sometimes things don't go as you wish them to... right at the mouth of Bahia Honda is a very strong current and on that day it was extremely strong and unfortunately, going against us.  Had the current been going into Bahia Honda, it would have just carried us on in there.  But noooo....  I was at the helm and making NO progress... she wasn't even pulling a knot out of the engine.  She just hummed like she was moving... but we weren't moving as I noticed a little tree on the small isle (and shallow spot) right outside Bahia Honda's entrance had not moved from my view... remaining in the same spot for fifteen minutes. DAYAM.
Can't get in... I told Bill we weren't moving and he agreed.  So I turned the boat to windward and Bill put up a double-reefed mainsail (we had the foresight to already have the double-reef prepared before we left Key Lois).  We put out about 25% of our 180 genoa and sailed back out to sea.  We figured we could tack back and forth, each time only making about two miles of progress, and it would eventually get us home.  Just 11 miles to go.
Out at sea the waves kept getting bigger.  They went from one foot near Bahia Honda to 4-6 ft. as we angled past the reef.  But we were sailing at a steady 4 knots and albeit slow, we were making progress.
We had to do a controlled gybe to make the tack... the seas were so contrary I couldn't believe it.  I had the helm hard over and she just wouldn't come to lee.  No choice... gotta gybe.  She acted as if that's exactly what she wanted to do and we sailed back toward land once again.
Out ETA for the outside of Boot Key Harbor was midnight.
Our GPS stayed at a steady 7.5 miles to go no matter where we were out there... looks like we were merely pivoting around the same spot... Boot Key Harbor.
On our last tack toward land the headwind was really something.  The wind indicator measured 28 knots right on September Sea's nose.  Well this girl likes a little wind in her nostrils and we were slowed down to 2 knots... but our ETA was finally dropping.
We shaved a half-hour off and got into the anchorage right outside Boot Key Harbor at
about 11:30.  By the time midnight rolled around, our anchor was well set and the GPS Man Overboard showed we weren't moving.  Fantastic.  Made our drinks... (gotta have plenty of libation) and got some snacks.  We had rinsed off a bit and were enjoying the lovely moonlit evening in very calm waters.  Life is good.
In the morning we got a call from our good friend Wally Hamlin who reported to us that Hurricane Wilma was indeed a very possible threat to us here in the Keys.  Right after Wally called, our good sailor friend Chris (working in Salt Lake City) called with the same report.  His sailing vessel, Magus, has accompanied us to Little Shark River for a couple of hurricanes before... Chris was trying to decide when to fly back so he could take his vessel (and his lovely, sweet wife, our good friend Yanni) up to Little Shark with us.  So far, we told Chris, looks like we'd be heading up on Thursday.
We came inside Boot Key Harbor at high tide (2.4 over mean low) around 11 am and the wind had picked up from when we hauled anchor (8-10 knots) to a steady 15 gusting to 20 knots.  When we first went to haul anchor and Bill was at the bow, I put the engine in forward and heard a strange clanging sound from the engine.  Yup.  Once again I had no power.  Bill came back to the cockpit and lifted the engine hatch and saw that a screw was loose on the linkage, causing it to lock up.  He got his tools and made some adjustments... then we checked the engine's gears were properly aligned... then he tightened the screw all the way down.  I felt the wind picking up again.  My knot meter said 23 knots.
The Boot Key Harbor bridge ceases opening and closing for passing sailboats when the wind reaches a sustained 30 knots.  I looked down and my wind indicator said 27 knots.  Holy Crappola Bat Bill.  I yelled to Bill that the Bridge could close if we don't hurry in...  "We GOTTA GET IN and NOW."
By the time we got to the Bridge, we hailed the Bridgetender and the wind was a steady 23 knots.  We informed him of the wind and that we could possibly have some trouble maneuvering (the channel is very narrow)... so we'd appreciate it if he'd not delay in waiting for us to get into the normal position to open the bridge... but to go ahead and open the bridge now.  He 10-4'd our request and he immediately lowered the crossing gates on the roadway to the bridge.  The bridge then began to open.  Whew!
Got through without a hitch... the wind was blowing a steady 22 knots.  As we headed eastward in the channel, the wind was gusting again now to 26 knots.  Made the right turn to navigate a straight-away in the channel up to "Dog Shit  Island" (an appropo moniker due to years of people bringing their boat-bound dogs there to take a 'shyte').  Keeping September Sea on the straight and narrow in that kind of wind isn't the hardest thing in the world, but it did demand all my attention, as the wind was now on the forward port (left) quarter panel... trying to skew me sideways out of the channel.  September Sea was up to the challenge and responded to every move I made at the helm -- what a sweet baby girl she be.  We got through, reading 1.8 feet under our keel (at HIGH TIDE of 2.4+ !!).  Unreal.  The water was literally being blown out of the Harbor by the strong winds.  Whew!  Made a big sigh of relief as I steered to make the left turn around Dog Shit Island and now was back into a strong headwind.  All went well as we passed Dockside and then made another left to the straight-away to our Marina.  Put September Sea in her slip with a no-touch landing... that's always my goal... I don't want her topsides or toerail to touch a thing.  She sure appreciated it too.  Bill hoped off the boat to tie up the bow as I put her into reverse for just a second to settle her down.  Put her into Neutral and I hopped out of the cockpit to position the fender between the midships and the piling on our finger pier.  As Bill pulled her just a bit forward, I tied the two amidships lines to the boat and she was IN!!
Bill says, (as if he doesn't say it every single time we come in): "Dayam Girl, you are GOOD!  WOW!  Fantastic landing!"
In all honesty, he doesn't say it every single time, just when the conditions are very challenging and I show him that once again... I'm up to the challenge... 'cause it just doesn't seem to bother me one bit.  I'm sure September Sea sighed at Bill's comment... She knows I protect her as I do my children and grandchildren.  She knows we have a strong bond between us... and absolute trust.
We're still getting things back in order aboard now that we're tucked safely into our slip at Sombrero Lighthouse Resort & Marina.  However, it appears now, since looking up the status on Hurricane Wilma at www.wunderground.com, we'll be leaving on Thursday to take a trek to our hurricane hjold at the Little Shark River. Wilma is expected to be a Category 3 by the time she reaches the Keys... DAYAM.
We'll be just fine though up at Little Shark.  You can peruse our previous adventures at Little Shark by going to our website and selecting HURRICANE CHRONICLES.  Also, under ADVENTURES is "LITTLE SHARK RIVER" and you can see
other pictures of our adventures there.
Here's the 2 pm status of Wilma, below.  The graph reflects the consensus of the different computer models' projected paths starting with where Wilma was located at 2 pm today and her forecasted location at 2 pm on each subsequent day. The color code indicates anticipated Storm Category intensity.
As you can see, quite astonishingly, all the computer models are in marked agreement that Wilma will make a sweeping right turn off the Yucatan Peninsula and head on a northeasterly course bound for the Keys and the bottom portion of Florida's west coast.
Here is the 11 am Discussion from NOAA regarding Hurricane Wilma:
Hurricane Wilma Discussion Number 12

Statement as of 11:00 am EDT on October 18, 2005

Wilma is being upgraded to a hurricane based on subjective Dvorak
classifications of t4.0 from all agencies...and objective T numbers
from UW/CIMSS of t4.5 since 09z. Another reconnaissance aircraft is
scheduled to be in the system this afternoon. Cold convection is
being maintained over the center...and strong upper-level outflow
channels continue to the northeast and southwest of the center.
Oceanic heat content ahead of Wilma is high. The only inhibiting
factor is the dry air mass in the Gulf and extreme northwestern
Caribbean...but the large and growing circulation of Wilma should
be able to keep much of this air from reaching the core. A high
likelihood of rapid strengthening is indicated by the SHIPS rapid
intensification index...and it is likely that Wilma will be a major
hurricane when it enters the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. As Wilma
accelerates northeastward late in the forecast period...wind shear
is forecast to increase...but there may not be enough of it to
weaken Wilma very quickly. However...it is Worth remembering that
there is little skill in long-range intensity forecasts.
The initial motion is estimated to be 320/5.  There has been little
change to the track forecast thinking.  The mid- to upper-level low
that had been off the Southern California coast is now moving
northeastward...and as it progresses high pressure over the Gulf of
Mexico is expected to weaken...allowing Wilma to move through the
northwestern Caribbean and enter the southeastern Gulf of Mexico in
about three days.  Once Wilma moves north of the subtropical ridge
axis and encounters mid-level westerly flow...an acceleration
northeastward is expected.  Model guidance has not changed much and
remains in very good agreement...and the official forecast is very
similar to the previous advisory and close to the dynamical model
Wilma...the 12th hurricane of the season...ties the record for most
hurricanes in a season set in 1969.
Forecaster Franklin
forecast positions and Max winds
initial      18/1500z 16.5n  80.6w    65 kt
 12hr VT     19/0000z 17.0n  81.2w    75 kt
 24hr VT     19/1200z 17.7n  82.3w    90 kt
 36hr VT     20/0000z 18.5n  83.5w   100 kt
 48hr VT     20/1200z 19.6n  84.5w   105 kt
 72hr VT     21/1200z 22.0n  85.5w   105 kt
 96hr VT     22/1200z 24.0n  84.0w   100 kt
120hr VT     23/1200z 28.5n  78.5w    75 kt
Of course I'll let you know what is going on and confirm when we leave for Little Shark.  Since Little Shark River is in the Everglades and out of cell phone and radio range, we purchased a satellite phone after last year's many treks up there... and will use it to keep in close touch via our daughter Breighan (BiffyB83@hotmail.com).  Feel free to email Breigh so she can add you to her list of contacts for sending updates via email regarding our progress. 
Love ya all... hope all is well with you and yours.  We don't anticipate this event preventing us from getting back home to Springpatch on the 28th.  We miss you all so much and KNOW we will be there!!  Diana and Will (aka "Boo" and "Boo"), Chocolate Grandma can't wait to get you both wrapped up in her ams!!  Melissa, Alison, and Breigh-Baby, don't fret Dear Daughters...  we WILL be there!
Cheyenne: You KNOW we're coming so I can take ya back wid us... SMOOCHES.
Wally Wonderfull, Dawnie Girl, Haley and Alex... you guys always keep us in the KNOW and we SOOOOO appreciate it.  Can't wait to be there in the flesh and hug you all soooo tightly!!!  (The Hamlins: Springfield's family of Hurricane Hunters)
Charmaine & Bill
Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Dick Conklin
Date: 10/17/05 13:38:54
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Out Sailing
Charmaine -- it isn't right that two people should have so much fun. And they say that my job (going out to night spots and reviewing restaurants) is too much fun!

From: Charmaine
Date: 10/18/05 19:06:43
To: Dick Conklin
Subject: Re: Out Sailing
Dayam Dick, I MISS YOU!!!
Give Arlene and big hug and kiss from me.
Hope your kids are doing well.
We'll get through Wilma... you guys be VERY careful... if she's close, pack up and get the hell outta Dodge. 
We're taking no chances with this one, Category 3... time to hit the Little Shark... we'll be just fine there way down in the mangroves.
I am LOVING YOU Dick Conklin!!!
Will be in touch.
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: 'bella
Date: 10/18/05 02:30:32
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Out Sailing
enjoy is sister girl... the sailing that is... looks like either you or me is gonna get a blow this weekend... better me than you...
at least my baby is in a hurricane hole..
I am soooo jealous... really really jealous..
talked to norm tonight he is 3-4 days out of anacortes heading back in. He says the trip is super good. He and a freind took friends trawler up the coast to british columbia.
geez everyone i know is on the water and the closest I get to liquid is someones bedpan...
keep me posted.. will post the weather underground blog tomorrow.. tired, bus was late, made me miss my connection.
after a 45 minute wait i took on that stopped  8 blocks from the house.. walked at 1:30am thru da ghetto.  my white skin stood out like the klan in thier bedsheets.. streets were empty, deserted.
store fronts have these roll down shutters.. felt like i was in a bad b grade movie... rats everywhere in the shadows..from the time I left work at 11:35 it took me until almost 2am to get home.. crap...
first time this has ever happened.  I usualy never am more than an hour and a half.. most times just an hour.. the things one does for money and a new to me boat..lol...
night, tired.. cats are close to becoming fur slippers and kitty stew.. driving me to drink.. more not less for sure
bella, the envious

From: Charmaine
Date: 10/18/05 17:44:28
To: 'bella
Subject: Re: Out Sailing
Girl, next time you get caught in the Ghetto... tell 'em you got Vertiglio... you know, Michael Jackson skin
disease... you ain't white...
YOU just my Sis 'bella. 
... that got the GOOD hair...
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~
P.S.  I'll stay in touch... hope it's us instead of you... we'll be fine in the Little Shark.  Don't want you in harm's
way, Darlin.
Ain't another one like ya!
Stay safe.



From: Charmaine
Date: 10/18/05 17:15:33
To: Sheila Beebe
Subject: Sailing & Wilmaaaa!!
Hey my Darling Sister Sheila,
I had just sent out an email to friends and family giving them an update on what we're doing.... and so glad to see your email in my Jund Mail.... I GASPED and rapidly clicked APPROVE SENDER...
Got you now.  And I'm damned glad too.
Geeze Louise, how I do miss you.
I've forwarded the email I sent out earlier... it's below.  Enjoy it, my Love. 
Bill and I had such a wonderful time out sailing this past week.  A full seven days out and it was glorious.  Sun, wind, the calm and beguiling seas... and how I love them so.  I'll take the sea whether she's rocking me to sleep or rocking my world...  'cause either way, she makes my body and soul feel alive.
While we were out, just this morning before we sailed in, I took a picture of a huge rainbow that was hovering just behind our cockpit.  I took the picture quickly because it was waning... and I then started saying aloud... a poem thought of spontaneously... and Bill listened...
and cried.

Son in the Rainbow


 Today I saw a rainbow

it seemed that it had eyes.


 Yes, eyes inside that rainbow

even so, to me, 'twas no surprise.


M son, you see, watches over me

as his father and I sail upon the sea.


Today I saw a rainbow

so familiar way up high.


Yes, way up inside that rainbow

I looked into its eyes.


I realized on second look 

its colors a lovely arch.


It truly had a hazel glow

rubbed my eyes til parched.


And so I truly, truly know...


Today I saw a rainbow

turned to mirror in the sky.


As it reflected off the sea

I smiled as wide as ever could be.


Because today I saw a rainbow

one so perfect as ever could be.


Today I saw a rainbow

which looked so very much like me.


Bj had beautiful hazel eyes.   A rich hazel...  so precious.
I love you, Sheila.  I'm so glad the kids are doing well.  I'm so proud of Corey... WOW!!  A DJ with taste...
I'm sooooo diggin that.  Can't believe he and Brit are past their mid-teens.  Dayam.  Where DID the time go.
Sophia in Grad School... Breigh is so proud of her and of course Breigh has planned to follow in her footsteps.
What a wonderful pair they make.  We love Sophie so much. 
We'll be home on the 28th if all goes well... I'm determined to make that trip come hell or high water...
and it looks as if that is exactly what will COME...  hahahaha.
I LOVE being in touch with you.... on the first Sunday we're home to Springpatch we'll have a get-together at
my Father's house.  Hope you all can make it.  It will be so good to spend some time together and just LAUGH
ourselves silly!!
You are always in our hearts, Sheila.  We love you so much it almost hurts.... but then, that's what love does.
The sky above has some wonderful additions... Jack and Bj... can you imagine the things they're talking
about right now?  What you wanna bet they're not engrossed in a great strategic game of chess?
Every star, every moon... every time the sun shines and the birds fly... I know that Jack and Bj's combined
energy had a little something to do with it all... and making me take notice... and SIMPLY SMILE.
Love to the Babies and YOU!!
Charmaine & Bill Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Larry Goodman

Date: 10/19/05 00:01:00
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: This and That
Your "blow-by blow" description was so real, I had to get a towel and wipe the spray from my monitor. A big "well-done" for greasing it into the slip. Or slipping in the grease, whichever works.
When we first got our 40 footer, I had to bounce off  the pilings to get into our corner slip. This was accompanied by screams of STOP from the crew, who thought I was in control.  Then the Co-Captain said I could no longer use the "Ping-Pong" approach, and I had to learn how to do it right.
I told her a ship could only have one captain, and she said fine, I will be an Admiral. She may not always be right, but she is always the boss. I did not see that in the fine print, but she had me where it said LOVE, HONOR and OBEY. I thought that was for the both of us, but I was wrong again.
Why don't you sail up the west coast and take a slip in one of the nice marinas in Homosassa Springs or Crystal River. No Hurricanes here. Not so hot as the keys in summer either.
Super Wal-Mart and Lowes is 12 miles, Home Depot is three miles from the marina in Crystal River. 
I am not familiar with Shark River. Where is it?
Now you have a parallel story to my going backward out the Golden Gate.  Up until recent, I was a die-hard stinkpotter, but with the price of gas, I can see why you chose wind power. But then when the wind blows, you head for a safe harbor.
Wimmen, I'll never understand them.  (Nor boats).
Now this may surprise you, but I firmly believe that all machines have a soul. They respond to some people and refuse to co-operate for others. Boats are also a type of machine, and  react to the treatment they get. You indicated you feel  the same about September Sea. Think about a boat that has sat neglected. See how fast it deteriorates. it's soul is very depressed, it wants to die.
If you set sail this minute, you could not get far enough away to escape the winds from Wilma. This is a huge storm about 200 miles across. Beg, borrow or steal a car and haul your ashes to the mainland before the bridges are closed.
I will be thinking of you when the storm hits the keys.

From: Charmaine

Date: 10/19/05 10:23:07
To: Larry Goodman
Subject: Re: This and That
Hey my Sweet 'Gator,
At our website you can select to read "The Hurricane Chronicles."  It is somewhat of a narrative of our adventures running from hurricanes last year...
This year's Chronicles I've just started putting together for the site.
If you read over last years... you'll get to see where we go in the Everglades as our hurricane hole.
Also, under "Adventures" you can select "Flamingo" and "Little Shark River," for more insight on what goes on when we're there.  "Flamingo" is right at the tip of Cape Sable...  the origin of my "Mosquito Horrors" emails.
Once you check out Little Shark, you'll see it's a literal labyrinth of mangroves lining small inlets and outlets of the River.  Our spot is very nestled in... most people have no idea of what is at Shark River, but we
went up there three years ago and scoped it all out, mapped it, did depth-soundings and investigated where the best protection is found (depending on which way the Hurricane comes).
We were there for Hurricanes Charley and Hurricane Ivan.  For Hurricane Jeanne we ducked into Flamingo awaiting information as to whether we needed to get back to Little Shark or head back home to
Check the Little Shark River out...  then let me know what you think.
LOVED your email, 'Gator, as I always do.
I'll stay in touch and remember to keep our daughter Breighan's eddress so you can keep apprised of our situation.
This will be a bad one... but we'll be safe at Little Shark.  I just pray for those in harm's way... they do a Forest Gump and RUN! [Forest, RUN]
Love ya,
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: 'bella

Date: 10/18/05 11:01:34
To: LiveAboard
Subject: [liveaboard] WILMA 
latest models show her to be headed to sw fla or the keys.. charmaine are you listening..
"how old would you be IF you had not idea how old you are?"
"Invincibility depends on ones self, the enemy's vulnerability on him. --
sun tzu


From: captmarti
Date: 10/18/05 20:44:36
To: charmaine
Subject: Re: Sailing & Wilmaaaa!!
I really urge you NOT to go to the little shark...it is highly possible that Wilma could come right over you there. It would offer a good deal of protection but if anything went bump then you'd be screwed.
Go into the whiskey creek mangroves. I'm going there tomorrow to tie off and prepare. will probably get off the boat from the looks of it.
Let me know if you need any info on the whiskey creek..just off of sisters creek...
As of five pm today it was forecast to come ashore at the everglades near Little shark as a cat III! I wouldn't want to be in the Shark for that.
Good luck!
Capt Marti B
Cruising Companion Publications
Creating Books That Cruisers Keep Close At Hand

From: Charmaine
Date: 10/19/05 10:48:15
To: captmarti@netzero.net
Subject: Re: Sailing & Wilmaaaa!!
Hey my Sweet Marti,
Today it looks better.  They have Wilma coming in high on the west coast of the State... but not high enough for
us to stay here.  She's a Category 5 at this time, but is said to become a Category 4, then a 3 by the time
she reaches our coast.
I would ride out a Category 3 in the Little Shark, I was there for Charley and Ivan... Charley passed right over
us and we hardly felt a thing.
The area I go into Little Shark, is an area not often ventured by others.  Bill and I went there three years ago
and scoped the place out, made maps and took depth soundings.  We found a few really protected areas, those are where we go (takes almost an hour and a half to get there once inside the River).  It has mangroves
way up high, as the land tiers...  and we're nestled way down low.  The winds blow right over the tops of the trees, hardly affecting us down where we're tied.
The other thing I like about Little Shark is that we can tie the boat up bigtime with tons of mangroves and much
thicker trunks than around here.  And if the circumstances became that we broke loose, we'd never move out of
the canal where we are, as mangroves jut out forward of us and would simply stop our boat from moving.
It's a perfect place to ride out a hurricane, though I don't tell others about it because they don't do the
homework to find a good spot there.
I know we'll be just fine up there.  You'll be fine here in Whiskey Creek, I am hoping Wilma doesn't even really
hit the Keys.  Her eye is only 5 miles wide... 
However, we watch the reports and keep updated constantly.  Nothing is out of the question, as it remains to
be seen whether or not the predictions stay as they are.  We could change our minds if it appeared we would be in harm's way.  We are cautious...  but we also have done our homework and know what we CAN do and what we should not do.
Cross your fingers, Darlin.  Let's pray this one doesn't hit the Keys at all.  She can come over Little Shark if she
wants to... and she'll just blow right over the top of us.  (Gulp!)  LOL
Thanks, Marti.  You're a peach.
I'll stay in touch.
Be safe.
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Charmaine

Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2005 11:00 AM
To: LiveAboard
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] WILMA
We were in the Little Shark River when Hurricane Charley hit Fort Myers.  We had actually moved closer to Charley by  
going to the Little Shark.  Charley passed right over the top of us... and we hardly felt him.  There were others there who were from Fort Myers, felt so bad fro them.
The Little Shark River is a meandering labyrinth of mangroves...  three years ago Bill and I went there and did a lot of research:  
depth soundings, mapped the whole place out, where the narrowest canals are and where they lead... the kind of mapping  
you can't get anywhere else.  You just have to go there and do it.
Where we stay when we go up there is in a very narrow canal that has mangroves tiered all around the boat, and with cross sections of mangroves that come into the canal, leaving only a very slight opening for getting the boat out, both fore and aft.  Truly nestled.
The great thing is that no matter the tidal surge, we're fine there.  The winds go over the top of you, down on the water in one of those canals, you don't feel much.  During Hurricane Charley we barely moved, though we could hear the wind howling and bending the tops of the mangroves.

You can read more about our adventures up there during Hurricanes Charley and Ivan at our website under "Hurricane Chronicles."

Wilma will no doubt be a Category 3 by the time she reaches Florida's west coast... though it seems we will be moving closer to her by sailing to the Little Shark, it still is the best place to ride her out.  We've done it before and we were there for Hurricane Jeanne as well (ended up going into Flamingo, the origin of the "Mosquito Horrors").
Under "Adventures" you can also see pictures taken at The Little Shark River.  You'll see we're very schooled at this and we are very cautious.  To someone who has never been there, the exact places we go inside Little Shark it would cause alarm, I'm sure.
And nothing is in concrete as of yet.  We're watching things carefully. And we will be careful, I promise. 
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Deb

Date: 10/19/05 12:11:05
To: 'Charmaine'
Subject: FW: [liveaboard] WILMA
Hi,  Was looking on your website for info. on how you tie-up/anchor in the mangroves during a hurricane.....is it there or do you have suggestions?
Hope you don't mind going direct here.....I'm new at this .....
Thanks  Deb
s/v nauti-gal II

From: Charmaine

Date: 10/19/05 17:50:55
To: Deb
Subject: Re: FW: [liveaboard] WILMA
Hi Deb,
No problem at all.  My pleasure to hear from you!
If you go to "Hurricane Chronicles" it does show how we tied up at Little Shark River. 
We use 5/8 twisted nylon line that has a thimble braided into it and then that's connected to chain which is what you we use to wrap around the mangrove trunks.
Eight lines, four on each side, port and starboard, seem to work for us. We also put out an anchor fore and aft
and make sure it's dug in.
The key to survival at Little Shark is to find a very narrow canal, 50 ft. wide at most, then tie your lines to each side of the canal.
Make sure you have good protection from the east, as storms always seem to pummel from there no matter what.  Make sure your boat is facing the direction the hurricane is coming... (opposite of its reported path).
Of course, the boat needs to be stripped to bare poles.
Many have ridden out Category 4's and 5's in the Little Shark.  That's not my plan... but I do know that it is the best hurricane hole in all of Florida.  It's the Everglades... I guess God put it there for a reason! 
Take care.
We'll be taking off early tomorrow morning, it's a 12-hour trek for us.
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~
On 10/18/05, Charmaine wrote:
10-4 my 'bella.
I just sent you a long email about our week out. Just got back into the slip about two hours ago. Had to catch ya up on what went on... fabulous outing. 
Wilmaaaaaaa!!!! Why didn't Fred keep that Stone-Aged Woman under lock and key. Dayam. I think he misunderstood and thought someone said "locked on the Keys." Ha. 
She's gonna come really close... we'll probably head to the Little Shark River on Thursday, if she stays even close to the projected path that showed today at 2 pm ( www.wunderground.com).
Oh well, I wasn't quite ready to come in anyway...
Dayam 'bella... she's the 12th hurricane of the season... equaling the record set in 1969. We be in a heap of trouble, Barney! Better get Betty back so she can take Wilma shopping at the Dino-Mart. 
Oh well, I suppose this is what I get for being barefooted all the time.
Love ya! I've missed the list and all of you here... I'll stay in touch.
Hope all and their loved ones in harm's way will yield and move out Wilma's way. No need in this day and age for anyone losing their life over a hurricane.
Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: 'bella
Date: 10/18/05 18:01:13
To: LiveAboard
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] WILMA 
no, no, no, no,....NOTG the shark... the projections are for somewehre near there and if it hits fort myers you will be on the south side.. it suxs to have a sailboat right this second...
if you had a 48 hr window for safety i would tell you to wait till the modells come out thursday...
i put up links for you especially though i never said so....
crap... some terrorist threatened both baltimore tunnels.
cops closed the tunnels down for 3 hrs.. it was scary
nothing happened, the fbi says the investigation is still open.. the whole
thing started two weeks ago so they say. wow!

On 10/19/05, Charmaine  wrote:
Bless your heart, my Sweet Sis 'bella.

Yes, the Little Shark is the place to be for us.  A direct hit here in the Keys as a Category 3 or more.... would be horrible.

I've got a secret place that is all lined with mangroves that go way up in the sky... I'm literally down in a hole.  It would take a tornado to pull my arse outta there...  Other than that... safe and sound, no worries.

We have a satellite phone and will be in touch with our daughter in Illinois
She will be sending out updates of our situation as need be.  Also, a
couple other boats are going to come along... of course they're gonna have
to find their OWN little nestle up in there...

Remember... it's not the WIND that usually causes deaths and injuries... it
s the WATER.  Like I told my sister: "I'm in a boat.  Think of Noah and
think of ME."  LOL

No manmade debris up there to wreak havoc with your vessel or self.  No
other boats to drag down or blow into you.  That's the beauty of the
Everglades.  Only the mosquitos and the alligators, the egrets and nature...
oh yeah, snakes too.

I've heard snake is very good eating.

Don't worry, 'bella.  The bottom line right now is the forecasters just
simply don't know WHAT she is gonna do or where she is gonna go... they're
all over the place like hungry people at a Chinese Buffet.  She's in the
Yucatan and making a U-turn back out to sea... no, she's going to Ft. Myers.
you see the dilemma.  Where do you go?  Short of flying out to the State
of Washington, I think anything is possible... LOL

So we do what is prudent: get the flock outta Dodge and somewhere SAFE.

I'll stay in touch.

My best to all and let's hope everyone comes out of this one unscathed.  I
know I will.

Charmaine Aboard s/v September Sea

"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~


From: Joyce Eans
Date: 10/19/05 14:53:09
To: charmaine
I don't see anything like this, but one of our PAs says Hurricane Wilma is the largest hurricane EVER!!!  They're all just about runnin' around with their heads cut off....like it's comin' right for US!!  Have you noticed...men are worse gossips and worriers than women!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  hehe
I'm so glad you told me you have a hidey hole, altho something running across the whole penninsula. 

From: Charmaine

Date: 10/19/05 17:42:08
To: Joyce Eans
Subject: Hurricane Wilma
Hey my Sis Joyce,
No, we don't have to run across the peninsula to get to the Little Shark River.  It's in the Everglades, a straight trip North from where we are.  If you go to our website you will see it mapped out and where it is in relation to the Keys. 
Wilma has peaked as a Category 5 and her reading of 886 mb is the record for the lowest mb reading... which means a huge, intense hurricane.
The general consensus is just that: GENERAL.  No one really knows exactly where Wilma will land, that's the problem.  However, we do know that she will in all probability be a Category 3 by the time she hits the Keys (IF she hits the Keys).  It will be close, so we're taking no chances.
A Category 3 with winds in excess of 105 mph we can do... we have done it many times.  No worries.   We could probably stay here in the slip, but we would be running the chance that Wilma could come much closer... her eye is five miles wide and that's where she packs a hell of a punch.  No thanks.  LOL
We're playing it safe, Darling.  Leaving in the morning, I will send you another email before we leave.
We'll be just fine.  Don't worry.
Love you!
Charmaine & Bill
Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: 'bella
Date: 10/19/05 19:22:00
To: LiveAboard
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] WILMA
keep your fingers crossed...I have been reading a blog that the weather guys are argueing over the latest models.. half of which still say florida the other half are argueing for it staying in the carribean and hitting mexico maybe twice. not even coming to fla. and if it does a week cat one..
and after some thinking on it.. I agree get the heck out of dodge.. the keys have an evacuation for all liveaboards...so go...hide out.. Tell bri to add me to her email list..
my boat is safe..what worry about for her is the flying debris from the condo construction all around her..
lady blessings, fair winds charmaine and september sea

From: Charmaine

Date: 10/20/05 08:56:29
To: Steve Price (My Price)
Subject: Stay Safe, Darlin!
Hey my Love,
Stay on the alert for Wilma, she could go just about anywhere... Tampa could get hit.  Just keep a watchful
eye... I use www.wunderground.com and find it to be one of the most informative, easy to understand,
weather websites.
We are on our way to the Little Shark.  Not worried a bit, as that is the place to be in this case.  Whether
Wilma is a Category 2 or 3 or even a 4 (which I doubt) when she hits, we are very safe at the Little Shark.
My love to you.  Kiss Syd for me and tell her I love her.
Will give you a jingle when we get back.  Remember to
contact Breighan for an update on us.
Much Love,


From: Steve Price
Date: 10/20/05 10:41:52
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Stay Safe, Darlin!
  Thanks for the advice. I'll keep tuned to the underground. Leaving for Las Vegas Wed. a.m. May need to move it up a couple of days. Stay safe, Love, Steve
From: Brenda McLaughlin
Date: 10/20/05 08:47:29
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Hurricane Wilmaaaaa!!
From: Edith Harris
Date: 10/20/05 07:56:55
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Hurricane Wilmaaaaa!!
Love to you both and keep safe.

From: Peggy & Edwin

Date: 10/20/05 17:47:04
To: Charmaine@SeptemberSea.com
Subject: how amazing you both are!!!!!
Dear Charmie, and Bill,
We certainly do not worry about your "Seamanship" one bit.  We just are so crazy upset that you have had enough, already, and you keep getting slammed with one challenge after another--this is God's way to make you so tough that you make the rest of us look bad---and we are damn jealous!!!!  We love you both, and won't even say stay safe, because you do!!!! And you meet every obstacle with a slam dunk!!!!  Bj is proud of you, Brei is proud of you....We are in awe of you---what more do you want???? Here we go again, as you say... Dayammmmm!  What a year, and when you venture out outta here...Here me loud...You will get "Bruce VanSants, Gentlemans South" used to be "Thornless Passage South"... Anyway, tell us you have this already, and if not...We will get it for you, a MUST before you go, and tell us you know who Herb Hilgenberg is-Just messin with your mind--better than airhead Wilma!!! Love you, P&E

From: Steve Weinstein

Date: 10/21/05 17:13:29
To: LiveAboard
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] sheez on da radar...wilma that is
'bella (and Charmaine when you stick you lovely head up from under the mangroves!),
Hot off the press - or at least the 5/news, it now looks like the longer Wilma stays over Cancun/Cozumel and that land area the better it will be for south Florida.  Evidently the Jet Stream is pushing its way really far south.  If Wilma lingers over the Yucatan peninsula the two things will evidently play into a really good thing for South Floridians (and residents of the Conch Republic!).  The first is that the longer she stays over land the less intensive she'll become....duh!  Hurricane Knowledge 101.  More importantly is that the longer she stays and stalls over Mexico the more time the Jet Stream will have to push further south. 
If she stays over Mexico for another day or so (bad for them!) then the Jet Stream will most likely push the bitch onto a more southerly path which - other than a lot of rain from the west side of the storm - could make the whole thing pass south of KW.  Good for the Conch Republic and points north, bad for Cuba.
I hate to say this but you south Floridians should pray that Wilma hangs in Mexico for a day or so.
Steve Weinstein
1981 Cherubini Designed H33
Sailing out of Oyster Bay, NY
From: Steve Weinstein
Date: 10/21/05 17:27:01
To: LiveAboard
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] sheez on da radar...wilma that is
Don't EVER listen to me!!! Me Bad, Me Bad!!!!
NOW they're saying (as of 2 minutes ago) hitting the Ft. Meyers area Monday afternoon as possibly a CAT-1 or 2 but most likely a CAT-1 - Max winds at this point forecasted to be about 90 mph.  Which could decrease further.
I'm now going back into my cage and resume muttering to myself!
Steve Weinstein
1981 Cherubini Designed H33
Sailing out of Oyster Bay, NY
From: 'bella
Date: 10/21/05 16:36:51
To: LiveAboard
Subject: Re: [liveaboard] sheez on da radar...wilma that is
this is NOT the first time cancun has taken a direct hit... seems to me last yr or the yr before ....the yucatan sits out there like a sore thumb.. this time of yr, it is fairly common for hurricanes to form where wilma formed...its a crap shoot....
as for the cuban station..it goes up and down on a fairly regular basis.. sorta like somone turns the light switch off and on... lol.
It is still worth bookmarking... for those who sail in that area its worth it for weather.   IF you can get a cell signal and your air card works its super.
 still don't know if i can use this beasty, the air card, other than the us... but it sure is fantastic here.
On 10/20/05, Steve Weinstein wrote:
Last night a weather station on Grand Cayman was reporting 20-30 sustained and gusts to 50 or so. Since the eye had already passed southwest of GC I suspect Cuba only got about the same.
The one's I feel for at the moment (I'll "feel for" our south Florida brethren on Sunday and Monday) are those around Cancun and Cozumel.  At the moment it looks like the eye will pass right over them as a CAT-4 or possibly CAT-5.
My wife works for the Omni Hotel chain which had two properties and they just got notified that employees and guests at both hotels are being evacuated to shelters.  Does not look good for those resort areas.
Steve Weinstein
1981 Cherubini Designed H33
Sailing out of Oyster Bay, NY

From: Jesse card

Date: 10/21/05 01:39:54
To: Charmaine
Subject: BJ, christiansted and beyond
Hello Charmaine!
Jesse Card here.. what a great tribute to your son, I feel wonderful getting a chance to see so many great pictures of him. I wanted to let you know that I am the one who wrote that tribute to BJ on the Brew Pub sign. They are lyrics from a song by the band Pennywise, a band that BJ and I both love and connected with. My heart was so heavy the morning after BJ was found and that
song was just constant in my head, I had to put it up for everyone to see.


Once again, I wish you the very best. Take care... until we meet again
From: Steve Weinstein
Date: 10/21/05 00:18:42
To: LiveAboard
Subject: [liveaboard] WILMA
To all my South Florida friends, batten down the boat, leave it, and get your ass north!!!  I just checked the NWS Hurricane site (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/) and it looks like someone's painted a bull's-eye on the keys again! 
Steve Weinstein
1981 Cherubini Designed H33
Sailing out of Oyster Bay, NY

From: Charmaine

Date: 10/26/05 21:55:13
To: Friends & Family
Subject: Wilma Survivors!!
Hey my Darlings,
We're alive and well.  September Sea road out all that Wilma could throw our way...  We went to the Little Shark River, north... very near Everglades City and Wilma passed right over us...
DAYAM.  We knew this was a distinct possibility (Wilma's eye coming right over us) when we left on the 20th... but staying here in the Keys was not an option.  Over 120 mph winds... geeze.  But we hung tight and the mangroves protected us.  We never hobby horsed or rocked, really... as unbelievable as that sounds, it's true.  However, Wilma had two big, strong hands that pushed us hard... heeling 30 degrees when she gave it her all... and that happened about 8 times in total.  Enough times for me!  LOL  All in all, not too bad.  But the mangroves took a huge beating... but they protected us.
Soon, I'll add Miss Wilma to the "Hurricane Chronicles" at our website.  I won't leave out a thing... and there are lots of things to chronicle, for dayam sure.  You won't want to miss that blow-by-blow... and I do mean BLOW!!!
We arrived back in Marathon earlier today... to devastation.  Soon as we hit the channel to enter Boot Key Harbor... we saw a Grand Banks trawler (m/v Three Quartertime) SUNK.  It belongs to two of our very best friends, liveaboards Tom and Katie.  Tom's my "Big Twin" brother.  Horrible sight,
looking over and seeing their beautiful boat sunk as I steered dodge ball with about fifty loose crab pot buoys right in the middle of the channel.. all with only eighteen inches under the keel... wild ride for sure but got through... with big tears in my eyes.
Dockside, an icon in this community is trashed... all finger piers totally destroyed.  Tons of sunken boats.  Our marina at Sombrero Resort is in bad shape... all finger piers in irreparable shape.. that is  if they're there at all!  But there is another side of our marina that wasn't damaged, so we re now along that concrete seawall.
Bayside here in Marathon is destroyed.  Faro Blanco, Banana Bay... they had a 12 ft. storm surge and the water destroyed all the cars over there.  Here on the Atlantic side, we got a 6 ft. surge... cars were fine over here (at least our Land Cruiser was intact... and dry).  Close one.
We're tired and STILL WILL hop a plane Friday morning for Illinois to visit very worried family...  Can't wait to hug my Babies... Breighan... I'm gonna squeeze you too tight!  Buddy Bud... you're in for some lovin'... Diana and Will, Chocolate Grandma & Chocolate Papa are COMING HOME!!!!  We love you all so very, very much -- each and every one of you.
I've missed you all..  hope we didn't worry yaz too much (Peggy, are you listening??).  I'm sure you think we're nuts, but we're not... we're just avid fans of the Little Shark River, having mapped it out and done our own depth soundings... we know it very well and know it is nature's sanctuary for boats otherwise doomed for destruction.
Oh yeah... watched "The Perfect Storm" as Wilma came in....
finished up with "After the Storm," an adaptation of Hemingway's novel.  I know, I know....
But you know all know me by now.  LOL
Love yaz...  Hope all are safe and sound...  
Charmaine (& Bill) Aboard s/v September Sea
"Life's a Gift... (and so is the Little Shark River)... Unwrap It!" - C~

From: Larry Goodman
Date: 10/27/05 06:08:16
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Wilma Survivors!!
So glad you survived the storm. I worried about you.
I really enjoyed your long news letter, even tho I don't usually read form letters, too impersonal. I feel like I'm reading somebody else's mail.
The TV news showed the Keys during the storm, as taken by amateur videographers. I saw many boats sunk or thrown ashore. Not a safe place to be. Had you taken my advice, your floating home would be a mess. I was wrong. You did the right thing.
Kinda busy today, too many odd jobs on the Honey-Do list,  but will look at your website soon.
Talk later

From: Mike & Harriet
Date: 10/27/05 09:15:26
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Wilma Survivors!!
Sooo glad you guys are OK.  We thought about you a lot, especially when they talked about eye going over Everglade City!  We got the news on Dockside yesterday, we're supposed to be there Nov 20.....doesn't look good.  They said check with them in 10 - 14 days to see how repairs are going.....Would appreciate you keeping us posted of anything you know!!  Take care!
From: Woodward, Melissa
Date: 10/27/05 09:43:26
To: Charmaine
Subject: RE: YES!!
Hello Family,
Glad to hear from you! Will was a little upset; he thought he was getting a phone call last night, but I reassured him that you both had a lot to do so you could get here on Friday. We are so glad you are safe. I've talked to Biffy so much this week. She will aslo come down on Friday & be at the house. I told her she has to come down a lot. I dearly miss her so much. So, I will see you on Friday can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Love, Liss
From: Wally Hamlin
Date: 10/27/05 10:34:19
To: Charmaine
Subject: RE: Wilma Survivors!!
lookin forward to seeing you guys CONGRATULATIONS ON KICKING WILMAS BUTT!!!!!!!!!  no hill for a climber Right?

Wally Hamlin

4481 Ash Grove Drive
Springfield, IL 62711
800-991-9356 - office
217-741-6501 - cell

From: Judy Rouse
Date: 10/27/05 11:03:11
To: LiveAboard
Subject: [liveaboard] WILMA SURVIVOR
Relieved to hear that September Sea weathered the storm and that you and Bill are fine.  Hope I never have to learn what 120-125mph wind sounds like from the inside of any boat!!
"Run from the water; hide from the wind."  That old hurricane adage still holds true.  Sounds like you have found the perfect mangrove area to do both.

From: MCOMCorp
Date: 10/27/05 11:16:02
To: charmaine
hope you are safely back from Shark River and all is ok with you and the boat.  I have been thinking of you out there, probably under the eye as it went over and saying a prayer for you now and again...
hope all is well
From: tom@threequartertime.com
Date: 10/27/05 11:34:16
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Wilma Survivors!!
twin...we're alive in vero bch. will be going to keys in a day or two to see mess....will be in touch    [Tom & Katie]
From: 'bella
Date: 10/27/05 11:59:39
To: Charmaine
Subject: Re: Wilma Survivors!!
you are completely certifiable insane you know that????
but I adore you anyways...
Bri let us all know you were okay asap... after wilma..
am so sorry to hear marathon is damaged..
its funny... the news reporters spent days on new orleans yet about 3 minutes on wilma ... mostly around naples [were the money is] and about an eye blink on key west and nada on the rest of the keys...
glad to havbe you back lady...
From: mikeg
Date: 10/27/05 12:47:49
To: 'Charmaine'
I see you are in normal form after arriving back at the home port.
How are the clean up efforts going?  Dayum shame you guys have been hit so many times the last two years.  Anything feeble I can do for you from here?
Hey, sweets,.......what are the possibilities of obtaining sailboat parts from salvors in your area for cheap?  Mercenary?  Nope...just being thrifty.  Do you know of any way to obtain boats or parts for salvage? 
On another note, is there a need for salvage operators down there?  I could move there in an instant if I could find meaningful gainful employment making ungodly amounts of money salvaging boats.  Otherwise it would not be worth it.  I can live here and be abused quite well, thank you.
Hugs and kisses, babe.
From: kathy burnett
Date: 10/27/05 16:42:18
To:  flg5@bluefrog.com; BADEMING@YAHOO.COM; cmazes@charterinternet.com; juliedelbert@yahoo.com; Hookamax@worldnet.att.net; js2525@aol.com; DESTINYM1998@AOL.COM; nurseratchet42@yahoo.com; Charmaine@SeptemberSea.com; kenandlori20032000@yahoo.com; LGNSRN@AOL.COM
Subject: surviving WILMA
we rode the storm out on our boat... yes we aren't the brightest crayons in the box, but you know how the capt'n hates to leave. we were fine, as long as the wind was coming out of the s.east. no problems with the boat. but when wilma clocked around to the s. west..well that is a whole different story!! we rocked & rolled from side to side. i looked out of the companion way & there were 4' to 4 1/2 'waves in boot key harbor!!!!NEVER seen anything like it!!!  so we were taking the blows, and as charmaine says..daaaammm!!
tried to get some sleep, but that was almost impossible. i got up & looked out again. the dock acrossed from us was at a slant & the waves were breaking over it!!!  jack got up & looked out. he was standing there for a while, then he came down & said that we were gonna have to get off the boat!!! i said "WHAAAAAAT????!!!!!" GET OFF THE BOAT?!!!!! he explained that the finger pier had just flew up & hit our lines that hold the mast in place!!! so, i threw some things into a zip loc (thank god for them)!! put on a life jacket, ( aren't you proud of me!!!) crawled along the side of our boat, (low of course), waited for the boards to clear away from where i wanted to jump in & i LET GO!!!!!  i swam about 10 ft.to the dock & grabbed ahold of the pier post. rudy happened to be out checking things out & i hollered for him. he looked around & couldn't see me, then i waved to him & he came runnin'!! i crawled out & ran to the van & got a towel. then jacked threw the zip locs to me. i grabbed my camera out of the bag & started to take pics. got some pretty good ones. then jack jumped in & i helped him out. we sat in our van & watched our boat go back & forth. along with the mast that is being held on with one line now. ( i know there is a name for them, but it has escaped me right now.) while we were sitting in the van i said to jack,"I AM NEVER, EVER, GOING TO DO THIS AGAIN!!!!!!!!!! and you know what? he agreed with me!!!!!!! i have never been so scared in my life!!!!! but you know, i can say it was an experience that i lived through. jack gave me a great big hug at the end of the day & said he is very proudof me.   hell, so am i!!!! after the wind quit, we got back on the boat, & it looked like a bomb had gone off!!!! everything is all over the place. but i am slowly getting itback in place. at least we are safe & the boat is fine.
but we won't be staying on the boat for any more storms!!!

just thought you'd all like to know what we went through.

take care & keep in touch!!!
love to all,

[Note from Charmaine: Kathy, they're called SHROUDS]

From: captmarti
Date: 10/27/05 18:35:26
To:  Charmaine
Subject: Re: Wilma Survivors!!
Hi Girl,
Just a note to say that the other woman survived unscathed deep in whiskey creek. Spent the hurricane at the hospital with another nurse, the ceo and an er doc Cindy. We literally opened the hospital with my leatherwoman tool..removing the wing nuts and storm shutters ourselves. Offered limited services...no lab, no xray no respiratory. Wish I had learned how to operate that stuff...we could do all of the respiratory stuff so that was no biggy.
Had lacerations, dislocations, broken bones, seizures and even a 90 year old lady that OD'D! FEMA sent a DMAT medical team to help..stupidly staging them in homestead...so they got to experience first hand what a 90 mph sustained wind is like. They were exhausted when they arrived so they were sent to bed.
I am worried about TS Beta and soon to form Gamma. Keep a sharp watch girl...it isn't over yet.
All the best
Cruising Companion Publications
Creating Books That Cruisers Keep Close At Hand

Date: 10/27/05 20:46:21
To: Charmaine@SeptemberSea.com
Subject: website
Hey dear friends!
Tonight I finally had the time to enjoy your website (I'm prepping for the colonoscopy in the morning) and it has been a walk through time, reliving fun times, old friends, memories of Bj, just a wonderful evening of love and friendship.  We heard from R&G of the damage to our beloved Marathon.  Thank God we didn't plunk down our millions for the slips at Dockside!  Hope we'll see you when we visit in February.  Need two new engines for the boat so we are not going anywhere on water, just over it at about 30,000 feet!
Katy and G-man Charlie

Subject: The Wind and the Wilma
                                                         Recap of Hurricane Season 2005 and The Wind & The Wilma
We've been running non-stop ever since our battle with Hurricane Wilma. Fortunately, we got to go out and sail for an entire week prior to Wilma raising her bewitching red hair (reminds me of "Gorillas in the Mist," Sigourney Weaver starring as Diane Fossey, the ultra-bitchy mountain gorilla activist who scared the natives by donning a Halloween mask with wild and wooly red hair so they'd think she was a witch and leave her gorillas alone).  "Get off my mountain!"  I think that was truly Sigourney's best performance.  Wilma was a WITCH BITCH.  Anyway, our sail was a fabulous, totally relaxing time out on the water with our sails full and the sun shining brightly.  Then here comes Wilma to jolt us back into reality: it's still hurricane season!!
It was a mad dash back to Marathon to prepare to go to Little Shark.  We left Marathon a day and a half after returning from the Little Shark River, where we sought shelter from the wrath of Wilma.  Once Wilma was over, we returned to Marathon and what was left of our Marina.. and immediately hopped a plane as we were scheduled to visit friends and family (and grandkids, YAY) in the Midwest.  I sit here now, looking out my hotel window at fall colors on huge oak trees, cars cars cars and people people people... and yes...  I'm still in the midwest!!
We're having a wonderful time here and have been going going going the likes to which would put the EverReady Bunny to SHAME!!  In light of it all, and our hectic schedule, I haven't until now had a chance to sit down and chronicle the fascinating experience with our 8th hurricane in 15 months. Yikes!!  We thought 2004 was an incredible record-setting year, and it was... but little did we know 2004 would be pummeled in the record books by the many records set during the hurricane season of 2005 (including most hurricanes for one season, and most Category 5's for one season).
Broken records, huh?  Didn't we just go through this last year??  Yup.  More records broken.  LOL  Reminds me of when we moved to Scottsdale, Arizona...  We arrived and all was fine.. until summer.  Our first summer there was the hottest summer ever on record.  Gotta love that one.  113 degrees in the shade.  Birds walking around in a daze, pecking on patio doors -- begging for water!  No kidding.  A summer in which feral animals simply disappeared along with the scorching heat.  They couldn't survive without care.  Mercy.  How'd we manage to get there just in time for that mess??!!
We watched Wilma when she was just developing, a tropical wave. She then turned into a tropical depression -- and you now know she quickly developed into a hell-raising, vindictive  adolescent who was hell-bent on bringing Grunge of the worst kin to the Keys and the Florida mainland.
We had already gone through Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, and Rita -- each of which we rode out in our slip at our Marina. Dennis was a Category 1, not a very large hurricane, so no worries..  easy enough to put on the hurricane lines and batten down the hatches. The direction he came from gave us plenty of shelter at our slip. He didn't cause us much inconvenience at all (the power stayed on the entire time).
Next was Katrina. Katrina was not to hit the Keys. She was on another path and not a concern to us. However, we have learned from our vast hurricane experience, hurricane paths often fool the experts. Katrina did just that as she hit the eastern coast of the Florida mainland... then made an unexpected turn and headed straight across the peninsula toward the Keys. 
On the day we saw this was going to happen, we were out readying the boat.  Many people walked by and asked what we were doing. Once told Wilma was heading for us, most shrugged it off and said, "She's not coming down here."  We replied: "She wasn't forecast to, but she is now. She's definitely coming.  Some took us seriously, as they know we don't play... others twisted their faces (looking like they just smelled something turrable), "Well, I highly doubt that."
SMELL THIS!!  Katrina battered the Keys.  Key Largo took the biggest hit with lots of flooding.  U.S. 1 was closed and when debris was cleared from the highway, reopened.  Key West was hit hard as well, flooding, flooding, flooding.  I often remind family and friends it's not the wind that does the biggest damage from a hurricane... it's the flooding.  The water accumulating from all the rain and the tidal surge is by far the biggest threat to life and property.  Like I tell my friends and family: We live on a boat.  A boat floats.  It's supposed to be in the water!  So during a hurricane, just pretend we're Noah and Mrs. Noah: tucked safely inside our ark. 
We stayed in our marina and rode out Katrina because by the time we realized her path had changed, it was simply too late to navigate the Gulf waters to Little Shark River, as the Gulf was quickly being churned up.  Contrary waves that slap one another a huge high five (feet) while lapping at your ears.  Hurricanes Dennis and Rita were no biggies, as I said.  But Katrina was different.  She churned and churned, slowed waaaaay down and stalled right off Key West...  thrashing us for hours and hours and hours with very high winds (Sombrero Lighthouse clocked her at 78 mph).  September Sea's rigging was literally howling like mad coydogs (aptly named as they're a crossbreed of domestic dogs with coyotes) listening to Credence Clearwater Revival's "BAD MOON RISING."  Dayam!!
Katrina dumped tons of rain on the Upper Keys.  Key Largo got it the worst.  When you look at the radar images for Katrina, you'll see Key Largo is being pounded on with precipitation, while a glance at Marathon shows we were in the clear most of the time.  So the Upper Keys got lots of rain and flooding.  Finger piers destroyed, damage... damage...  that's what the water does.
In Marathon, Katrina was little more than an inconvenience.  We didn't lose power except for one hour in the early morning hours.  We simply went about our business... and other than the howling of the rigging and the heavy hand of Katrina trying to push us over (we were tied to the nines... she couldn't budge us but a very small bit, albeit that small bit was powerful as hell), Katrina was not too bad for us.  We're very thankful for that... but after she had passed, we said to one another once again: "Next one, we head for Little Shark."   I remember saying that during Frances last year.  We stayed at Dockside for that one (our former marina) and our slip was quite a bit wider than our boat.  There isn't adequate protection from the south, southeast, or west, southwest at Dockside.  Frances pushed us from one side to the other.  We decided at that point -- The Little Shark River and the Everglades were put on this earth for a reason!! 
Most didn't heed the warning about Katrina's last minute bee-line down to the Keys.  Many boats dragged their anchors in Boot Key Harbor (they didn't bother to put out a second and third anchor).  When a boat drags, it invariably hits another boat or two on its way as it blows into the mangroves...  "Damage, Damage," as Whoopie Goldberg used to say when she imitated the First Lady at disaster sites.  Ha.  But it was a good exercise (with minimal damage) in remembering what one must do to preserve life, limb, and property during bad storms and hurricanes.  So when Hurricane Rita was all the buzz... people were totally attentive and prepared.
Marathon handled Rita easily.  Little damage.  We were snug as bugs.  No problems handling Rita.  After Katrina, Rita was as mild-mannered as Clarketta Kent, and as gentle as Mary Poppins. 
Then came the Wind and the Wilma.  For Wilma, since she had been a Category 5 right before she hit the Yucatan Peninsula, and since she was forecasted to be either a high Category 2 or 3 when she lands on the southwestern coast of Florida.  She would have to make a 90 degree turn from the Yucatan... and she did just that.  The Keys would be hit.  Not much doubt about that.
We prepared early and decided to head for the Little Shark River, our hurricane hole.  Even if Wilma would be a high end Category 3 or low Category 4 (120+ mph winds), we and September Sea would be safe there.  Of that we were absolutely confident.
Initially, we'd gone to the Little Shark three years ago and done our own depth soundings.  The charts available for Little Shark left much to the imagination.  There are many shallow spots (shoals)there that aren't marked.  We'd have to do our own research.  By going there and searching for a perfect hurricane hole, we'd have a sanctuary in which to ride out any hurricanes that came our way down in the Keys.  We knew the Keys get beaucoup hurricanes... so we had to find a hurricane hole before the season was upon us. 
Along with our good friends, Jim and Kathleen Davison aboard their s/v Drummer, we scoured the Little Shark (see Adventures: Little Shark River).  From that, we made our own notations on the charts and identified shoal areas adding exact directions for crossing such shoals by either swinging out wide or following a path through a shoal area.  Perfect.
Jim and Kathleen never used the Little Shark as a hurricane hole, as they left for the Virgin Islands and are now in Grenada helping the people there rebuild their homes which were destroyed by Hurricane Ivan last year.  We've used the Little Shark PLENTY enough for all of us!
We left Marathon and headed for the Little Shark three days before Wilma was projected to hit the Keys.  We learned with prior hurricanes (especially with Hurricane Katrina) that the Gulf of Mexico gets very churned up terribly a couple of days before a hurricane hits the area.  We knew we had to leave Marathon
Our friends Chris and Yanni of s/v Magus were going to Little Shark too.  Chris has been working in Salt Lake City and had to hop a plane to fly back down to Marathon to ready their boat and prepare for the trek to the Little Shark River.  They only know about Little Shark River because we told them of it... and we showed them exactly where to go for protection.  They came with us last year during Hurricane Charley.  Its always good to have another vessel within radio range.  At the Little Shark River, unless you are fairly in close proximity, our radio doesn't transmit.  Cell phones don't operate there either, as they are out of cell tower range.  We be in the Everglades, Mon!
We purchased a satellite phone late last year so we could keep in touch with business clients and so we'd also have a way to stay in close touch with our friends and family.  Especially our kids, as daughter Breighan was worrying herself sick during our other trips to the Little Shark and we had no way of letting her know we were safe.  Breighan then emails/calls our friends and other family members and gives them an update on our situation.
During Wilma, the Sailjazz/Sailnet Liveaboard List I belong to was quite grateful to hear via my good friend (and list mate) 'bella... that we were fine.  'bella had received an email from Breigh telling her she'd heard from us and all was well.  We had survived a high Category 3 hunkered down in the Little Shark River!
In Little Shark, we'd found a great spot years ago.  Nestled deep within the maze of the mangroves.  Tall mangroves on all sides, groves with mangroves near 60 feet tall.  We've used that same spot to ride out Hurricanes Charley and Ivan in 2004, and as bad as this 2005 season has been, we've retreated to Little Shark only once this year (so far...  knock on something!!) and that was  to await the arrival of Hurricane Wilma. 
We knew when we departed Marathon that Wilma would more than likely hit around Marco Island, Everglades City and/or Ft. Myers.  She was forecast to come in very close to us in the Little Shark River.  Knowing that, we wanted to hunker down like never before... get snug in our spot and put out our chains around large mangrove trunks which were connected to 5/8 "twisted nylon hurricane lines.  This all would take some time to do.
We arrived at the mouth of Little Shark river and anchored outside the channel until a full 24 hours prior to Wilma's arrival.  Chris and Yanni went inside immediately to anchor in the horseshoe, but Bill and I loved the nice breeze outside the Little Shark River (LSR) channel... and thought the mangroves inside would block out the breeze.  Besides, what's the hurry to be Soylent Green for the mosquitos?  
Talked to Chris and Yanni the next day on the radio and they said there were hardly any 'skeeters.  Fantastic!  we had put out our mosquito netting anyway, just in case.  One trip up there last year, the mosquitos came out (with knives and forks and dinner napkins...) and converged on us like white on rice.  We'd had on our navigation lights and were anchoring well outside the entrance.  Big mistake, those nav lights.  The lights were the 'skeeters beacon to alert them: "your table is ready and waiting" aka "DINNERTIME!!"  We learned from that mistake and when arriving at night, turn our lights off long before we reach the LSR.  We also put on our netting to protect the entire cockpit and the companionway (entrance into the boat) long before we get to the River.
Little rain this year meant not many skeeters.  Cool.  I knew that, but was not about to personally test that theory -- thus the netting.  We were on our way into Little Shark the next day, just waited til the tide was up sufficiently for us to navigate the narrow, fairly shallow channel, and entered.  Chris and Yanni had gone in right before us and were headed to our regular spot.  A spot Bill
(without asking me first) showed them and shared with them -- albeit he also told them to keep it confidential.
I hear "Ketch going into Little Shark River...  Ketch going into LSR..."  Someone from a sailboat not too far from Chris was hailing on the radio asking if Chris had ever been here before.  The man explained he had never been here and had some questions he'd like to ask.  Chris said "Roger that, ask away."
"Is there a problem with mosquitos?"
OMG... an id-io-(yach)t. [Note: Not a motor yacht, a sailing yacht... for those who don't know there are such.]
The guy asked some pretty silly questions...I mean crap ya'd know by the time you reached your tenth birthday... sounded to me like he was asking stupid questions so somebody would take him under their wing and show him where to go!!  Helpless to the nth degree.  What you wanna bet it as all an act??
Mosquitos????  What,here in the EVERGLADES????  DUH!!!!
Next thing I hear, Chris has taken the bait.  He's now giving directions OVER THE RADIO on how to get to... yup, you guessed it... MY FUCKIN SPOT!!!  "Come and join us, the more the merrier... we'll have a party!"  Is he out of his mind... YES.
I could have strangled him.  My hands were choking the air... I just wanted to get hold of him and do him in RIGHT.  I got on the radio and reminded Chris that this whole journey is an exercise in getting away from other boats -- and to have protection from man-made objects -- we don't want to be in an anchorage; that's why we left Marathon.  He was wrong to disclose our spot to anyone and jeopardize our safety.  But I didn't say it then.  I should have said he told about our spot which is NOT his... a spot he was invited to by a white man who lives with me... and who wasn't THINKING!! We don't want anyone in our "secret" hole... it's a secret so it will be there, sans other boats, when we need it.  He knew that from before, but his hard-headedness and pompous "I'm a man, so I know what's best" attitude is about to get his ass killed.  "Here ally-gator,over here, ally-gator...I have something delicious for you?  Come and get some white meat!!"
Needless to say, I was super-pissed.  Mind you, I didn't tell Chris about our spot, Bill did.  I was pissed that Bill did it.  HE NEVER ASKED ME.  BILL TOLD CHRIS BECAUSE BILL IS A  KIND SOUL WHO UNDERESTIMATES THE UNMITIGATED GALL AND STUPIDITY OF COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS.  Bill is different than his peers.  Other than he and Bob Sloan, very few of 'em have a lick of common fricken sense and wouldn't have the slightest idea they're generally anti-social tryin'-to-be-social -- assholes.  They wouldn't know not to stand in the street during a monsoon with their heads laid back and their mouths hanging open... and without their wives pulling them back into the house only 'cause they need the income... they'd just stand there and fucking drown!!
Last year when Chris and Yanni (who is a sweet soul...but suspect 'cause, after all... she is married to CHRIS), came up to Little shark with us... the deal was they could follow us up there, but they needed to find their own spot.  Period.  Damn it if Chris wasn't in MY spot the first time we went up there.  We were looking around at other spots and Chris went into our canal first.  By the time we get back and I see Chris all tied up in my spot... I'm like "Chris, get the &@!* outta my spot.  Why'd ya think the map had a big X on it?  X marks OUR SPOT.  SO MOVE.  That's our spot.  MOVE."  Asshole.
He yelled out that he already had three anchors down.  I yelled back a perfect Tommy Lee Jones Inspector what's his name in the movie "The Fugitive" (as he said to Harrison Ford when Ford was trying to explain: "I didn't kill my wife."):  "I don't care."  GET THE &@!* OUTTA MY SPOT.  Then Chris came out to our boat in his dinghy and made the mistake of saying (while he's well out of my reach and rowing his dinghy ever so slowly toward us), "Well, you've got a lot of nerve." 
Oh hell noooo. NO he didn't!!!!
It was killin' time.  Plain and simple.  I'd be doing the boating community a favor by ridding us of another stupid maggot.  Bill said, "Charmaine, let's just move on up the way and forget it."  I mean we're running for safety from a hurricane and it's stressful as it is.  Now I got a f'n Neanderthal in my secret spot.  I was madder than a wet hornet. 
Okay, so that was last time... last year.  This is this time.  We're going in to seek shelter from Wilma and I hear Confused-as-an-Idiot Chris on the radio broadcasting the location of out spot.  I look at Bill.  Mister Bill.  Mister Bill who told that A-H where we go and didn't demand he leave our spot LAST YEAR!!
Bill then got on the radio and told Chris he had no right to share OUR secret spot that we (not Chris) scoped out and shared with Chris and Yanni...and told them to keep it a secret.  Chris was broadcasting it on the radio and said to Bill, "Well, I feel the more the merrier... we'll have a party."  Can you believe that brain-challenged speck of being?  Bill told Chris, "Well, we'll be finding another spot."
Chris says, "Well, I'm sorry to hear that."
I yell, "Not as sorry as YOU'LL be, Christopher Crazy!"
Bill was hoppin mad, as he should have been.  We decided to hell with Chris and his affinity to be nothing more than a sphincter with a face.  We must seek out another place of refuge within the Little Shark.  Chris has jeopardized our safety taking (and his own and his wife's) by inviting others to it (others he doesn't even know... or know what ground tackle they have or how they tie up their boats).  What a knucklehead!  Not a lick of commonsense to be had.  We have a Category 2 or 3 hurricane coming our way and he's talking about a party and daydreaming of martinis and rafting up.

We found another spot and got tied up.  We were very close to the mangroves on the Southeast side, the direction from which Wilma would initially be hitting us.  We knew that at some point after she passed over us, she'd clock around to the north and then hit us from the northwest.  No one figured on Wilma's backside being ten times worse than her front.  Not even Max Mayfield.  We were super safe and nestled in when she came roaring through no biggie at all.  We did just fine.  Not too bad.
Then BAM!  DAYAM!!  The calm subsided as her backside came through after her eye passed us... WOW.  Easily 120 mph winds as she was bearing down  right over us... she would heel us over, without warning,  about 30 degrees and hold us there for a second, then let us down gently.
Then the wind would subside.  Is it over?  Not yet.  BAM!!  She did it again, Bill was sitting on the settee across from me, a table between us held our radio.  We had been listening to the reports coming out of Marathon.  She hit us so hard and heeled us over, Bill jumped to grab the radio to keep it from falling, his leg flew up like a doctor had just done a knee-jerk ping on him... and he caught the radio.  But as he kicked his foot up, it hit directly under my HOT CUP OF COFFEE.  The cup went up in the air and hot coffee hovered over me... I felt like I was in a cartoon.  Dayam... this fat ass ain't fast enough to get the hell outta da way of the hot lava coming from the volcano above my head....
My jammies have a coffee stain all over 'em.  My favorites too.  Guess I'll be looking up "Ask Heloise" to get 'em clean again.
Wilma hit us many times that way... and each and every time, Bill would grab something he wasn't supposed to be HELPING and make a big mess.  LOL  He would apologize and then do it again.  Hahahaha.  Actually, we were laughing so hard I think it helped relieve the tension.
Wilma's damage to our boat: ZERO
Bill's damage to our boat: STILL BEING ASSESSED.
We made it, Guys.  We lived through it and it was just fine.  No big worries.  But man, that wind was something.  The rigging never howled like it did during Katrina, but the heavy hands pushing us over were much more powerful than Katrina. All in all, not a bad thing at all.
September Sea is happy we protected her.  We're happy we protected her and she returned the favor.  She's a strong vessel, designed for racing and built to take punishment.  What a doll baby she be!

Wilma was gone by late afternoon on Monday.  That night we went out topside and sat with drinks and had a lovely sunset.

I noticed there was some kind of weird looking bugs on the boat... they were nasty looking.  Oh well, we are in the Everglades, just glad the mosquitoes haven't been a problem. 


Venus came out first after the sunset... oh she was glorious as I've ever seen her.  She shone so bright she was mirrored in the River just like a full moon would be.  She seemed to have a halo around her... more like an aura, a pristine, angelic like white ring that glowed all around her.  She looked like a fake star, the kind you learn to draw in kindergarten... with six points.  It was absolutely mesmerizing to witness.  Bill and I were in total awe.  I said to Bill that the sky looked clean.  Like it had been scoured.  It really did.  I could see dimensions as never before. Way past the stars on the surface and far, far, behind them.  A myriad of stars to reassure us, "It's all over now." 


                              Charmaine Calm Once Again.

Yeah.  We were just put through hell and now we get the reward.  A plethora of stars, a display of the heavens opening its gates and allowing us to peek inside.  We were both very, very thankful.

Chris called and said he blew out his staysail.  He said he and Yanni would never do this again.  No more hurricane stuff for them.  See what happens WHEN YOU TAKE MY SPOT!!
Dat's what you get, SPANKY.
Man am I tired... we've been up for over 30 hours.  Bill said let's have "Breakfast" and he made bacon, pancakes, eggs, HAVE MERCY... too good!!  After we ate and cleaned up the dishes, we called it a night and went to bed for some much needed rest.  We'd wait til the waters calmed down and the debris settles before making the journey back to Marathon.  We're to leave on Friday to fly to Springfield to see our babies, friends and family... will be able to make it?  We might need one more day.  Perhaps we'll postpone our trip just one day and leave on Saturday for Springfield.  We'll see.
Decided to call it a night and went to bed and Bill came and joined me.  We always put up the big bed in the salon during such times, as well as when we're out on the hook during our sailing adventures.  Just a lot more comfy than our cabin when the weather is so warm. 
I fell asleep just for a bit.  Ouch!  Dayam.  What was that?  Something had hit me: "Stop it, Bill!"
Bill said, "I didn't do anything."
Uh huh.  Surrrre.
"OUCH!  Shit.  What the fuck is that?  BILLLLL!!!!!
Something else dropped on me, right on my side.  Hurt too.  I felt some legs.  I jumped up like Carl Lewis and was out of that bed and standing at the companionway in two hops.  Didn't know I could still move that fast.
We had been spotting these odd looking bugs since we got there.  Bill put out the bug screens over the hatches but they were getting in anyway.  Bill jumped up and found one... he hit it with his shoe... hard.  The bastid played dead and sat there... I went to get something for Bill to pick it up with and the SOB started running again!  BAM!  Bill crunched it this time.... and YIKES there's anther one!!!  OMG.
"Ouch, dammit." One of them stung Bill on the finger.  CRACK!  Bill hit that thing like he was killing a monster.  LMAO.  It was funny but scary too.  Dayam, it's only a bug.  Or is it??
We looked at one and were aghast.  They are horrible looking.  The resemble a lightning bug but they have hard-as-hell shells and two Scorpion-like stingers on their butts.  They also have a pair of fake Lobster-looking eyes on their butts too.  Dayam.
Bill went up topside cause I wasn't sleeping with those things out there.  I told him to shut the hatch and take the screen off.  When Bill lifted the screen to take it off, ten of those THINGYS ran out... they went scurrying everywhere.  CRAACK!  BAM!  Bill was killin' bugs in record speed.  He was efficient with every stroke.  Then we learned the best way to kill 'em is to put on a pair of Crocks and slide them across the non-skid... YEAH BABY!!!  It's killing time!!!
After we got THINGS (quite literally) under control... we breathed a sigh of relief.  What the hell are they and how did they get on the boat?  Do they swim?  Do they fly?  What are they?  We decided not to tell Breighan about this incident.  Well, let me explain:
The last time Breighan stayed with us on the boat, we went sailing and had a great time.  Below are a few pics from that trip with us in October.

I went to give her a kiss as she lay in her bed... and she had her pillow and HAND and covers over the right side of her head as she laid on her side.  I said, "Breigh, gimme kiss."



"Breigh."  I went to remove the covers and saw her pillow... her right hand was pressing the pillow over her ear.  I said, "What is the matter with you?"
She said, "I saw the Twilight Zone Mom.  Earwigs.  They climb in your ear while you're sleeping and eat your brain."
Hahahhaaaaa  OMG.  And OMG she's serious!!  She would not remove her hand or the pillow.  She said, "Mom that episode just freaked me out."
"Breighan, you're 21 years old.  There are no earwigs."
We left the Little Shark and headed back to Marathon.  Motored all the way, hardly any wind... and what wind there was was from a Nor'easter.  It was about 70 degrees, fabulous.  As the sun began to set we decided to anchor out in the Gulf, the crab pots were all broken loose and their lines will get tangled in the prop if you can't see them.  We anchored and were holding.  Fabulous.
I'm sitting in the cockpit and turning off instruments... and soon as that motor was shut down these friggen monster bugs came running out of the engine room and up into the cockpit.  I screamed for Bill and he came running with Crocks on.  I had mine on already and was doing the Kill the Bastids Dance on a bunch of em.
We killed 12.  Didn't see anymore.
Finally got home and entered Boot Key Harbor.  What a mess.  Boats sunk.  Our friends boat's sunk.  Horrible.  I can't complain.
Our finger pier was destroyed at our Marina but the sea wall slips were fine so we called Lynn, the Dockmaster, and she said to tie up at the first seawall slip.  We had all utilities, there was a boil order in effect.
We heard all the stories of friends losing their cars, their boats, their possessions.  But no one lost their life there. We have much of which to be very thankful.
Bill found one of those bugs in the dinghy...he was waterlogged but dead.  We took a picture of him and tossed him overboard.  Here's the picture (click for large version you can see DETAIL....)
I asked everyone about these bugs and no one had ever seen them before.  Odie and Judy came by, they were dinghying past and saw us... two of my most favorite people in the world... I asked Odie and Judy about this bug and they had no clue.  Judy said, "What about.. no..."
I said, "What about what?"
She laughed.  She said "Could it be an earwig?"
I howled with laughter and told her the whole story about Breighan and the Twilight Zone's brain-eating earwigs...  we all got a kick out of it.  I told Judy, "Never say that around Breigh...please!!"
Odie says, "It's not an earwig, they don't have stingers."
I did some research and found an article...









That's HIM.  It's an EARWIG. Holy Moly!!!  OMG OMG OMG.
I can't continue right now... I got my hands over my ears...
"Life's a Gift... Unwrap It!" - C~

Hurricane Wilma's Destruction

Click on picture above for a narrative of Wilma's wrath; when enlarged, start slide show by clicking on the arrow at bottom left corner.

Historical hurricane coverage at Palm Beach Post