Mosaic of Misery

Mosaic of Misery

Words can’t describe what Hurricanes Charley and Frances did to Florida boaters, so we’re letting the images do the talking.

By Capt. Bill Pike / Photos by Robert Holland

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• Florida Hurricanes
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It’s always the same. You start by hearing people talk about the hurricane “out there.” Then you track it while your emotions roller coaster with the changes in projected path and category status. If you’re savvy, you move your boat, sequestering her in a hurricane hole amidst a cat’s cradle of mooring and anchor lines or trailering her inland. Should the path target your home, you lose heart. You look around at things, like old clocks and cherished photographs, and say goodbye. The skies turn gray, dark. Then an ominous, cloying calm comes, fraught with sluggish, whirring insects as you cover the windows with plywood, prioritize your possessions, and pack up, harboring perhaps a shred of hope.

Hurricane season was bad this year… real bad. I know, and so does Robert Holland, who shot these photographs, because we’re both Floridians. Hurricane Frances made landfall near Holland’s home in Stuart, and my home in the Panhandle was in the paths of Bonnie, Frances, and Ivan. Both of our homes survived without much damage, and our boats made it through as well. As you see at right, thousands were not so fortunate.

NOAA Marine Forecast for Hurricane Frances
“A hurricane warning is in effect. Cloudy with squalls of rain coming ashore at times with strong gusts of wind. Wind northeast 30 to 60 knots today with higher gusts and waves 15 to 25 feet nearshore. Intracoastal waters five to ten feet. Wind tonight northeast 50 to 100 knots with gusts up to 120 knots. Waves 18 to 30 feet. Visibility near zero.”

Next page > Hurricane Photo Gallery > Page 1, 2

This article originally appeared in the October 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.

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