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Old 08-29-2018, 12:55 AM   #1
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Okeechobee Waterway run from hurricane?

Ok, so I know Irma was too big to run from...plus it came from an angle that made it impossible to predict East vs West coast (of FL). But my understanding is that most hurricanes are generally gonna pummel either the Atlantic or Gulf side and lose majority of force by the time they reach the other?

My question is, do any FL cruisers hang around Stuart or Ft Meyers during hurricane season, and then scurry thru the canal to the other coast in event of an approaching storm?
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:23 AM   #2
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"and lose majority of force by the time they reach the other?"

Actually much of the snot is out of them after only 50 miles over land travel.

We are at Ortona , and have been very fortunate to see much reduced winds over the past decades when the H winds blew.

There is a hurricane hole next door "lollypop" (because of how it looks on a chart) , but many folk anchor in the dug canal leading to it.

The hassle with hiding is you have to do it early as locks and bridges may close after the breeze gets over 35K or so.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:09 AM   #3
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There is a hurricane hole next door "lollypop" (because of how it looks on a chart) , but many folk anchor in the dug canal leading to it.
Out of curiosity...how did those anchored folks fair during Irma back in there?
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:01 AM   #4
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Out of curiosity...how did those anchored folks fair during Irma back in there?

Not a scratch,

however the dug canal walls are steep , so even if a boat was pushed against one, there might be hull scratches , but not a stranding or sinking.
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Old 08-29-2018, 10:26 AM   #5
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The year of Charlie storms were still very strong in Orlando. I saw a long string of power poles broken off in the middle along route 60 just south of Orlando.

Storms are very unpredictable. IMO your best bet is choosing a good permanent location for your boat then adding lots of extra lines and protection AND a good insurance policy.
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Old 08-29-2018, 11:17 AM   #6
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There are hundreds of stories about boat owners who moved their boats to get away from the eye of a hurricane, but got slammed when the track shifted. Less today with better forecasting, but Irma fooled the forecasters a bit.


As others have noted, have a hurricane plan in place and execute it when one approaches. Don't try to guess east or west coast.


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Old 08-29-2018, 11:59 AM   #7
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For every 50 to 100 miles you move to miss the eye, you drop a category or at least major severity.

2 things have to remain though....unless WAYYYYY far away, a good hurricane hole either for docking or anchoring is still important, and you have to be moving further from the eye or at least to the navigable semicircle.

Hurricane holes require protection from not only wind, but surge and river flooding too.

Storms that are significantly difficult to predict from 7 days out to 3 days out are pretty rare in my mind. Sandy and Irma are just not common paths to try to guess for safe harbor In dozens of hurricanes, by 3 days out I was confident in all but Sandy (NJ) about moving....a little less confident in overall preparations needed for many others.

If not in a great spot to weather even minor canes, usually 48 to 72 hours is enough time to escape the brunt of storms.

Sure there are all kinds of other issues. Is the boat ready to move without question, do you have the time or money to pay to have it moved, do you have property to tend to besides the boat....etc...etc..?
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:37 PM   #8
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I just figure if you have a couple pre-scouted holes on both the Stuart and Ft Meyers side. Then at least you have the option to shift to the lee side of the state.
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:56 PM   #9
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I just figure if you have a couple pre-scouted holes on both the Stuart and Ft Meyers side. Then at least you have the option to shift to the lee side of the state.
As does the hurricane.

To go through the Okeechobee, you'd have to make an early decision and it would still be in a time frame that the storm shifting would not be all that unusual.

Talking about a hurricane hole and no damage from Irma sounds great, but we're in Fort Lauderdale and had no damage.

Also, you start running to your pre-scouted hole, be aware you're not going to be the only one.

Prepare the best you can and then make your own safety your priority.

Also, understand there is no perfect plan. I've seen people try to fly in and couldn't make it or couldn't get back out after preparing their boat. I've known people to run from the east coast to the west and the hurricane only impact the west. I've known people to head up the coast for hurricane season and get hit in SC while FL has no hurricane. I ran across a family from the coast of Texas that ran to Houston before Harvey.

You're right to be thinking in advance, just don't overthink it and believe you can come up with the perfect plan. Respect hurricanes but don't let them control your life and every move all the time. Take your planned action, if you can, when they're forming and headed this way.

I'll add one thing I learned last year. Don't be alone. There is strength in numbers, especially emotional strength. Definitely don't be separated from your family as they need you and you need them. We went to Rockport after Harvey and saw so many people pulling together, but the ones suffering the most were those who went through it alone. One girl who wasn't hurt but was in her house alone and the house ended up a pile of wood. She went through Irma with us in Fort Lauderdale and said she spoke of the difference, not just in impact but in being with others. I also talked to a man who left his family in Orlando to check on their boat in Stuart and couldn't get back home in time. Unfortunately, he also lost communication during the hurricane. He said after that he'd never put his family through that again as they worried far more about him than about the storm impacting them. Talking to his wife and children after made him realize what he put them through.
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Old 08-29-2018, 02:31 PM   #10
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Emotional support is great...good advice on boats and surviving hurricanes is rare ( not directed at any posters so far... )

Choose wisely.
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