Paul was in Prague on business.
Sian was in Jacksonville!
And Matthew had decided to come up the east coast of Florida!
While Paul worked to find a way to get home before the storm, Sian got busy doubling the lines on Sonas, putting out every fender we had and getting all of the loose stuff off the decks – and from around the house.
Paul managed to get a flight from Prague to Brussels, from Brussels to Chicago, and then from Chicago to Jacksonville on Thursday. He was on the very last flight out of Chicago to Jacksonville, the flights afterwards were cancelled.
Paul arrived home to find Sian ready to evacuate. The TV stations were busy working everyone up into a frenzy. The storm was not due to get serious until early afternoon Friday so we were able to do a walk around both Sonas and the house to make sure we had everything secure. The last piece of business was to remove the bimini canvas from Sonas.
We then hunkered down and waited for Matthew. The power went out at 10am Friday, which was surprising given that it had hardly started blowing at that stage. It would remain out for 25 hours. We removed everything from the house fridge/freezer and put it into the fridge/freezer on Sonas which was running off the 4KW inverter. We would watch the batteries and run the boat generator if needed.
Around 3pm Friday the wind started to get up there. The eye passed by offshore around 5pm, Sonas rode the storm well at the dock, and, apart from some water leaks from the tile roof, the house was fine. Our landscaping in all palm trees so we did not have any tree damage.
Around 4pm Paul started out for a neighbors house to check on their boat as they were away. He encountered a large number of very big trees down so decided to turn back.
The storm passed late Friday night. On Saturday morning we started the generator on Sonas to charge up the batteries. We then ventured out into the neighborhood and found that many house had suffered major hardwood tree damage. Three of our immediate neighbors had multiple trees down, one with severe roof damage.