Sunday, May 20, 2012


Double Tree Resort, Key West, FL
Lows of 77, highs 88
occasional showers

Like everything else this year, the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season arrived early, 10 days early, with the unexpected formation of Tropical Storm Alberto off the South Carolina coast.  His winds are at 50 MPH and he is expected to track northeasterly and rain on the Carolina's before heading back out to sea.  The storm poses no threat to Florida and is not expected to make landfall with the US mainland.

The experts forecast a lighter than normal year but we all know that can change.  I the first two years we were here, we would have 10 cases of bottled water on hand and then drink it through out the winter.  The last two years we haven't done that but we probably should.  We do have our important paper files, our safe room, our non-perishables, our NOAA radio, our generator, our batteries and flashlights and we keep two full bottles of propane .  We don't keep spare gasoline unless the area goes under a watch.

We have an agreement with our boatlift cover installer that if we go under a hurricane warning, they will come out and remove the canvas cover from our lift and bill us $50.  We would likely then leave it off all of that season and then have them re-install it for $100.

As for the boat, I'm unsure if I would put it on the trailer or strap it down on the lift.  The trailer is a worry about wind damage.  The lift leaves me worrying about storm surge.  I would probably opt to put it on the lift and strap it down with extra mooring lines that account for possible storm surge.  Hopefully there's no cause to implement any of my plan, like the last two seasons.

It's Sunday morning.  Kathy and I are in Key West, along with her son Sean (25) and his girlfriend Kia.  We came down on Saturday, rented scooters and gave them a whirlwind tour of the island.  We head back to Port Charlotte today for a night and I will fly to Baltimore on Monday; the kids fly home to Phoenix.

I'm sad to say that Subaru Jim is also leaving on Monday for the summer.  Jerry left on Friday.  Jim sent me a photo of a whopper of a speckled trout he caught last week in the Harbor...I mean this thing was a show piece!  I'm hoping to go fishing one day next weekend, weather permitting.

Bob and Eleanor, next door, have told me they will likely be selling their house within a year and move to an assisted living facility in the St. Pete area.  They are in their upper 80's and are having trouble taking care of their house.  I've done their yard for years but we all know there's more to owning a home than mowing grass.  They need their seawall shored up with about 20 yards of rip rap.  I know how much work that it because I did it two seasons ago.

I'm returning home today with 5 nice potted mangrove trees that my colleagues in Key Largo's Ocean Reef saved for me.  I plan on removing the invasive Brazilian Red Pepper trees from the canal shoreline across from my property and replacing them with the highly desirable mangroves.  I plan on taking out as much of the peppers as I have time and energy to do and replacing them with about 100 small mangrove trees.  This could be a 3-5 year long project.  Mangrove roots provide nutrients to the water that attract fish, the roots provide great erosion control and the thick foliage acts as a screen against high winds.  A canal property lined with mangroves is MUCH more valuable than one with pepper trees.

Today Kathy and I celebrate 12 years of marriage. 


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