So there we were, heading to the boat thinking blue water, pretty coloured fish, gentle winds and fair skies. As the highway miles fly by and we get closer and closer to the boat we’re squirming, can’t wait to go sailing! It’s been a long summer/non-sailing season, sitting up north and watching the weather channel. Hurricanes Charlie, Frances, Jeanne and Ivan have all visited the wrath of Mother Nature on Florida where Forbidden Planet sits patiently. We’ve seen the photos of the devastation, heard of friends who’ve lost their boats and listened to the horror stories. To our knowledge we survived even though Hurricane Charlie pounded our boat yard. We’re going sailing!!!!!
As we drive closer and closer the wreckage that was Punta Gorda shocks and dismays us. It’s been 5 months yet 1 in 5 houses has a blue tarp over the remains of the roof. Driveways are filled with motor homes that people now live in full time. Dumpsters overflowing with debris litter the road sides. We drive down the highway past strip mall, strip mall, oops no strip mall. We see buildings missing the front walls, piles of glass in front of what used to be a store. Huge steel signs are twisted like pretzels. Trees have no leaves. This is 5 months later, how can this be?
We pull into the boatyard and anxiously scan the horizon looking for our mast. We drive to our spot. There are not words to describe the feeling of turning the corner and seeing your boat waiting there. Oh the joy!
Hey, somethings wrong….
There are not words to describe the realization that you have not survived the hurricane unscathed. Forbidden Planet sits on the jackstands looking like one of those sad, unloved boats that have been abandoned. Her topsides are all scratched up. The lifelines hang in tatters. And most important, there’s no stick, no mast!!!!!
You know the expression to curse like a sailor? Well they don’t call me Sailorgirl for nothing. 50 feet from Forbidden Planet we discover the remains of the mast. Unlike props, there isn’t a folding version of a mast.
Leaves have filled the cockpit causing the cockpit drains to block. The cockpit is full of stagnant water. The companionway hatchboards are cracked causing rain to flood the interior. Inside we find 12 inches of oily black water. Stagnant water and high temperatures mean mold. Our beautiful teak interior has a half inch of black mold on every surface.
It looks like Forbidden Planet is a total write off.