Returning to the boat after hurricane Irma was epic. This was one of the best returns aboard since I had Anastasia, as she survived the hurricane.
After loosing my old YouTube channel and the website, I also ended up with my backup hard drive falling apart. I lost nearly all the footage. I was lucky to have everything starting from 2018 saved on the laptop as well. So here I am posting back the re-edited versions of the episodes I used to have on the old channel.
After five months away from Anastasia, returning to the boat was a must. While in Romania hurricane Irma happened, where many of my fellow boaters lost their boats. One of them was my good buddy Nino. I think Anastasia had the same end on the bottom of the Miami Yacht Club anchorage, if my amazing friends Kostya and his wife Elena didn’t decide to move the boat in South Beach before the hurricane.
I must thank them for that, as this saved her from a sad end. Also a special thanks to my buddy Luciano Alexander as he was still in South Beach during the hurricane. He would go out in the day time to make videos of the boat in those strong winds, to keep me calm home in Romania knowing that Anastasia was doing ok. But for now, returning to the boat in January 15th 2018 was planned.
Anastasia Survived The Hurricane
Kostya and Elena are a Russian family also living on a sailboat. They were my neighbors for nearly four years. I actually purchased Anastasia from them. It was right before hurricane Irma when they called me to let me know they want to move their boat in South Beach Miami. There were some car parking issues at the Miami Yacht Club and that was the reason they wanted to move. Since they were also watching over Anastasia while I was home in Romania, they asked if I want them to move her as well.
I agreed with that, so he anchored Anastasia next to their boat. Anchoring Russian style for sure, as she didn’t move an inch during the hurricane or after. Later on when I had to sail away to Cuba, I actually spent nearly one entire day trying to take the anchors out. That is how well she was anchored. So when I was back aboard on the 15th of January 2018, I was happy to realize that she was in a pretty good shape knowing what she went through. I was honestly expecting everything to be a lot worst, but she survived the hurricane.
Hurricane Irma Lashes Miami Yacht Club
This video was sad to watch, especially that I knew my friends lived aboard their boats over there. Anastasia was anchored at the Miami Yacht Club as well for one year. So it was scary watching these images realizing what a sad end she could had. Even today I am thankful to Kostya and Elena for moving her in South Beach.
As I was saying earlier, during hurricane Irma my buddy Nino lost his boat. That boat was his only home, so after talking to a few friends, I managed to do a fundraiser for him thanks to the Waterway Guide website. He had health issues as well soon after that and that made his life even more difficult. But somehow with a little help, he got another boat to live in. Unfortunately not for long, as later on while I was in Italy ( 2019 ), I received a message from a hospital in Miami to let me know he passed away after a heart stroke.
After I returned to Miami back then, I used to go visit Nino and my other friend Ricardo at the Miami Yacht Club anchorage. I felt like crying every time I got there, seeing all those boats destroyed. I wanted to take some photos, but I decided not to as it was too sad. But you can’t put up with the force of mother nature.
I will write a blog article at some point dedicated to “Nino” Benito Domingues, to talk a little more about him and why he meant to much to me. Is hard to forget a close friend who always wanted to help in any way.
First Week Aboard Anastasia
I was out of patience to be back aboard. As soon as I landed in Miami, I rushed back to the boat. I didn’t even know where to go, so I texted Elena to send me an address. Arrived at the Maurice Gibb Memorial Park, I had to wait for them to take me to the boat. I didn’t know where they anchored Anastasia and I had no dinghy either to get aboard. After about three hours waiting in the park, I finally made it aboard.
Kostya was making some really great soups that are hard to forget, so he came over later on at night with a bowl of warm soup. It was the perfect meal as it was cold outside, and I was frozen after waiting in the park. But I was happy to realize that Anastasia was ok, so I went to sleep very relaxed and happy to be back. I guess you can watch the rest in the video… and we will continue the story in the next episode.