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Well folks ...I know it's been quite awhile since I decided to post anything, much less some new pictures (plenty to see below). To tell you the truth ...I kinda lost my spirit for posting much of anything online. You see, we've been getting hit pretty hard pretty often over the past 5 years. I now know what it must have felt like for the folks living over in Florida back a few years when there seemed to be no end to mother nature's fury on their shores! First we make it through Hurricane Rita ..which dealt the island a darn good blow and almost took out the Marina that time. Repairs were still going on as Humberto popped up out of nowhere not too long after. The Banana Wind lost a good headsail on that one - seeing as how nobody knew that there would be a Hurricane on the Texas shore in less than 24 hours .Julie and I were in Houston when it hit ...needless to say ...no time to stow the sails. We were lucky that we didnt lose the Mainsail as well! Then, just when things seemed to be getting "good" again ..along comes Gustav. Now Gustav hit the island like a traditional Tropical storm ...lots of water and lots of wind. A few of the other liveaboards and myself were working the marina during the storm - trying to get boats tied better and things stowed away for boat owners that couldnt be there to manage their own crafts...what a scene it was....if only I had known it would be the great prelude to the one big one ..the one that would finally do our beloved marina in....the one called "IKE". It wasnt pretty ..trust me ....and you can only imagine the days and days that Julie and I spent trying to get our valuables off Banana Wind before vandals could hit the island ...and the days and days we spent shoveling mud and water out of our rented island storage building where you can still see the 4 foot plus waterline today from where the storm waters rose! We probably had to throw away as many things as we were able to save. When you get tired of looking at nothing but a torn landscape and a despairing situation it gets easier by the day to throw more memories away i'll assure you. I felt like finally posting a few pictures of the aftermath as a pictorial means of sharing our situtation with you all simply because I finally have the time and because its easier to digest the sftermath now. Julie and I no longer reside aboard the Banana Wind, we were forced to buy a home earlier than we originally planned since there are no longer any viable facilities out on the island. The local boat yard is STILL under repairs, so we cant get lifted back out yet to get a new bottom job and other neccessary repairs - but the plans look good for a possible Spring haulout. The mast has been pulled for some pre-intended mods and a much needed paint job, so there will be plenty to start on before the haulout. Even if there were any decent electrical hookups left ....the fueling station and holding tank pumpout areas are obliterated and I'd doubt they will be rebuilt any time soon. Being that the island is governed by the city of Port Arthur, it is always an uphill climb to get any revenue stream going BACK into the island ...only FROM it it seems. FEMA has made offers to help the city - but at last hearing ..the city didnt have the matching funds to put with it...go figure. ...politics as usual. Only time will tell. Our island spirit has been hard to hold on to, but I think we will all survive this most recent attack by mother nature ...an attack that will be long remembered by those here close to home..........

Steve & Julie Swanson
S/V Banana Wind ..."awaiting repairs"

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Comment by Jenny on March 30, 2009 at 12:16pm
Hey guys!! So sorry that you are going through this again! I cannot even begin to imagine what you have been through!
We are just happy that you guys are okay! Continue to keep your chins up and I am hoping and praying that it will get easier!
God bless
John and Jenny
Comment by Jonathan Haile on February 13, 2009 at 8:42am
Wow thanks for the updates . I am sending you guys some of my luck for this coming year.
All the very best
Jon
Comment by PCarrico on February 12, 2009 at 7:29pm
Looks like a horror show!
Y'all are definitly tougher than the rest of us...
Good luck.
Pete
Comment by John Shasteen on February 11, 2009 at 1:33pm
Steve and Julie, our hearts go out to you. Back in '79 when Paloma was brand new, a typical Texas tropical storm, Claudette, hit the coast with a 12 foot storm tide up in Kemah/Seabrook. She floated up as far as she could on her lines, then filled up and sunk in the slip. Then during Hurricane Alicia , a Tayana 37 up the dock (and in the storm tide, well above the finger piers) broke loose and along with two other boats came to rest against Paloma - the only damage was a big hole in the topside, above the waterline. For Ike and numerous earlier storms she was down in Port Isabell and missed them.
John and Marissa
Comment by sailorgirlca on February 11, 2009 at 7:32am
My sentiments are the same as Larry & Suky9. Some friends living aboard in the Kemah area lost their 42' boat/home after it was thrown up on shore. Their marina was also devasted. My Best Wishes go out to you for speedy repairs and getting your lives back in order.
Comment by Suky on February 10, 2009 at 10:06pm
I feel the same as Larry. thank you for keeping up with us & continue to hang tough !
Hope the repairs go easily.
Comment by Larry Wilson on February 10, 2009 at 8:16pm
Makes me want to cry, but it sounds like you're dealing with it. Hope all falls into place without too much duress. I watched all the news coverage. None of it was good.

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