“Notes from the Tiki Hut” – Hurricane Irma Destroyed Florida?

by Dave Lucas – Bradenton, Florida – USA

If you listened to the non stop weather reporting that’s what you would think. The whole state has to leave and go to Montana with fifty gallons of water each or pack into the local elementary school where they’ll save you from the horrible monster coming to get you. This is the biggest, strongest unprecedented storm in the history of the world. Not to mention the tidal surge; hell it was going to flow over the entire state leaving it a bare sandy beach. I know that’s what all of you thought from the emails I got. Even some of you who knew better were spreading the BS (Larry) I think the water did go up a couple feet here at my dock.

We did do a little prep here at the Boatworks, not much but some. I didn’t have a trailer handy so I put Lurlyne out on the mooring. All of my neighbors did leave, some going as far as South Carolina. Sure enough the storm turned and came right at us here in Bradenton; we were goners for sure, that’s what the TV said; just kiss your ass good bye.

Here’s some of the horrible aftermath; death and destruction and bloated bodies all over. Oh wait, that was some other place; we didn’t even lose our electricity and air conditioning here. And what’s with all this buying bottled water? Even if we do lose water which hardly ever happens don’t they know that you can fill up jugs from your tap. The cheap ass canvas shelters are all still there and no one died. I did have some tree damage but it was just another day for the rest of my neighbors; no pool cages gone, not even tree limbs down and they left their bomb proof block houses to evacuate to Canada. We did have Wally and Susan here with us because they live in tin houses that are waiting to get blow away so some things are prudent. (They had no damage.)

You notice John’s john is perfect. That man knows how to build a shit house.

OK, OK having said all that this was my year to have trees down. I’m the only one in the whole neighborhood who had anything down. WTF? We do live in an oak forest so I guess we had the target on us. We figure that a small tornado must have dipped down to get us. We had 5 old large oak trees snap off about 20 feet up. This one just barely nipped the corner of the house but didn’t cause any leakage. Or maybe they were just old and weak like most of you because the taller pines around them are fine. Some of the gang were here today to start clearing away; Wally said to just announce a party and fifty of you would show up.

The kayaks didn’t even blow away. Cessna thinks it’s all a big game. It was scary and windy and noisy but we were prepared with shutters and plenty of booze and remember to take it with a grain of salt when the weather man is standing on a roof top telling you how bad it is. Oh and I knew that Lurlyne could take hurricane winds cause I’ve pulled her up the road that fast. Big party, bring chainsaw. No, no forget that.


  1. I’m glad that you got through the storm so safely. You are very fortunate. Was this Katrina or Camille? No. Did the forecasters blow it out of proportion. Some. But had Irma taken a different tack it certainly could have been. Tell the people in Key West, Big Pine Key or the Virgin Islands what a rollicking good time it was. I have followed this magazine for years and have had great respect for the responsible respect you have given to the whims of Mother Nature and her influence on our maritime pursuits. However, the cavilier attitude you have shown towards the damage caused by Irma, maybe not to you, but to countless others is reprehensible. Lives were lost, homes and livelihoods destroyed. And how about people you may influence to disregard storm warnings in the future? I am really disappointed at the lack of judgement on this one.

  2. Truth is always good and I thank you for telling it. I want to meet Cessna one day. Some storms tear up things some don’t, much, when you are lucky. I have been through a few and each has its way. Thank God One sent my 5′ alligator back to the King Ranch where it belonged.

  3. Mr. Dave, glad to hear you guys made it through! I’m a neighbor just north of the bay, in Seminole, and we got quite a blow. I was thinking about you all during the storm. Dang Irma postponed my build for a week!

  4. It’s this type of ignorant, cavalier attitude that gets people killed. You were simply lucky pal – others were not. Your time is coming soon.

  5. Not commenting on attitudes here but last winter we had a bad nor’easter and the weather channel had a reporter on the New Jersey beach. His too-big-on-purpose name brand jacket was blowing in the breeze, his hood was up and tied and he was holding his jacket tight near his neck with one hand and the mic in his other. Storm reporter at his best

    Except behind him on the beach walked a couple holding hands, in shorts and sweatshirts, calmly collecting seashells. Oops.

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