By Regatta Pointe Marina Staff
Hurricane Irma touched nearly every corner of the state of Florida last week, and with it came incredible challenges and uncertainty. The incredible preparation and teamwork of everyone here at Regatta Pointe Marina, including staff and slip holders alike, provided a comforting blanket of security during the frightening days leading up to the storm. Thankfully, Irma passed by while causing only relatively minor damage at our port.
Regatta Pointe Marina is the largest marina in Manatee County with 350 slips, as well as commercial facilities for more than a dozen businesses. Preparing for a hurricane is extremely complex and challenging for our staff and customers. Each year we update our hurricane procedures and post them on our ebsite, as well as hold a Hurricane Planning Meeting, which all customer are invited to attend. (NOTE: This year’s meeting was held on May 30 at the Eagle’s Nest. Be sure you’re signed up to receive email alerts to ensure you receive your invitation to the 2018 meeting. CLICK HERE to join our email list)
All of our slip holding customers are responsible for securing their own boats to minimize the risk of damage to their vessel, their neighboring vessels and the marina. We place a document with information on securing boats for storms on our website (CLICK HERE to view). We are very thankful that so many of our slip holders did a spectacular job preparing their boats, and in many cases helping each other to secure each and every docked boat prior to the storm.
Preparing the marina facilities for the storm was a complicated task that tested our staff. Nearly every inch of our property had to be combed over by our maintenance team. Anything loose or vulnerable to high winds had to be anchored or removed in advance of Irma’s arrival. Dozens of signs had to be taken down, outdoor furniture had to be hidden away and other structures had to be anchored to be made storm ready.
As we all watched and waited for Irma to arrive, everyone in our region was terrified at the prospect of a potential category 4 hurricane laying waste to our beloved home. We were blessed to see Irma take enough of an inland turn to reduce the strength of the winds to that of a category 1 when Irma reached us. Regatta Pointe Marina’s electricity was knocked out, but only for a matter of hours. Our hearts go out to those who did not have such fortune.
Following the storm, many of our customers were gracious enough to post photos and information about the marina on the Regatta Pointe Marina Facebook Group. The marina was back up and running after just a couple of days. The effects of the storm are a little less visible with each day that passes. But the community spirit that held Regatta Pointe Marina together through the storm feels stronger than ever.