Sunday, August 23, 2015

Lightning Damage

Making Friends with Bob at Reagan National
I have been down in Flagler Beach, FL at Bill's house (KI4MMZ.) Those of you who follow my travels know that Bill and Fred are my on shore support team - weather routing, "phone patch" links to my sons, and interfaces to technical support when things on the boat fail.

Bill's home got hit by lightning. The telephone "dmark" was blown 20 feet across the lawn. Bill is a 110% medically disabled vet (he was only 100% disabled, but with the new equipment he has now added an additional 10% as he is still learning how to make it work) so getting around to fix things is difficult for him.

XO and I flew down to help. Of course we got to Reagan National on the day that the ATC system failed for six hours. We got to spend 8 hours in the airport waiting for our plane. Fortunately I had brought the XO diaper bag - food and kitty litter (had to buy water inside security at the airport) so he was comfortable while waiting. We all know he is a very pretty cat and most of the time quite calm. I put him on a short leash and he made some new friends. We thought that the trip would be canceled for sure (the flight full of kids to Orlando on one side and the flight to Bermuda on the other side were both cancelled) but we got lucky. The poor people traveling to Bermuda were offered a re-booking starting three days later (2 seats) and it got worse for them from there. What a way to ruin a vacation.

Power Napping
We arrived at Bill's and started to take inventory of the damage. In a word - everything. Television, home theater, camera system, computer, remote controls for lights, fans, door locks, and most important for me almost all of the Ham Radio equipment. XO was ecstatic to have a big house to run around; much more fun than being on a leash on Reboot.

Since so much equipment was destroyed we took the opportunity to move all of the furniture and deep clean Bill's "operations center." There were various suggestions about moving his bed out to one of the back bedrooms so that we would have more room to party (Haha.) Then we started putting things back together again.

We were able to acquire the more common items - television, home theater, new computer and install them. But the more esoteric items (the Ham radio equipment, the camera systems, etc.) will take longer to get delivered. We were, however, able to get a working Ham shack by the end of the week. Bill and I can now communicate again by radio.

The trip back was as uneventful as the trip down was eventful. We are back on Reboot waiting for a couple of deliveries and a weather window to head back to Virginia Beach.

Fair winds and following seas :)

1 comment:

  1. Oh no, not radio equipment. lol
    I should pull my stuff out and figure a way to put it to use. Hard to do in an HOA area.
    Take care
    DE W4ABN