Somehow I managed to climb on deck and winch us a few feet forward before the windlass stripped its gears. This partially freed us from the hellish battle zone, but we were far from safe.
By noon, most boats had been washed all over interstate I-45, which was a few hundred yards downwind. Thankfully, our Rocna anchor had burrowed into a concrete bulkhead, keeping us off the hard. As the storm slowly started abating and the water level receded, we realized we were floating over a dirt road next to a massive pile of trailers and boat bits. Somehow, we managed to avoid landing on this debris and instead settled on a softer substrate.
When the storm ended, Silver Cloud had a small hole in her side and had suffered much damage to her decks and gear. We were amazed at the terrific abuse our boat had withstood.
We later realized we had pulled out six 25-foot pilings that had been sunk over 10 feet into the bottom. Sadly, Payco Marina was completely leveled.
We still believe that by staying aboard Silver Cloud we saved her from certain loss. Ironically, many of the boats that ended up on I-45 were relatively unscathed until the road-clearing crews arrived. In the process of doing their jobs, these crews smashed otherwise- sound boats into pieces before the salvage cranes could save them. Had we not stayed aboard, Silver Cloud could easily have met such a fate.
Ovi and Cory Sacasan are in the process of fixing up Silver Cloud for an extended cruise. They hope to better avoid hurricanes in the future