His boat is called the “Suddenly.”
That also described how he left the Regatta Pointe Marina on Sunday morning.
“I’m evacuating,” the sailor said, declining to give his name.
Marinas on both sides of the Manatee River were otherwise eerily quiet, with empty vessels gently rocking in mild winds before the arrival of Hurricane Irma, which made landfall on the mainland Sunday as a Category 4 storm packing winds above 100 mph.
It appeared that Manatee boating community paid heed to the danger, which was expected to arrive in earnest by late Sunday. Some boats were boarded up, few remained in open water, and all were secured as best as possible given the unknowns ahead.
At Bradenton’s Twin Dolphin Marina, a barge and large piece of equipment sat empty. A $4.5 million renovation and expansion project is set to begin after more than a year of planning.
Offices at the marinas were closed and had been since Friday. A voicemail at the Twin Dolphin Marina announced closure until at least Tuesday. The marina will announce the opening on its Facebook page.
The message concluded, “Stay safe, stay informed.”