How two Batch64 Mates survived Irma

Wimal Fernando and I had discussed the contingency plans earlier in the week knowing that the storm would hit hard where he lives in Marco Island, and the  evacuation was going to be inevitable.

Wimal & Iranthie were invited to join us to ride out the storm in Sarasota.

Facts about IRMA

70,000:    The square mileage of Irma’s tropical storm force winds. That’s larger than the area of Florida, which is 65,000 square miles.

300 miles:    The diameter of those tropical storm force winds, which is about twice as wide as Florida’s peninsula.The top strength of Irma’s maximum sustained winds (though it has since dropped). 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, the most destructive hurricane to hit Florida, had maximum winds of 175 mph. Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned that Irma was “bigger, faster and stronger” than Andrew, which hit as a Category 5

The top strength of Irma’s maximum sustained winds (though it has since dropped). 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, the most destructive hurricane to hit Florida, had maximum winds of 175 mph. Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned that Irma was “bigger, faster and stronger” than Andrew, which hit as a Category 5

History of Hurricanes in Sarasota

Sarasota County recorded a hurricane’s direct hit in 1944 when the eye of a Category 3 storm moved through north Casey Key and Osprey. 

There are some theories and local superstitions as to why the city of Sarasota has not had a direct hit from a storm since record keeping began back in 1871; the wildest one has to do with American Indian Spirits that still protect the area. These are what are known as “Urban Legends.” (

Irma made landfall in Marco Island after a devastating blow to Florida Keys. It then proceeded directly north close to shoreline past Fort Mayers , ( south of Sarasota)  heading towards Sarasota. When it reached Sarasota miraculously Irma “Wobbled ” off track westwards in the ocean sparing Sarasota. It then headed towards Tampa causing significant damage to coastal bay area.



This is what showed up on the radar on Sunday night .
Legend has it that our area was blessed by a Native American many years ago. The story goes that, when native American Princess Sarah DeSoto died, her body was buried in to Sarasota Bay with the blessing that Sarasota will never be hit by a Hurricane.(according to Sarasota Herald tribune its a story  that can never be proven)  The blessing provided protection from hurricanes, and the quartz on our beaches helps to keep them away. This was during the height of the storm last night and our area was spared from what was expected




A massive charging station capable of charging our electronics for 5 days , and a windup radio to monitor weather ordered through Amazon arrived  on Friday morning


This video doesn’t exist

This video was shot out my back door on Sunday evening












Srategiser in chief consuming “Red Liquid”

Fortunately for us there was minimal damage to property. there was some inconvenience due to interruption of High speed internet and partial power outage.

Wimal’s house was intact with some damage to the pool cage


Thank you for all you prayers and good wishes

Wimal and Sam

13 thoughts on “How two Batch64 Mates survived Irma”

  1. Main thing is you were okay and safe. As you know we communicated practically on a daily basis to find out about your safety. You were some of the lucky ones that did not loose power.

    Looks like the red liquid took some of your anxiety away.



  2. My dear Sam and Wimal
    What a relief that both of your and your families are safe and sound .
    Wimal- great decision to flee Marco Island and get to Sarasota.

    Whats even better, you have electricity – when 5 million in Florida are in the dark.
    Great Video, scary too and great pics with Gini Watura, great meal laid out on festive Portmeirion dinnerware to celebrate !

    Now- about the Native American legend– Sara de Soto- daughter of the Spanish boss and the love between her and the young Seminole chief= Chi Chi – Okabee – is a lovely story-
    Sara nursed Chichi Oka- bee through an illness, and she got sick after that .
    Chichi was devastated and pleaded with the Spanish white chief to let him conduct the Buriel of his lovely Sara .
    He was given permission, and he conducted the Burial Rites according to Seminole custom and place her in a sheltered bay- Sarasota bay as we know it today- and Blessed the Waters .

    Sarasota was spared the wrath of Irma .

    Seminoles are Black Indians- the product of Native Americans and Black Slaves , most of whom still live in Florida, and others scattered around USA .

    I do believe in these lovely legends handed down from one generation to the next , like our Kuveni – Vijaya Legend .
    They take us back to a time, when Life was different .

    I live in front of Giants Tomb Island , here in Ontario, on the shores of Georgian Bay- of Lake Huron , where we have the most wildest of storms .
    One has to see to believe them, and we get it year after year .
    The Giant was Kitche -uwa’na’– Big Big Giant . ( Huron- Ojibwa )
    Another lovely legend of Love gone Wrong , and Kitche uwa’na’ was buried and in a certain place, and that is Giants Tomb-

    Giants Tomb Island is our land mark and our protector from storms and we all have a deep respect for Kitch ‘ Uwa’na’ and we have a lovely bronze statue of this Legend in our local waterfront park .
    Having lived here for 27 yrs- I visited Giants Tomb Island for the first time last year, and did a Ceremony- Pooja to Kitche Uwa’ Na’ protect me from the evil forces of the Noodin- The Wind .

    Saturday and Sunday- I was at our local annual Midland Traditional Pow Wow- an occasion where we all gather to the sound of the Big Drum, to sing, to dance to Pray by the Sacred Fire .

    About one thousand people descend on our town for the event – both Spiritual and Social .
    It is a pure assault on ones senses at all levels – Spiritual, Visual, Auditory,- not to mention – Gastronomic with Indian Taco !
    I will try and post a few pics for those who do not know what a Pow Wow is .

    I did this for 2 days- with only ONE Prayer – ” Creator- Look after my friends in Sarasota , Winterhaven and Vero Beach “.

    I offered Mushkiki- ( Good Medicine ) to the Medicine Woman by the Sacred Fire and made known my intentions .

    On sunday night I return home- and see that Irma has done a Sarasota By Pass !!
    Good Mushkiki worked .
    Nisantha called me on monday evening to tell me the good news about Sarasota and I immediately informed Praxy and Ariya .

    Ranjith Silva- away in California- he e- mailed me to say so

    All are safe so far .

    I got an e- mail from Asoka y’day night -he was away on a Baltic Cruise all through the Irma crisis .
    His home is also safe – one of the few on the East Coast to have electricity !

    So you see, what ever faith you believe in , the belief is strong- it will work .

    Thanks Sam- Wimal for the wonderful way you describe the ‘ Surviving Irma ‘
    Now, on a more jolly note- ” Do you know what Madam Irma told the Coconut and Palm trees full of nuts ? – Hold on to your Nuts ! ‘ !!!!!



    1. isn’t that a lovely story? I am glad you were able add some additional details to what appears to be an interesting legend
      Thanks for all you did keeping us safe


  3. By the way – one small error in the Sarasota news- Sara de Soto- was white , and NOT Native American,
    She was White Spanish , daughter of the Spanish master .

    It was her loved one- the Seminole Chief – Chi Chi – Oka-Bee.
    Seminoles are Native American / Black African Slave Mix-
    The Seminoles assimilated well with the Native American Culture , whilst still keeping some African customs and traditions .
    Very interesting to read about the Seminole People- – A Hidden Heritage – Black Indians– by William Loren Katz– for any one to read if interested .


  4. Dear Sam and Wimal
    Thanks for your post on Irma in the blog. It was fascinating reading and a bit scary too as I was watching CNN news most of the days and thinking of you and your family.. ..braving the weather . We had vivid memories of our visit to you both so it was very easy to visualise what was happening. So pleased that all is well. Judging by the pictures it looks like you have had a good time too amidst the disaster.Praxy


  5. Dear Sam and Wimal really glad ur safe from Irma.we read also hope that Ranjith(Silva) and Asoka who r also from that area are safe.our prayers r with u.Ranjani

    Liked by 1 person

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