Riding out Ike on the water

September 19, 2008 10:14:24 AM PDT
We've heard a week full of incredible stories before, during, and after Ike's landfall, and what you're about to read is certainly one of those. HURRICANE IKE: Breaking news on Ike | POD locations | Person locator | Local gas station report | Hurricane guide | Viewer photos of Ike | Latest power numbers

Standing on the Iron Maiden, Warren Gloss has two things he cares about the most -- his girlfriend and his boat. Gloss feels so at home on the vessel he built himself that when Hurricane Ike slammed into the Texas Gulf Coast, he was on board tied up to a slip in the Kemah marina.

By the time the evening came, the water level was already high.

"It would have to go eight feet in eight hours, so I made the calculation that we probably would survive," Gloss told us.

The day before Ike hit, Gloss told us of his plans.

"I don't think I'm really crazy," he said on Thursday. "You may as well try it once."

The one-of-a-kind 50 foot boat fared just fine, except for a scratch, as did Gloss and the skipper he took along.

At the height of the storm, when wind and rain pummeled the area, Gloss was dry and comfortable on his boat.

"We were watching you on TV," he told us. "And we were having a great time."

Every now and then, he climbed out of the Iron Maiden and kept track of the water level.

"It actually went up to the three-foot mark, the roller did," he said.

The captain had a strategy to beating the storm. The last time we talked to him, the Iron Maiden was parked on the other side of the marina. But he moved it to a different slip because there's not a boat parked next to it. Plus, the new spot had the protection of the Kemah Boardwalk parking garage.

The structure blocked some of the wind and the solid vessel Gloss carefully designed and built for eight years did the rest.

"I admire nothing so much as strength," he said.

As for the marina in Kemah, it fared very well during the storm.

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