Crews lift 9,000-pound catamaran off St. James City home after Hurricane Ian

Reporter: Claire Galt Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

Cautiously and precisely, contractors lifted 9,000 pounds resting on a couple’s home for seven months after Hurricane Ian and put the catamaran back into the water. But the real work begins now that it’s back in the water.

The catamaran, named Rosebud, after the Orson Wells film Citizen Kane, is hard at work. The boat became quite the tourist attraction in Saint James City. For six months and three weeks, she rested against a home. Until a willing group of contractors with a crane decided to do something about it.

Bird-eye view of the catamaran. CREDIT: RJ Gorman/ AVB Logistics

The job took about 45 minutes for the crane to life Rosebud and place her back in the water without a splash.

At 9,000 pounds, the catamaran is as heavy as an elephant and hard to miss. The catamaran even became eye candy for the locals of Saint James City since Hurricane Ian gave her a resting spot on top of Pat Olkowski and Becky Cole’s colorful home.

Thursday, just about everyone in the city came to watch contractors lift the elephant-sized object.

The catamaran. CREDIT: WINK News

Some neighbors even took advantage of the opportunity, trying to earn a quick dollar by selling coffee and beer to passersby.

“How much should we drink, and when should we start,” Cole said.

Inch by inch, as the crane carefully placed her back where she belongs. All the while, Cole nervously covered her eyes.

“You’re okay.. You’re okay… it’s gonna be fabulous. It’s gonna be great,” Cole’s friend Donna said.

And that’s precisely what it was, great.

“Every single one of you I praise god for. Rosebud is back in the water,” Cole yelled from atop the boat.

Becky Cole and Pat Olkowski atop the catamaran after removal. CREDIT: WINK News

“We’ve sailed this boat all over. We’ve had the Bahamas three times, we’ve been the keys Canada one year, six years, six months sail, that the whole thing,” Olkowski said.

Going all the way to Alaska.

“We’re in Alaska, she’s like I got on the back of a motorcycle,” Olkowski said.

“James Patterson is the best books to read on the back of the motorcycle,” Cole said.

But operating vehicles isn’t the couple’s only talent.

“We’ve played every place on the island one time or another,” Olkowski said.

They’ve made a name for themselves all over the world through music and their band, The Fiddler and I.

“We played on that boat we’d pull into a cove in the Bahamas,” Olkowski said.

If you ask Cole, she’ll tell you that she wasn’t born with talent.

“He said Becky you’re gonna have to learn how to play something,” Becky said. “I would be keeping the beat. If I mess up. He’d hit me on the head with his bow.”

“As soon as a stud muffin walks in with no shirt on she can’t hit a chord right,” Olkowski said. “Last night Becky was screwing up everywhere. This ripped guy walked in.”

The way Olkowski handles the competition is simple.

“Whisky,” Olkowski said.

Olkowski and Cole are hoping to get Rosebud fixed up so they can go on more adventures and play more music.

The people who moved Rosebud did the job for free.

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