Ah well... it could be worse.
I got quite a bit done last week, the inside bottom part is pretty much done except for paint, and I made progress on the motorcycle port. Last Friday I had finished spraying the inside so I left the skylight cracked a few inches so it could dry and went to work. Instead of the nice sunny day that was predicted it became cloudy and very windy. I went home after work to find that the skylight (all 70 pounds of it) had blown off and all the plexiglass had shattered.
Argh ... Depressing.
I stapled up a tarp to keep the rain out. Saturday and Sunday were marathon sessions that started early in the morning and went until midnight both days. I mixed and sprayed 250 gallons of papercrete, and after buying another $100 worth of plexiglass I rebuilt the skylight. I found out that if you pat the wet papercrete a few hours after you spray, it tends to flatten out and become more even. After several hours of patting, my hands were swollen and cracked from the cement. The next day I was sore all over, and was getting some kind of cold, so I decided to take a rest.
So last night I was sitting in my dome, admiring my fancy new skylight and reading a book when the wind starts to pick up. This time I was not worried since the skylight was closed and I had it tied to the frame with a thick metal cable. Branches started falling out of the trees and the gusts were causing the deck to bounce around, I went out to look around but dirt was blowing in my eyes and I was getting hit with small sticks so I went back inside. Then there was a ridiculous gust that looked and sounded like a tornado had hit. I have been in 70mph winds and this was much worse. It only lasted for about 10 seconds, but somehow it yanked my new skylight off, swung in around on the cable and smashed it into the dome hard enough to break all the glass (again) and splinter the 2x6 wooden frame into 5 pieces. This thing was held together at each joint with three 4-inch deck screws. Only one joint did not shatter, the rest were in pieces 40 feet down the hill. Where it hit the dome it bent one of the 3/4" conduit pipes, I am not sure how hard that was, but I weigh 300lbs and could swing from these pipes without them even flexing.
So much for relaxing. The wind was still howling and I now had a six foot hole in my roof. I stapled a tarp up as best I could through the hole, collected all the pieces of my skylight frame and started re-assembling them. The silicon sealer was still wet so I scraped that off as best I could, removed all the screws (most at the corners were bent, 5 had snapped). About three hours later I had a replacement skylight roughly done with a tarp stapled to it instead of plexiglass.
I am going with a different skylight design now since I can't afford the plexiglass. This time I attached 3/4" decking to the top leaving a window in the middle big enough for one piece of plexiglass (I had two before). I re-attached the cable and added a bungee cord in the middle. I am going to add two more bungee cords to the far side as well. It will not look as nice but at the moment it is all I can afford, and who knows how much more wind we have to look forward to. I guess this is the disadvantage of building on top of a hill.
On the bright side I did learn a few interesting things.
1. The dome does really well in high winds. Other than the deck shaking, it did not have any trouble at all.
2. The dome does quite well when hit with stuff... there were a couple of dents in the papercrete where the skylight hit. They were a couple of inches long and may have gone down to the shrink wrap layer. The branches did not cause any damage that I could see.
3. Papercrete is really easy to repair. I mixed three buckets this morning and just dumped it over and smoothed it out.
This morning when mixing papercrete to fix the dent, my home-made mixing blade broke. The bolt where I attach the drill sheared off. There were huge branches and trees all over the place and all the stuff that I left outside was blown somewhere down the hill. Like I said... an all round depressing week. And it looks like storms for the next seven days.