Monday, July 08, 2013

The (obvious) Problem with Cruising During Hurricane Season

We are on the island located under the bottom orange line
Scott and I have talked numerous times how much we have enjoyed cruising during what is technically known as "hurricane season".  Anchorages are wide open, villages pull back their high-season dog and pony shows, tourists have headed elsewhere and, in general, things slow down.  It's nice.  There's a little more peace and quiet, and there seems to be a tad more, I don't know, authenticity?  Sure, it's a little warmer and the wind isn't always favorable this time of year (is it ever though, I mean...really?) but Scott and I would be hard-pressed to find a reason why cruising during these months is anything but a pleasure.  Hard pressed, of course, if it wasn't for hurricanes.  There's a reason the masses make a beeline south this time of year - and it's a pretty good one.  There are approximately three million and eight other places I would rather be than on a boat in a hurricane.


We've got Tropical Storm Chantal barreling this way and several of the weather prediction models have it passing not too far from - if not directly over - us.  This is no bueno.  While we have made our way south, we are still north of what is considered "safe" from hurricanes by most insurance companies which means we are at a risk.  We knew this and understood the risks we were taking cruising in these waters the last five weeks.  We've been watching weather closely and this weather system, which has been on the radar for a while (though not as a tropical storm) was a huge reason we made our big push south.  Despite this, we are still not in the clear which is a little unnerving for a worry-wart like me.  Of course there is a chance that the storm will pass to the north of us and we'll experience nothing more than wind gusts to 35 knots and some gnarly rain, but mother nature has a way of throwing curve balls and, according to the weather man, we should prepare for the worst - wind of 65 knots or more and a torrential downpour.

We considered making a run further south today but decided against it.  We are in a safe harbor, our anchor is firmly set and we're setting a second just to be safe.  We might even have a third on deck just in case.  As one Facebook follower said, "It's always better to be ready and have it fizzle, than to expect a fizzle and get a BOOM..."  I couldn't agree more.  So we'll keep our eyes on this system and prep ourselves and our boat as best we can.  We're in a safe and protected anchorage and we should ride this out just fine.  I'll tell you one thing though, it's going to be a sleepless night and I'm looking forward to this being over and getting to our safe-haven of Grenada in the next week or so.  We're thinking of all our friends to the north...


Brett A. said...

Ok, I'm not a worrier, but now you've made me worry. Please don't stay on the boat if it looks like its headed towards you guys. A boat is replaceable, you guys are not.

Turf to Surf said...

Stay safe you guys! I'm crossing my fingers that it fizzles... :-)

Unknown said...

I am a father of four and now I find my self worrying about three more!

Please keep us abreast of what's going on....!!!

Good luck

Steve said...

Major tension on the headsail sheets as you furl them then wrap a spare halyard tightly (crisscross against the wrap of the sail) around the genoa and also the staysail. I learned this the hard way. Stay safe.

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