Wednesday, October 5, 2016
I've been following Sailing Uma on Youtube. They are a nice young couple who did an amazing rebuild of an old sailboat. The boat is currently in Haiti so you can imagine I've been somewhat concerned.
At the time I'm writing this he seems to have pulled though just fine. The boat is some distance from the main part of the storm, but it looks like they still experienced some serious weather. Right now he's alone on the the boat as his partner flew back to NY to be with her mother.
He knew he was going into the Caribbean at the wrong time of year. Most boat insurances won't even insure your boat if you are at certain latitudes during hurricane season. With that in mind he acquired a massively huge anchor. It's crazy large for a boat that size and he even has two rodes on it. (anchor ropes) If you have to anchor a boat to sit out a storm in bad weather that's a darn good tool to have in your kit.
Of course things like picking the right anchorage is also essential. If you can tuck yourself away among the mangroves that's super helpful. I've experienced gale force winds while stern tied to mangroves and believe me, those trees are tough. They also dampen waves and block the wind.
Another important concern is that while your boat may be anchored perfectly, other boats can and usually will drag. Imagine being in your little sailboat while other boats are dragging anchor at a high rate of speed. Not good. Much of life is like that. You may be prepared but have to deal with problems caused by those who did not.
I am curious to see how he'll manage after the storm. I've read accounts of sailors surviving storms only to have to leave because the harbor they were in is now chaotic. Government services break down and there are desperate people in town looking for anything they can get. Will his partner even be able to fly back into the country?
Well, I'm sure their boat is well provisioned. Worse come to worse he can sail back to the US to pick her up.