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H-season, the windy season, the rainy season or if you prefer, hurricane or typhoon season is soon to be upon us. The official start day is June 1st and even though big tropical storms rarely occur in this area that early in the season, I’m not too interested in betting our boat on it. Unlike many cruisers, we actually do have insurance and unless we are in Grenada or south of there by June 1st, we have no coverage for “named storm damage” should we run into one of those bad guys.

I doubt many people, ourselves included, can comprehend the forces that come into play in such a storm. Just the other day, we were sailing along the coast of Tortola on a nice beam reach with about 15 knots of wind (true) when we were hit with a 30+ knot gust (our wind instrument measured it). Instantly all hell broke loose. Fortunately we had our main sail already reefed and only our little jib up. If we had full sails up that one gust could have broken something but as it were, it was just a few seconds of excitement. If I’m not mistaken, doubling the wind speed quadruples the wind’s force on the sails so when it went from 15 to 30, we instantly had 4 times the force being applied on our boat. If you do a bit of math by doubling the wind speed a couple more times, and consequently it’s force, we’ll then be in hurricane territory.

So, with all that said, we’re going to be fast-tracking our way south. Of course we’re going to miss lots of great places this time around but we’ll no doubt be able to catch them on our next trip through the islands.

Yesterday we cleared in to St. Martin but because we told him we were only going to be here for two days, we were permitted to clear out at the same time (5 Euros later). We did get to shore to take advantage of the great stores for provisioning and now with food on hand, we’re ready to move on. After fueling up earlier today, we’re now moving over to Orient Bay, staging for our next jump south. We haven’t yet decided where we’ll head but as I mentioned, we are going to try to put some more miles under our keels, after enjoying the “sights” of Orient Bay of course.

Even if it’s not super spectacular, sunrise after a night of sailing is cool.

Scoping out “the village”

Cool fountain near the customs office.

Cooling off after shopping.

The new chair we picked of at Sam’s in PR. We wish we had purchased two of them now. 🙁

Waking to a rainbow after a calm night at anchor.


Anchorage: Marigot Bay, St. Martin
Internet on boat with Alfa: No
Internet on boat without Alfa: NA
Internet on shore: Yes. Free. We found it at the Banana Cafe.

8 Comments

  1. English Harbor, Antigua, if only for the history. Then it’s a reach all the way down.
    I knew it well, before Falmouth Harbor took charge. It’s still all the same place. Sunday nights at Shirley Heights is worth some weight in gold.

  2. Mike, I believe force is actually proportional to the cube of the wind velocity, so doubling the wind speed would have produced 8 times the force on your rig.

    Which makes hurricanes doubly (cubly?) frightening.

    bob
    s/v Eolian
    Seattle

  3. You have a life time of places to visit and takng the smart route is very adventagious. Do what you think is smart and safest as you know the weather services are predicting a bad season so Trini is looking very good for a place to hang out for a while. Have a safe season you two and all the best in your sailing adventure.

  4. From where you are, to Grenada looks a VERY long way to do in 6 days. Am I misunderstanding what you wrote?

    Incidentally, everything I have read says beware of Trinidad. Yes it is good shelter from hurricanes, but levels of theft and cost seem to be unacceptable to many people. Keep to Grenada apparently.

    Happy sailing!
    Mike

    • You didn’t misread, we won’t be there in 6 days. That is only relevant were we to get hit with a named storm and suffer serious damage in the time it takes us to get there though, and the odds are certainly against that. As for Grenada vs. Trini, our intention is to make Grenada our base. We may venture south of that though… who knows. I have heard similar things too though.

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