28 April 2012

Hurricane Season is approaching fast..

The Hurricane* Season starts first of June and ends at the thirtiest of November. We will have Hurricanes in a very well defined area only: Between 13. to 35. degree North and 55. to 100. degree West. OK that's at least according to our insurance company. Real life could be a bit different if you check past storm tracks. Nevertheless, if we would like to keep our boat insurance we have to leave that area or store the boat safely on land. 

Safely on land means in this case: Remove the mast and all other deck clutter like solar panels, bimini and so on. Then you have to tie down the boat too with earth anchors. Quite a task and Habibi is born to be in the water right?. Besides this, all our seawater dependend systems would not work on land:  Starting with the toilet, the fridge and finally the Aircon (and that in a Caribbean summer!). Additional dry storage locations for boats are normally not the sexiest locations on the islands, you may be placed behind a Steel Mill or a sewage treatment facility.  Even I have not discussed this option with Rahel yet, I guess that's not an option for us. Guess we simply are too soft for this kind of hardcore camping. 

Keeping the boat in the water in the hurricane area would jeopardize our insurance cover. But since you never know where a storm really hits and you usually get early warnings you could move the boat always to a more or less saver place. A lot of people still do that. Does not sound too bad. I do not know why we're not considering that: could it be the fear of my father in law if something happens to his daughter or are we maybe just too soft as said before? Or maybe we are simply not yet suicidal enough.....

So our current plan says we head towards Grenada (we heard many bad stuff about Trinidad - a previously very famous shelter place). We may stay for one month there as we have a lot to do and it may be nice to stay for a few weeks at one place at a time. We're not yet sure what will happen after that - there are still so many white spots on our travel map. 
Besides a dozen islands to explore we learned that Columbia became surprisingly safe, Venezuela on the other side had a downturn. Brazil - one of my favorite place  - is very far and against current and wind. But still, is there anything comparable?? And if we would do so I promise that we will keep a bunk for Kris and Naldo warm (If Kris finally admits there is nothing above a Carioca :-))

We will continue our journey towards Grenada as soon the weather permits. Everything else is open so far. So dear readers - if you have any idea or recommendation please speak up now!

*Hurricane for Landlubbers: First of all, you need to know that it has different names: Depending on its location and strength it's named hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclone storm, tropical depression or simply cyclone. It's basically a storm system characterized by a low pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. They usually get names as soon they reach tropical storm strength: By the way, they just get names for a practical reason: Often there are multiple depressions around, so having them named helps people to avoid confusion and track "their" storms better. 
We sailor fear it like hell, not just because of the heavy winds (sometimes over 250 kmh!). More devastating than the winds are the waves. You would not believe the power of this high seas during such a Cyclone: I'm writing this in a well protected Harbor, surrounded by 5m high massive stone walls well knowing that this now so save looking heaven would be a deadly trap during such a storm! The waves will, and already have, crush everything inside this now peaceful shelter. 


  1. Look into Island Dreams Yacht Services
    Look at their marina they use:
    That's a good place

  2. Thanks Hayden - seams to be a small world. I know Jana briefly, she's Swiss and I worked with her brother a few years ago :-)