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how to handle storms and hurricanes in the BVI
 
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sailonly7
Link to this postPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:51 pm    Post subject: Note how to handle storms and hurricanes in the BVI

All we can share is how we handle sailing those wonderful BVI cruising grounds.

We book our two week BVI Sailing vacations in May....before hurricane season, We stay totally clear of the caribbean aug, sept, and oct. " September remember, October all over. " Actually the hurricane season can be from June to november.

Of course all of that is up to mother nature. She may rise up, and she may not.

May sailing, winds generally great 15 to 20 plus. We are generally double reefed ( smaller mainsail area ) and jib rolled into about a 110% lapper. Just the two of us on a 36 foot sailing vessel. Slightly heeled over, and a bit off the wind on a close close reach, no weather helm. longest passage is from Norman Island to Virgin Gorda Sound. About 5 hrs since we have to tack a few times. Love it.

Temps are comfortable, board shorts and bathing suits.

We have have had passing tradewind showers out at sea, and we strip down to shorts, and get a great fresh water shower up on deck. No need to use the precious on board boat supply.

One one earlier trip, I was leading a flotilla of about 8 or 10 boats, we all were in Virgin Gorda Sound, and could see the bad weather and feel the winds increasing. We stayed put at various safe anchorages in vigin gorda sound. No one even went ashore.

There were some pretty good sized wind waves, white caps in the sound. Everyone stayed on board, and had picked up a mooring or anchored using two bow anchors. We were offf Saba Rock, next to the Bitter End Y.C. Others were in more protected areas.

Some boaters, not in our group, decided to take their dink ashore, not a good plan. Another fast para sail power launch boat next to us sank at its mooring.

Sometimes , no matter how well you plan, mother nature can rise up and whack you soundly.
Our little flotilla did just fine, and posted watches thru the night to make sure we were staying put. We used double bow mooring lines as well.

Those land based, no worries, they just got a bit wet and hair mussed, walking thru the rain and wind to the bar.

If you are down there during hurricane season, well , if we were, and a cat 1 to cat 5 hurricane was reported on its way, we would get the heck out of there. Boat or Land Based. Come back another time. That will not happen since we stay clear during hurricane season. Just one of our personal rules....not necessarily that of others.

Last May trip the wind was howling out of the S.E. We had sailed from Marina Cay to Jost Van Dyke.
Every anchorage or mooring field on Jost was open to the wind and the seas. We sailed by all of them and even went into great harbor to check it out, Nope, I did not like being in an open road stead, so change of plans. Sailed over to Cane Garden Bay, tortola, and was totally protected my the hills. Calm easy night.

This was not a storm situation, just strong winds and seas.

Party light was lit at Myetts.

Some one posted a request on what to do during storms and hurricanes.

Our plan is to avoid them when possible.

Sometimes that idea does not work out...... as when we were in Gustavia Harbor St, Barts and everyone was surprised by near hurricane force winds from a tropical depression that formed in the area.

No one , the harbor authorities, the charter bases, local population or sailors or fishermen had a clue.

But, that is another story for another time.
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