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Old 16-10-2014, 07:11   #31
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Re: Gonzalo

Hoo ****, what a day, update, in the french side, boatyards are doing fine except Geminga, 3 boats down , include my friend beneteau 50, holed, timeout no problems so far, JMC i see a catamarán fliped , Marigot bay is clean, no more boats anchored, Port Louis marina so far ok, i see a Lagoon 38 sunked and 2 more boats taking on wáter or holed, there is people missing here to, i see a P3 orion from the CG flying in and out , and the helicopters from french customs flying far to, my boat is fine , is haul out and straped to ground by we almost loose it , every 5 minutes in the stands tighten up , very tired, in one moment we have the boat tilted to starboard 30 degres at least, we risk our lives to save boats in the midle of the worst , very stupid from my part and the yard crew, we rescue a old woman from the wáter when the boat broke free from the dock, and i have a friend in the hospital when a dingy smash it in the back when running to get shelter in the office, Gonzalo take many people off guard , WTF they thinking to be in marigot bay... Cheers,
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Old 16-10-2014, 07:47   #32
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Re: Gonzalo

Aerial video of St. Marteen, not pretty. Looks like many caught unprepared by rapid escalation of storm and a turn to northwest that happened quickly before hitting Antigua then St. Marteen

http://youtu.be/7_YK3Y9qY0w


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Old 16-10-2014, 08:09   #33
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Re: Gonzalo

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Highest wind gust recorded reliably in St Martin was 103 knots
But mostly lower, 80 sustained and gusts to 95 but is really difficult to tell.

It certainly seemed like more that a brisk Saturday sail.

At least 50 boats sunk or on the rocks, 1 person died and theres others not accounted for yet, but they may be in hospital or cant contact becauuse theyve lost their vhf and be on land somewhere.

Every marina had sinkings. One boat at anchor in Marigot bay survived and 12 on the beach there, 2 in Sandy Ground looted already.

All boats in Bobbies marina at the airport were sunk. Thats where the death occured.

About 6 boats went through the causeway bridge and were dismasted. Another 5 boats stuck under the bridge.

Not a happy time here at all!

You can count the totally undamaged boats on moorings/anchor on about one hand... Mine included.
I'm so sorry to hear about the devastation, but glad you and your boat faired well.

Maje
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Old 16-10-2014, 08:36   #34
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Re: Gonzalo

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We have other friends who just went down last week and are there now for a large regatta for airline pilots etc, they were in the Bvi aboard charter cats. I wonder what the charter co does when. Hurricane come, do they have a hurricane hole they tell charters to go or pull them out or hope they have a high cc limit?

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I know, after securing our boat in Normans I was asked to take a Voyage cat back over to Soper's to be put on the hard. This was late Tues afternoon and squalls were starting to hit. Gusts about 30kts with driving rain in the channel, as soon as you turn into Soper's total calm.

Next day my boat was fine and I bummed a ride over to Pirates on the worker ferry to untangle her as I had extra gear as well as the mooring. When motoring over to nanny cay to get the family I could not believe all the boats out in the channel already (Regatta). All its well in BVI. Luck really had that storm not turned it would have been ugly.

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Old 16-10-2014, 16:55   #35
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Re: Gonzalo

It's quite a horrid storm. Cat 3 now with Bermuda on target. I'm really surprised how fast it built, from 50 kt over Antigua/Barbuda to 80 kt over St Martin 8 hrs and 70 miles later.
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Old 16-10-2014, 20:34   #36
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Re: Gonzalo

All you folks in Bermuda I hope you can keep your feet dry. There is talk of up to a 10 ft. surge.
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Old 17-10-2014, 02:56   #37
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Re: Gonzalo

comment........no comment

The Seven Seas Cruising Association, Hurricane Gonzalo, and thoughts on the loss of the yacht G-String* - Gary E. Brown
The Seven Seas Cruising Association, Hurricane Gonzalo, and thoughts on the loss of the yacht G-String

10/16/2014

22 Comments




I started out to write a thank you on Facebook to all the wonderful people who winged their thoughts our way when they heard that St. Martin was in the grips of a monster hurricane and later when they learned that our boat G-String had been mortally wounded … Jan and I thank you with all our hearts.

Having read comments posted on the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) Facebook page and, being a journalist/ writer blessed with human frailty, I felt the need to put a few things straight. One comment hinted that people on boats in St. Martin got what they deserve because they were in the hurricane belt and should have been in Trinidad instead.

To those posting these comments, please take a moment to think before passing judgment. And please remember that three people who loved the sea gave their lives to it during the storm.

As the editorial director of the Caribbean wide sailing/lifestyle magazine All At Sea, I have preached long and often about leaving the hurricane belt during storm season. And I have written thousands of words about securing your boat in a seaman like fashion ahead of a storm or hauling it ashore. Going against all my own advice, I found myself in the middle of hurricane alley with a smashed boat following hurricane Gonzalo. As you know from seeing the pictures and your social media comments, I’m not the only one.

For the record, we live in St. Martin, it’s not just somewhere we happened to be when the hurricane came through. My wife and I spent thousands of hours working on our boat, which we loved very much. We missed last year’s sailing season because of all the work we needed to do, so this year decided to keep the boat in the water. You know how time seems to pass more quickly as you get older? Well, that was one reason for sailing the boat in the ‘forbidden’ season. Another reason was the appearance of El Niño and the prediction of a quiet hurricane season. We keep the boat on a mooring in the Simpson Bay Lagoon just 200 yards from our apartment. The attraction of keeping her afloat and my love of sailing proved too tempting and my gut feeling was that this year all would be well. I now know I was wrong.

I’ll come back to our boat a little later.

People on boats lost in the storm were stung by your comments. Boats lost or damaged included commercial vessels and fishing boats that must make a living in these waters all year round. I hope the Seven Seas Sailing Association will cut them a little slack and do the same for operators of local day charter boats who lost their vessels and livelihood and put many people out of work. A couple of boats were left in the lagoon because of family emergencies and the need for the crew to fly home. I hope the seven Seas Cruising Association will also cut them some slack.

I hope the good captains of the Association will also spare a thought for the people who did all they could to hold on to their boat in a tropical storm that turned into a killer hurricane. Perhaps certain members would like the phone number of the couple on the boat that was wrecked where ours finally fetched up, so that they can tell them in person of their folly. But the problem is, they no longer have a phone, it’s under water inside the wreck of their home—a 47-foot boat that was smashed beyond recognition until it sank leaving a broken man who could only cry and a wife who thought they were both going to die. They fought the storm with all they had … and lost. Do they deserve some slack or are they guilty of negligence too?

Perhaps the association would also like to email one of my friends, a man who worked and saved to rebuild an already damaged boat so that he could continue to live and work on a Caribbean island, as was his dream. He was working to put an engine in his boat and he had no money to pay for a haul out. And Trinidad is a long way for an engineless motorboat to go; even a member of the Seven Seas Sailing Association couldn’t do that. I’m sure he would love an email, once he’s worked to repair the hole and get the boat off the rocks and put a little money aside to replace his laptop computer. He is unable to reply to your comments right now and I feel I shouldn’t add to his pain, so excuse me if I don’t pass them on. Does he deserve a little slack? Yes? No?

I knew the old man who died. He lived aboard in St. Martin for countless years. His boat’s seagoing days were long gone, as were his. But his friends were here, people who loved and cared about him. I’m sure they would like to chat with you about how he brought it on himself? He shouldn’t have been here, should he? Mind you, cutting him some slack won’t do much good because he’s now in Fiddlers Green.

Now back to our little drama and the loss of the boat we loved. I don’t need the Seven Seas Cruising Association to cut me any slack. No, you gallant captains, no slack at all. Beat up on me all you want. I broke the rules and Mother Nature extracted her price. I am sad, nay, heartbroken at the loss of our boat and will carry with me forever the knowledge that I got it wrong, that my seamanship wasn’t good enough. And should I forget then I’m sure some member of the SSCA will be happy to remind me.

We are not asking for help, money or even sympathy, but what we do ask for is a little understanding from fellow mariners, not headshaking and certainly not sanctimonious comments. The majority of people who lost their boats prepared as best they could, or knew how. They fought like lions, and I hope those cruisers making hurtful comments are strong enough in body and mind to do the same next time they venture on the ocean and the sky darkens, the wind builds, and lighting strikes the water close by. But of course you will never be in the wrong place at the wrong time, will you? But if you are, then I for one will cut you some slack, because like me you’re a sailor, and I’m sure that along with your esteemed knowledge of seamanship and nicely framed captain’s license, members of the SSCA are human too.

Dedicated to the memory of Chris and all those lost in storms at sea.
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Old 17-10-2014, 03:20   #38
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Re: Gonzalo

We humans are certainly a frail bunch and often quick to criticize, I'm no different sometimes however I can certainly empathize with those that went through this experience and wish them a speedy recovery.
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Old 17-10-2014, 03:23   #39
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Re: Gonzalo

Posted to: http://garyebrown.net/1/post/2014/10...g-string.html?


Sir.

There are no words to express our sadness at the events that transpired recently. For any boat owner to suffer the loss of their vessel and loved ones, it is a sobering time of reflection and private grief.

Although I speak for myself, I know my colleagues at CruisersForum would agree send our very real and heartfelt sympathy for the events, and offer our condolences for the families of lost ones.

I am sure the thousands of members of CF too have noted the events and would wish to do the same.

Please be assured that we do not sit in judgement of decisions made. We each choose our path and there but for the grace of God go I.

With deep respect and wishes for brighter days ahead.

weavis.
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Old 17-10-2014, 04:18   #40
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Re: Gonzalo

@weavis and CF+2
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Old 17-10-2014, 04:54   #41
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Re: Gonzalo

I think its ridiculous not to critically analyse why so many boats were wrecked through the decisions of some owners and Authorities.

Gary wrote a nice, heart felt piece and stoiclty admitted his personal fault. But to stymie the obvious is a recipe for a disaster next year.

People should have been ORDERED to come inside the Lagoon when the Tropical Storm Warning was issued.

Authorities should have had weather warnings on the VHF in ENGLISH not just French.

Moorings should be authorised and to some quality. Currently you put down any engine block on a rope and hire it out as a Hurricane mooring.
The French coast guard has not been to the anchorage since the storm... No one knows if more dead are not in the beached, sunken boats.

No one has taken a list of the wrecked boats (we are going to do that today)

No boats should be allowed to be anchored in the red circles in the photo below during the Hurricane season.

Discussion on these and other points is not disrespecting people who have lost all, its RESPECTING their lack of ability to survie a storm of only Catagory 1 or 2 and making ways to reduce next Hurricanes damage and loss of life.




The two thin lines are my 2.5 ton moorings wind arcs. Only exposed to 90 degrees of wind, and yes, it clocked right through. But look at the red ovals... Where is there ANY wind protection?

Don't give me no **** about telling it how it is: a Catagory 1 or 2 Hurricane should NOT decimate the boats who intended to be here all Hurricane season, let alone take life.

Mark
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Old 17-10-2014, 05:26   #42
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Re: Gonzalo

Quote:
Originally Posted by weavis View Post
Posted to: The Seven Seas Cruising Association, Hurricane Gonzalo, and thoughts on the loss of the yacht G-String* - Gary E. Brown


Sir.

There are no words to express our sadness at the events that transpired recently. For any boat owner to suffer the loss of their vessel and loved ones, it is a sobering time of reflection and private grief.

Although I speak for myself, I know my colleagues at CruisersForum would agree send our very real and heartfelt sympathy for the events, and offer our condolences for the families of lost ones.

I am sure the thousands of members of CF too have noted the events and would wish to do the same.

Please be assured that we do not sit in judgement of decisions made. We each choose our path and there but for the grace of God go I.

With deep respect and wishes for brighter days ahead.

weavis.
Thank you Weavis, well done!

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Old 17-10-2014, 06:24   #43
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Re: Gonzalo

There is now 12 meter / 40 ft / wind waves warning on Bermuda metoffice web.

There is a webcam in the harbour for the avid catastrophist.

b.
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Old 17-10-2014, 06:57   #44
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Re: Gonzalo

I'd like to know what preparations MarkJ made that he felt helped him get through this unscathed when so many others didn't. You mention your 2-1/2 ton mooring(s)? Does that mean you have two of them with your boat tied to them both at the same time? What are your moorings made of, concrete with a staple or something else? Heavy bottom chain and lighter weight top chain? What size pennant(s) and what do you use for chafe gear? How deep is the water? I assume sandy bottom everywhere down there so no suction effect of a mud bottom? Do you own your moorings or rent them? What sort of moorings are available in your area that are normally available for rent? If the wind had come from the opposite direction would you have had any protection where you were located?

First, I'd like to offer my sincere condolences to the owners of G-String for their loss. They seem like very knowledgeable and experienced cruisers and I assume they would have taken similar precautions and had a similar mooring or moorings to what MarkJ had, especially since they were locals with plenty of time to procure one. I have to wonder why they (not speculation by others like myself who have no way of knowing the details of the precautions they took) think that their boat didn't fare as well as MarkJ's did. Did your pennant chafe through or did your mooring (how heavy and what type?) drag or what other factors caused your boat to not survive? The circumstances are certainly unfortunate, but as a result of this tragedy I know that they will probably be going over all the details of what they did and what they might have done to prepare their boat. As someone else said, there but for the grace of God go I, so to prepare for the time when I'm faced with a similar challenge, I'd love the chance to benefit from an honest assessment from the experienced owners of two boats in the same area who had vastly different results as a result of this weather event.
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Old 17-10-2014, 07:21   #45
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Re: Gonzalo

Yes, MarkJ - to what do you credit your vessel surviving the storm? It is too late for me to do anything different as the winds have started to pickup here in St George's and our dinghy is lashed down ashore, but it would be useful to compare experiences.


There was much in the way of speculation by cruisers in preparation for Gonzalo here. Some looked and said they would do what they did for Fay, because it worked 5 days ago. Some went off to anchor someplace more protected. Some laid out anchors in addition to mooring. Some wished to tie off to both sides of the ordnance island quay - others claimed that was foolish as it would keep the boat from swinging and would funnel winds. Some went outside the island seeking to be in its Lee if if blows from the south. Others tied to a government mooring (the marine police want him off...not sure how that all will go down). Some talked of running to sea to get away from it. Some wanted to move to the shallower holding ground near the airport...others claimed the winds would be highest there because the land is low and flat. So many strategies.....but which are the right choices we will only know after. Most of us only have the misfortune to experience this a limited number of times, and as such our personal experience and wisdom is limited.
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