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Old 07-01-2008, 16:41   #16
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a rhumb line from Trinidad to Cape Hatteras. :shock: Now thats one line I am not sailing June to Nov even if I was insured to the hilt!
I guess we know your limit of risk. Around here they say a storm on the east coast hitting Hatteras is a 1 in 5 risk. We are barely 100 miles north on the lower Chesapeake and the risk drops to 1 in 100. Some places of the world are meant to be hit. Hatteras would be high on any list. They even have the Diamond Shoals to chew you up far offshore.
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Old 07-01-2008, 17:20   #17
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The Bocas province on Panamas Atlantic coast has never had a hurricane. It has two marinas and many protected anchorages. The rains are evenly distributed throughout the year with the exception of March April and September October which tend to be drier and November December wetter, but hurricanes / storms do not occur.
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Old 07-01-2008, 19:26   #18
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Hurricanes are very rare within 10 degrees of the equator. There used to be hurricane frequency graphics available from FNMOC (I think) but they moved and I haven't been able to re-locate them. Looking at an aggregation of 10 years worth of storm tracks should give you a pretty good idea.

Insurance considerations aside, I think that it is reasonable to stay within striking
distance of, say, 8 degrees as long as you have access to good weather forecasts and keep the boat ready to go. So if you're around 12 degrees and you can run due south you need to run 240 miles (probably starting downwind, and then moving towards a beam reach on the stb tack.) in order to reach relative safety. Forcast hurricane tracks are usually pretty accurate 3 days in advance (more accurate at low lattitudes than at high) so if you can make 120 miles a day you're probably in good shape.

As the doldrums frequently come with their own bad weather (30 knots, thunderstorms not uncommon) it may not be a pleasure cruise, but probably better than a hurricane.

Yes, this is why cruisers drink.

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Old 07-01-2008, 23:04   #19
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another hole

Lago Nicaragua is a beautifu place with many excelent anchorages From the caribean-the san Juan river to lago nicoragua. It is safe from hurricanes- when the Hurricanes come go to the east -mountains protect, andhurricanes are usually N. of this area. In addition it is beauiful hunded miles long and fifty wide not expensive.
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Old 08-01-2008, 04:50   #20
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To run or to stay, that is the question

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Originally Posted by smm View Post
Insurance considerations aside, I think that it is reasonable to stay within striking distance of, say, 8 degrees as long as you have access to good weather forecasts and keep the boat ready to go. So if you're around 12 degrees and you can run due south you need to run 240 miles (probably starting downwind, and then moving towards a beam reach on the stb tack.) in order to reach relative safety. Forcast hurricane tracks are usually pretty accurate 3 days in advance (more accurate at low lattitudes than at high) so if you can make 120 miles a day you're probably in good shape.

-Scott
That approach might work, but I'm skeptical. Living in the Caribbean and keeping a boat here, I've thought about this a lot. My conclusion is that I would rather secure the boat as best I could, and find a safe place for my wife and me on shore, rather than risk being caught in a hurricane on the open sea. Boats can be replaced, lives cannot.

An approaching tropical disturbance almost always kills the Tradewinds ahead of it's arrival, so you would initially be motoring in light air and disturbed seas if you tried to run. You'd better have a VERY reliable engine and fuel supply! Plus, your destination is probably going to be a crowded, unfamiliar harbor that will experience at least tropical force winds as the storm passes to the north.

Relying on forecasts can be risky. In the case of Hurricane Ivan in 2004, the NHC's three day forecast had it hitting Martinique. The two day forecast had it hitting St Vincent. The 24 hour forecast stuck with St Vincent. Based on the belief that Ivan would pass to the north, The Moorings evacuated their charter fleet from their Grenadines base in Canouan to the southern bays of Grenada, about 35 nm south. Ivan juked at the last minute. The eye of the hurricane passed directly over southern Grenada.

If you run, you're betting the boat and your life. If you stay, you're only betting the boat.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:07   #21
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The strategies I've seen from many folks fall into two categories. There are the folks that haul and secure the boat quickly like Hud and there are the folks that just get out the area well before anything is on the radar at the beginning of the season. Out guessing the path of a storm is a low percentage card game. Ivan is of course the most recent good bad example but it proves the science of prediction is not perfect enough to make large wagers.

Even the idea of a last minute trip to haul can be a problem if too many people get the same idea. If you need to do something it needs to be at the first hint of trouble else you can be caught in the line of boats ahead of you with no time to haul or room to anchor.
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Old 08-01-2008, 05:16   #22
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Dito what Hud & Paul just said ...
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:11   #23
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Mark...I was IN Ivan in Grenada in 2004 and back then it was covered by insurance thank god. The Chaguramas area of Trinidad has never been hit with hurricane force winds and remains the only "insurable" place in the islands. From a practical standpoint, if I were doing it again...I would still stay in southern Grenada for hurricane season since it is SO much nicer than Chag...but I would depart immediately on the 80 mile jaunt to Chag on first warning that Grenada was in the 5 day cone of a potential hurricane. There were about a dozen boats that did this a few days before Ivan in Grenada and they were perfectly safe. The odds were not good for anyone else.

I would also note that much further north...Luperon in the DR is perfectly sheltered and has NEVER had a hurricane. It is not a nice place in my opinion (though opinions differ) ...and is not covered by insurance companies...but if you can't get south and want to be safe...that would be an excellent choice.
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Old 08-01-2008, 11:38   #24
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Insurers Stance is changing.........

Our new policy for Caribbean cover does not stipulate where the boat is to be kept in the tropical storm season, but now includes a clause which irrigardless of where the boat is kept, increases the excess in the event a named tropical storm hits the location.
So even if parked in Trinidad - should a storm hit - then the excess jumps. The premium is just the same if we kept the boat slap bang in hurricane alley - as out of it.
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Old 08-01-2008, 13:32   #25
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Thanks for all the excellent information!

Some interesting things to ponder.

I did of course wonder what happens to those that buy (not what we are intending to do) an ex-charter boat at the end of the charter season? The transaction could not be finished till after the hurrican season has started.... and its a pretty long run in any direction from, say, BVI.


Quote:
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The Bocas province on Panamas Atlantic coast has never had a hurricane.
Quote:
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Lago Nicaragua is a beautifu place with many excelent anchorages From the caribean-the san Juan river to lago nicoragua. .
Great ideas! Thanks!


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Old 10-01-2008, 19:34   #26
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This is Rez again - apologies for the messed up post about Lago Nicaragua - had a touch of Bronchitis and the medicine knocked me out before I realized what was happening - shades of the 60's!

The Rio San Juan makes a lot of turns, but it is a sizeable river and large parts of the journey from the Carribean to Lago Nicaragua are unspeakably beautiful. Untouched rain forest. Lots and lots of colorful wildlife. It is close to a hundred miles by water from the Carribean to Lago Nicaragua.

Lago Nicaragua is fresh water with many islands, volcanoes- sometimes smoking, jungle and very friendly people. There are many fishermen on Lago Nicaragua. Near its Northwest end is Granada, a very old and lovely city where most everything, including internet, is available. If you like fish, rice, fresh fruit and beans, the markets are very reasonable. Same for pottery. You can usually get sea food (fresh) from the pacific, as well as fresh water fish from Lago Nicaragua. There are very many alligators in the San Juan river, and along the shores of the lake. And, sharks swim into the lake from the sea. So when you see a fin it really is a shark. They used to think they were fresh water sharks, but in the late seventies a study was done and the sharks definitely swim up the river to the lake, from the ocean.
If you pull up Nicaragua on google and zoom to Granada, you will notice a hook of land a few miles south of the city. Inside the northern edge of the hook is a marina - only five years or so old. The area inside the hook has lots of good anchorages, protectected from both east and west by substantial land rises.
The Northern half of Lago Nicaragua has a thousand feet and more of land rise between the lake the the Carribean. If you look at a map showing all of Nicaragua, you will notice its funnel shape. Its North East area, south of where it meets Honduras, is where hurricanes like to hit it. That area is Miskitoland, home of the Miskito Indians.
Lago Nicaragua is a good Hurricane hole, and a very beautiful place to sail and anchor.
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Old 10-01-2008, 20:02   #27
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Rio San Juan and the lake sounds magnificent! Google needs better photos.
That could be an incredable sojourn!

Is it safe(ish) in the crime sense?
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Old 11-01-2008, 14:25   #28
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I have never had a problem in Nicaragua, but I have never had a problem anywhere: it seems if one is friendly, helpful, and doesn't do stupid stuff like wear a Rolex or carry a camera, things stay cool. Saying "gracias" a lot is very much appreciated. I've never worried about anchoring out in Nicaragua. When I go into a village or town we lock the boat. We have locks that really work and are backed up by very sturdy materials.

I read on the internet that there is piracy on the carribean coast. So I called some people I know there who have a relative with a couple fishing boats who goes up that coast frequently. No one knew anything about it. But it is wise to remember that Nicaragua is afloat in semi/fully automatic weapons and is a very poor country.
The weapons are left over from the Russian support of the Sandinistas and American support of the criminal dictator Anastacio Somoza.
But as ex-california pointed out about another area of the world - "it's like when you are in a big city - don't go down dark alleys at night."
I've spend a good deal of time in Nicaragua and like the people very much. It is known as the land of lakes, volcanoes and poets. They have a long and deep history of beautiful poetry. There is an artists' colony on some islands at the south end of the lake, Soltiname is the name, I believe.
I think you can find lots of pictures of Nicaragua and Lago Nicaragua on a web search.
Oh, and Managua is crap!
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Old 12-01-2008, 00:32   #29
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if one is friendly, helpful, and doesn't do stupid stuff like wear a Rolex or carry a camera, things stay cool.!
Yes, thats the same for most countries

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:31   #30
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For those of us who live in areas where T.R.S.’ are frequent, I think the philosophy that HUD suggests; “Be Prepared to secure your boat” makes the most sense and will stand you in good stead, wherever you travel.

Living in the Philippines (Typhoon Alley) is not as bad as you might think. You should have a game plan and monitor the early warnings of a potential storm. Then if it gets serious, prepare for the worst case scenario and become your own weatherman, tracking the position and direction via radio reports and your own observations. (Internet tends to fail at the worst possible time)

Did not find it in the Archives but perhaps a review of “Preparation for an approaching Tropical Revolving Storm in Harbours” should be a useful new topic, where we all might learn a trick or two.
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