delmarrey...With a ship as you discribe, the decision is easy: Head out to sea...but a 40 or 50 foot boat is not a large vessel...the choices are not so easy with a 40 or 50 foot boat and your (60 year old) wife as your only crew...I have many friends who decided to do different things in the face of this hurricane: Some moved into marinas...some moved out and anchored...Some tried to out run the hurricane, some hauled their boats up on the hard
...I don't believe there is one "right" thing to do with a small craft in a hurricane... It is true that more boats are lost
in shore to a hurricane, but more LIVES are lost
aboard boats at sea in a hurricane... I can replace any object, even my beloved "Faithful". You can't really anchor
on the windward side for more than half the hurricane...once the eye passes, the wind clocks 180 degrees so, all the sudden you are on the Lee! The motor
can help alot, unless / until you pick up one of the hundred lines that are now floating free in the water
...and if you've got a line in your prop, and your anchor is dragging, and you've got 100 other small boats doing the same thing, and no one available to come to your aid, because they got thier own headaches, and THEN the winds clcoks: It comes just as hard at you from 180 degrees...now you aren't dragging anchor anymore, it's broke free and ...and...anmd NOW WHAT!!! AHHHHH!!!
Here's an e-mail I got from a good couple of friends...They decided to come in and go to a marina, and he is a very good seaman and charter captain
for the "Moorings" there...they, (by luck or skill?) went into the only marine
that wasn't destroyed...
Skipper & Crew of the Faithful,
We beat a rapid track to Palmira and escaped without a scratch on our new paint! Loren from "Tenacity" and another boat from the V.M. came down with us and had a pretty tough night. Fortunately, they had Mike making sure they were tied up well so as to protect our boat. But Marina de La Paz is a disaster area with boats sunk, crashed into the rock wall and piled on top of each other. When the wind was from the north in ranges from 75-113 (!) knots, the docks from MdLP broke loose and went into Aboroa. Then when it clocked, all the boats from both marinas came crashing back through MdLP and it was havoc. People were on the radio BEGGING for someone to come to help them on thier boat. It was just horrible! They were just begging! It was heartbreaking! Jerry and Candy had just bought another boat ( Danzante') but still had "Makai". They took both boats into MdLP to keep them safe and lost them both. They lost both thier boats! Over seventy-two boats are damaged or sunk. "Magic Moon" ended up totalled on a beach on Espiritu Santu yesterday. Everyone is walking around in a daze or crying. We are suffering from survivor's guilt, I think! Thank you for thinking about us...I am convinced that all those prayers from friends did the trick! Trulah A. is fine on her stantions, as is Moonshadow also on the hard,..which seemed to be the safest place this hurricane...In hurricane Julliette the only boats lost were on the hard! These hurricanes just don't make sense...Slade lucked out... He had just left to go to North Carolina to see his mother, and put his boat on the hard or she would have been totally ruined. Puerto Escondito was hit really bad too. It was just AWFUL! But we survived. I hope we will See you soon? Tonya & Mike
Check out [url]www.Bajainsider.com, follow the links and get some other direct hand knowledge of one man who went through trying to stay with "Novia", which wasn't even his boat, and when she was holed by another boat he had to figure out how to get off and save his life!
INMO, There is no "common" knowledge about how to deal with a hurricane, there are different hurricane strategy though...I've been through three on boats and I've done them all at anchor, but only because putting the boat somewhere and taking my family
ashore somewhere safe was never an option...Faithful her self has been through many hurricanes, on the water
and on the hard, but we have been lucky...She went through this Marty on the hard.
A stinking Gale or Storm blowing up? Let me out a here! I'm putting out to sea..."A hurricane? Geez...ahhh...I've seen them pick boats right up a hurrle them the length of a football field...Maybe I'll get off while I can, cause I know I can't get off once the dance starts"....
Lotsa questions go through ones head...try to answer these...remember, when you answer these questions for yourself, this hurricane wasn't even predicted to come anywhere near where it went...it blew up out of no where in a couple days, and you've heard on all the nets, your weather
fax, and all the place you get info, that it will head up into the north pacific
and peter out...Remember, you are in a third world country and you DO NOT EVEN HAVE THE WEATHER
1. What actions would you have taken concerning the protection of your boat within the last week/ couple days you do have and when do you think you would have done these things?
2. How likely are you to have stayed here, compared to leaving for some place else. Keep in mind that your options have been:
2.1 Stay here and secure the boat, hoping for the best. (Apparently the favorite option for most boat owners. Most small boat owners elect to take thier chances in a marina if they can)
2.2 Head South to stay out of the way of the hurricane. It is really too late to consider this option now, but you could have done that at any time in the last week. But, even if you had a second sense that this storm was going to come, where would you head? Cabo San Lucas? Mazatlan...remember, once this storm got to Mexico
, they modeled it to to track right up the sea of cortez
at 25 knots, so that direction isn't even an option...
2.3 Find a very secure place to anchor and secure for the storm. (Almost none of the local marinas will let you tie up to their docks during a hurricane, if you break free, you aren't going there... if you are in one do you leave?)
3.4 Pull your boat out of the water and see what happens. (This has some risks in the event of a direct hit, and you will not be sure how soon after the hurricane that you would be able to put it back into the water. And you may not be able to get it hauled in time anyway)
3. How would your answers be different if you were just passing through, compared to if you actually lived here? How about your crew...how do they affect your choices...
Deciding what to do with your boat in a hurricane is pretty tough, especially if it is your only home!
I've secured many boats for hurricanes over the years. I've also run from storms, too. No matter the case, I have always done one thing: Pulled my pucker string tight and prayed for some luck... I couldn't say what I would do in the next one...if God forbid I find myself in one again...These hurricanes are so frightening on a small boat...If you choose to anchor out because you though it made the most sense, understanding that when the Sh** hits the fan, there will be no one to help out, I would fully support your call...But, I would not be inclined to second guess any skippers call, unless it was just plain stupid or dangerous...and I have scores of friends who lost there boat in Marty, and I bet they made the best choice at the time...I believe they would change there choice here, now, today....hind sight is 20/20...If there was always one right way to do it, that's how everyone would do it always...
Man...sorry this got to be so long I never should have taught myself to type!