I have never been in a hurricane and only once in the forecasted path of a cyclone (same thing, but it is an Australian name), and that cyclone was barely a storm when it arrived on shore.
I can see some good reasons why setting out to sea could work. Yes, I am familiar with Buys Ballot……
At the same time, there are many compelling and practical reasons why people do not head
out on approach of a hurricane, that is in addition to the arguments stated before: like the unknown path.
- When heading to open ocean, it is a near certainty that rough weather
will be experienced
- Many boats by design or fitout (or lack thereof), may not be suited to such weather
- Many skippers will not have the experience to deal with such weather
- Even if boat or skipper
is up to it, most of the boats will not be ready on a very short notice
- If the skipper
is prepared to go, it will be nigh impossible to get good crew on a very short notice. Remember the owner/skipper wants to save his boat, the crew does not have that motivation
- And it has been said before: many of the owners are still in fulltime work or have other commitments ashore, and to take a week or two off without any notice: very hard to do.
Even if heading out to sea is best, I would estimate less than 1% of recreational boats head
out to sea.
Unfortunately hurricanes (cyclones) like Matthew will cause a lot of angst prior to arrival (not necessarily bad), damage and deaths on arrival (bad, very bad), and months or years of overcoming the effects of such event (bad).
And here I am, tapping on the keyboard in a warm and safe house, on the other side of the world. My biggest concern is a large tree in the garden, just blown over in the strong winds…… Somehow it does not add up.
I am pretty certain that anyone affected by Matthew, has no time to check this forum, and if they do, think something like: “Effing armchair sailors. What would they know?”