Originally Posted by Kettlewell
Andrew? In any case, the problem you have in the Bahamas is that unless you leave as soon as something looks like it might hit the Virgin Islands
, it is often too late, and yet a lot of the storms will eventually curve off and not impact the Bahamas severely. So, you end up with a lot of false alarms. The Bahamas get a lot of near misses too, and even a tropical storm can be very nasty in most of the harbors. If you have shallow draft
it is possible to maybe find a spot in Hope Town, or Man O' War that will be reasonably sheltered. The boatyard in Black Sound on Green Turtle does haulouts in hurricanes, but they are likely to be swamped if a storm is coming.
I went through Andrew with just wind
and not much surge and then I went through Katrina with wind
and unbelievable surge. We had agents from Miami
who had been through Andrew, come to the gulf coast
after Katrina, and we all agreed, that after seeing what a really bad hurricane looked like, we would never call Andrew a bad hurricane again. It's relative, I know.
But, IMHO, surge is the killer and destroyer, much more than wind, when a hurricane comes. At least that's my experience from having been in so many of them I have lost
count and forgotten the names of all but the worst. And, luckily, the Bahamas just don't seem to ever get much surge, no matter how much wind they get. If they did, they would look like the other places that do get it, with all new buildings all of the time.
But, I do agree, that the only way to safely deal with hurricanes in the Bahamas is to leave the second you think one might
hit. Waiting until you are sure will probably be too late.
And, if I did get caught there, I would ride it out on land, whether I could get the boat out or not. I'm on my sixth sailboat and if this one gets destroyed, I am sure there will be a seventh. But, there is only one of me and mine. You just have to see a beach covered with bodies of people who thought they would be okay to believe it.