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Old 26-04-2020, 18:09   #1
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Hurricane season in Grenada

Given the current Covid-19 situation, we are considering spending the summer on board in Grenada instead of heading to the Med as planned.

The plan would be to have the boat always ready to set sail, and carefully watch the weather. If a tropical storm or hurricane will be heading our way, we would sail south to Trinidad or west to the ABC or Colombia.

It's our first time spending the hurricane season in Grenada, so we would like to know from other sailors who have done that how it really is.

Assuming you can see a Tropical low forming off the north west coast of Africa typically 2 weeks in advance, is 1 week or 5 days enough time to set sail and get out of its path?

How much wind will you have 1 week before the hurricane hits?

What would be the sea state? How big waves?

How nerve wrecking it is watching these tropical storms forming and turning into hurricanes waiting for them to turn north of you?

Thanks for sharing your experience.
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Old 26-04-2020, 20:10   #2
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Re: Hurricane season in Grenada

Presumably you are currently in Grenada otherwise this is possibly a moot discussion since they are currently closed under lockdown and, despite recent rumors of reopening, additional cases of Covid-19 seem to be pushing this back.

Even if you were in Grenada, there is no guarantee that anywhere else is open or that Grenada would let you leave and come back.

But if those two issues do not apply, there is no guarantee that you would have a week of advance notice. However, if you sail South or South East to miss the storm by a couple of hundred miles, you should do fine. That does not require 5 days and so you have the luxury of waiting to get a better idea of the storm track before committing yourself.

I have never specifically played dodgeball deliberately with a hurricane but we managed to avoid Dorian by just under 200 miles and it was sporty but nowhere near survival conditions.
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Old 27-04-2020, 01:21   #3
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Re: Hurricane season in Grenada

The Hurricanes normally bounce of the mountains to the north but there can be strong winds so we doubled up the moorig lines. Hurricane Ivan was the only one to have crossed Grenada in September 2004. We arived after it and all the leaves had been stripped off the trees and all the chickens blown off the island.
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Old 12-05-2020, 06:41   #4
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Re: Hurricane season in Grenada

IF you are "ready to go" and IF you are watching the weather daily then you will have more than enough time to depart and make Trinidad.. its barely 100nm and the wind will be favorable... so personally i would wait to make sure there really IS a problem before leaving...ie a formed hurricane heading West with Grenada in its sights in the next 3 days.

and frankly, under these circumstances, regulations and quarantine would be the last thing i would be concerned about.
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Old 19-07-2020, 14:06   #5
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Re: Hurricane season in Grenada

This current hurricane season will be my fifth in Grenada, well, assuming the local authorities let me back to my boat waiting for me there.
Hurricanes in Grenada are rather unsual but not unheard of. Nevertheless, a big cat 3 to 5 even way north will shake you a bit. I was there for Maria and Irma, not fun.
We generally know 4 or 5 days ahead of time when a hurricane is forming in the Atlantic but not before 1 or 2 days if it's aiming at us or will be close enough to create problems locally.

2 spots down there with hurricane hole:
Tyrell Bay in Carriacou: maybe a problem to find a spot if your draft is over 1.5m deep. You wouldn't be able to get to the second part where places are plentiful. Forget the first part, deeper but jam packed as soon as the authorities allow boats to go in.
Port Egmon south of main island: bigger and even more protected. I was quite far toward the end (toward the road bridge, check Google Earth) last year, I still had over 2.5 meters of water underneath.
Hope this help.
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Old 19-07-2020, 14:44   #6
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Re: Hurricane season in Grenada

Our boat (we were off island) survived hurricane Ivan in Mount Hartman Bay, Grenada at anchor. I would not leave for a tropical storm or cat1 hurricane. Anything bigger, run to Trinidad, easy sail, be prepared to motor the whole way.
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Old 19-07-2020, 16:50   #7
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Re: Hurricane season in Grenada

There are two traps where you see one.


Namely, as the storm approaches, moving too early may be as bad as moving too late.


In the Caribbean, if the storm approaches from the East (99% of time) there is basically very little wind left when it draws closer (if you are on its track) but quite some wind if you are to its N. Flat calm to its SW. Once the storm proper wind (core wind, revolving) comes, it is too late to move.



So, when your plan is to move:


1) make sure your engine is in great shape and can be run hard for 24 hours and preferably more,
2) do NOT move too early (you may move into its path),
3) depending on how fast it is moving, departing 72-48 before it is forecast to land may be seen as a very rough guide.


Also important: make your move-to plans early, and do not get swayed by what other cruisers in the bay decide. There is a very dangerous thing called common agreement that seems to be wrong most of the time. So, decide on your tactics before the season, then act following your own plan, not some 'consensus'.


However, if you are very inexperienced with weather monitoring and forecasting then do use an external source to decide on what exactly to do (met offices and local harbour masters are nearly always right on).



Re. waves (swell) conditions ahead of a hurricane - if it is an old storm, there may be hell of swell. If it is a recent one and building up, there may be hardly any extra swell.


If anchored in the mangroves ALWAYS imagine that thing called STORM SURGE.



You will find plenty of historical data online to envision the tracks, speeds, and conditions involved. NHC is a great source to learn a lot and fast.


You can PM me if you find such an information difficult to digest and I will help. try to share what I know (I have relevant training and experience).


Regards,
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Old 19-07-2020, 17:06   #8
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Re: Hurricane season in Grenada

"There is a very dangerous thing called common agreement that seems to be wrong most of the time"
So true

Lol
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Old 19-07-2020, 18:22   #9
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Re: Hurricane season in Grenada

There are many boats in Grenada doing what you suggest this year.

Grenada to Trinidad is about 70 miles. Trinidad is below 10 degrees north. Trinidad is basically outside the hurricane zone. If you run to avoid a storm, head south. I would consider leaving but not checking out, sail around Chaguaramos Trinidad. This is pretty good shelter and where we normally leave our boat for the summer. After the storm has passed, sail back. Do not stop or check into Trinidad. Trinidad is still closed and has no schedule to reopen. Be a regular at the NOAA Atlantic hurricane weather site. Learn to use the tools and predict the path and travel times.

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gtwo.php

Here are two images showing why Grenada is OK but Trinidad is almost no worry and where else you can expect to reliably avoid a storm.
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Old 22-07-2020, 06:51   #10
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Re: Hurricane season in Grenada

If you are down south itís a good time to prepare your boat for some wind
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Old 22-07-2020, 07:28   #11
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Re: Hurricane season in Grenada

At this time Iím glad to have our boat in Antigua. Hundreds of Grenada sheltered boats may be scrambling for better cover over the next few days. Images captured 22 July 10:30 AM. Best of luck to you all.

https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_at...start#contents
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Old 22-07-2020, 08:04   #12
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Re: Hurricane season in Grenada

I think we have a case here:


https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/gra...?cone#contents


time to gather some data.


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