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Charter during storm #201539
07/31/2019 10:04 PM
07/31/2019 10:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 621
NJ
danmasi Offline OP
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danmasi  Offline OP
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Posts: 621
NJ
Our plane takes off in 8 hours, and just now Invest 96L is getting attention. We'll be on charter tomorrow 2 Aug until Friday 9 Aug, overnighting on the dock tomorrow (Thurs) night.

I've never been down there during a time when there's an actively tracked disturbance and am a bit nervous as there is a chance for some development.

If out on a boat and the forecast doesn't warrant coming back in, i.e. it remains just a "wave", what are good spots for overnighting? And if things do look more than just a wave, what does the Moorings do... call boats in? Is it safest to be at a dock in RT that day/night (or elsewhere)?

Sorry for the last-minute nervous writing... when I last checked, this disturbance was being discounted because of the current wind shear, but more recent forecasts seem a bit more serious and I'm headed to bed left wondering what others' experience has been... THANKS!!

-dan

BVI Sponsors
Re: Charter during storm [Re: danmasi] #201541
07/31/2019 10:35 PM
07/31/2019 10:35 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 67
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BoatDrinks2 Offline
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Surely your charter company will brief you while at base. My brother in law was on charter once during a similar situation and the charter company briefed them prior to departure and contacted them during charter with updates...If it's bad they're 1. not gonna let you leave or 2. call you back to base.

Buy some extra rum!

Re: Charter during storm [Re: danmasi] #201542
07/31/2019 10:45 PM
07/31/2019 10:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 621
NJ
danmasi Offline OP
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danmasi  Offline OP
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Posts: 621
NJ
Yep, I'm sure we'll get a good briefing tomorrow night when we get to base... just trying to vent some of the worry as I go to bed for the 4-hour sleep before headed to the airport. Thanks!

Question stands, though, for when it's not bad but bad... what are peoples' go-to anchorages when the forecast is for a good size tropical wave, but not serious enough to head in?

Re: Charter during storm [Re: danmasi] #201543
07/31/2019 10:50 PM
07/31/2019 10:50 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,936
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Online content
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warren460  Online Content
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Ontario, Canada
I would suggest that you monitor the usual weather based web sites.

Spaghetti models
Tropical tidbits
NOAA
Jeff masters blog.


Don’t rely Soley on 1 opnion.


Warren
S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 450, (part of the TMM fleet).
A TTOL sponsor
Re: Charter during storm [Re: danmasi] #201544
07/31/2019 10:52 PM
07/31/2019 10:52 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 1,936
Ontario, Canada
warren460 Online content
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warren460  Online Content
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Windguru seems to be the outlier with respect to wind forecast.


Warren
S/V Scuba Doo
Lagoon 450, (part of the TMM fleet).
A TTOL sponsor
Re: Charter during storm [Re: danmasi] #201545
07/31/2019 11:48 PM
07/31/2019 11:48 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 618
Houston, Texas
louismcc Offline
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louismcc  Offline
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Posts: 618
Houston, Texas
Last July when we got on the plane, a couple of days before the scheduled charter departure, the tropics were quiet. By the time we got to the base, after an overnight in Atlanta, a small hurricane had formed and was aiming at the BVI. Our planned itinerary included a couple of nights in a slip at Leverick. They told us at the base that we should be fine but just be sure to keep the "bat phone" (my term for the cell phone they give you) turned on and they'd call if we needed to return to the base or find a different place to hole up.

By the next day the approaching hurricane was dissipating and expected to be nothing more than a strong wave by the time it hit the BVI. We were a day late getting out of the Moorings because of a fuel tank issue, and headed out to Cooper which would get us to Leverick the day before the wave hit. From Cooper we motored up the coast, both to avoid the numerous tacks that would be required to get to North Sound and to stay close to shore in the lee of Virgin Gorda. Made it fine to Leverick, plugged in the A/C and spent the next day below deck until the rains stopped.

Short answer to your question is that the Moorings will take care of you, and this should be a relatively small storm. Figure out a good place to hunker down while it passes, run your plan by the Moorings folks, and plan for a rainy / windy day.


Louis from Houston
Re: Charter during storm [Re: danmasi] #201549
08/01/2019 06:30 AM
08/01/2019 06:30 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,216
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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You pretty much can count on a tropical wave during a August charter. Leverick would be a good place on the dock. The bight and Trellis bay offer good shelter as well as most other places in the North sound. If at all uncomfortable with the forecast simply return to the dock at the Moorings for the night. Keep in mind the Mooring balls have a 35 knot limit.

Re: Charter during storm [Re: danmasi] #201550
08/01/2019 06:33 AM
08/01/2019 06:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,892
Charlotte, NC
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NCSailor Online content
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We were on a mooring at BEYC in October 2008 when Hurricane Omar strengthened from a disturbance to a predicted hurricane overnight. We realized this when we checked the posted weather report when we went ashore for breakfast. We called the Moorings base for guidance and were told it was too late to return to base. Keep in mind that the Moorings doesn't have room at the base for all of the boats in the fleet. We were instructed to put our boat on a mooring in Biras Creek, run two lines through the ring on the ball, take the canvas down, get off the boat and take cover. I immediately walked over to the BEYC guest registration and got one of the last available rooms. Many other charterers came ashore later that morning looking for rooms and could not be accommodated.

We did as instructed by the Moorings including dragging our dinghy onto the beach and tying it to a palm tree. Omar continued to strengthen that day and was predicted to make a direct hit on the Virgins as a Cat 4 around midnight. We hunkered down in one of the rooms/huts on the side of the hill and hoped for the best. Around midnight the storm came through like a freight train. Our room shook and felt like it was going to blow off the foundation. Thankfully it didn't and the next morning the sun came out and we went out to survey the damage. Lots of trees down, some building damage, no power but BEYC came through mostly fine. Our dinghy was still there and when we motored over to Biras the boat was undamaged. Omar tracked about 90 miles away from the Virgins and caused only minor damage. We continued our trip without further event. When I look at the damage to BEYC from Irma I realize how lucky we were. The room on the hill we stayed in was completely destroyed by Irma as was the rest of BEYC.

Omar was unusual in that it formed within 24 hours from a disturbance that had been hanging around in the Leewards for several days. There was none of the warnings that are typically issued when a storm tracks across the Atlantic for a week or more slowly gaining strength. I don't think there was anything more that we could have done to protect ourselves under the circumstances.

Re: Charter during storm [Re: danmasi] #201585
08/01/2019 12:56 PM
08/01/2019 12:56 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,646
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
JasonHelmbrecht Offline
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JasonHelmbrecht  Offline
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Posts: 1,646
Cane Garden Bay, Tortola
Originally Posted by danmasi
Yep, I'm sure we'll get a good briefing tomorrow night when we get to base... just trying to vent some of the worry as I go to bed for the 4-hour sleep before headed to the airport. Thanks!

Question stands, though, for when it's not bad but bad... what are peoples' go-to anchorages when the forecast is for a good size tropical wave, but not serious enough to head in?

If it completely turns to crap, get in touch with me and we will open a villa for you. All new roof, hurricane rated windows and doors, and plenty of cistern water!!

Cheers,
Jason

BVI number - 284-547-2929

Re: Charter during storm [Re: danmasi] #201589
08/01/2019 02:12 PM
08/01/2019 02:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,605
VI,NY,AZ
sail445 Online happy
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sail445  Online Happy
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Posts: 2,605
VI,NY,AZ
Seems like it’s going to fizzle out after it reaches the Lesser Antilles

ZCZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM

Tropical Weather Outlook
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL
200 PM EDT Thu Aug 1 2019

For the North Atlantic...Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico:

1. An area of disturbed weather spreading across south Florida and the
Bahamas is forecast to move northward, producing additional locally
heavy rainfall over portions of the Florida peninsula during the
next day or two. Significant development of this system is not
expected before it merges with a front and accelerates northeastward
off the southeastern U.S. coast on Sunday.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...near 0 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...low...near 0 percent.

2. A broad low pressure system located about 1100 miles west-southwest
of the Cabo Verde Islands is producing limited shower and
thunderstorm activity. Slow development of this system is expected
during the next few days while it moves west-northwestward at 10 to
15 mph, and a tropical depression is likely to form several hundred
miles east of the Lesser Antilles. Environmental conditions are now
forecast to become unfavorable for additional development by early
next week as the system approaches the Lesser Antilles.
* Formation chance through 48 hours...low...20 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days...high...70 percent.

Forecaster Zelinsky/McElroy

Re: Charter during storm [Re: sail445] #201591
08/01/2019 02:17 PM
08/01/2019 02:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 69,423
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Central Florida!
Well, that's better news!


Carol Hill
Re: Charter during storm [Re: danmasi] #201601
08/01/2019 04:16 PM
08/01/2019 04:16 PM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,216
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Posts: 5,216
GA/NC
Omar was indeed a very unusual storm that basically did a hook and hit the BVI from the west. The tail end of the inter line regatta was happening and all the charter companies were swamped with returning boats.
George

Re: Charter during storm [Re: danmasi] #201602
08/01/2019 05:55 PM
08/01/2019 05:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,568
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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Posts: 5,568
Massachusetts
We were on charter in July a number of years ago on a Moorings 5800. We were at Leverick. A disturbance was going to go through. It wasn't forecast to be too bad - I don't think it was even a tropical storm or maybe just barely.. We were told we were fine where we were and we just did extra lines..etc to be sure we were very secured. Dock staff at Leverick was great helping us get secured. Had it been worst it is my understanding they'd call you back to base although I'm not sure what the threshold is for that.


Matt
Re: Charter during storm [Re: danmasi] #201631
08/02/2019 12:23 PM
08/02/2019 12:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2018
Posts: 198
Dana Point
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captdennyj Offline
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captdennyj  Offline
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Dana Point
Excellent tips from the other posters, as to handling strong weather situations.

We always sail the BVI in may, but one time, in St, Barts, we ran into a rather interesting and not forecast situation. .

Sailing into Gustavia Harbor, Erica and I on a 37 ft, Centurian Sloop. Strong , well found vessel.

The weather had been great, No worries. However as we sailed into Gustavia harbor a huge dark wall of clouds was headed our way. No moorings were available
and we stayed well clear of the starboard side mooring field. We anchored on the port side of the fair way in about 25 to 35 feet or so of water. Had 150 ft of chain, and 150 feet of line ..
.total 300 feet of rode.

Erica went below to take a shower and I stood anchor watch. She wanted us to go ashore for Saturday night party down in St Barts.. I am very concerned about that approaching air mass.
Well, she is all set to go ashore, and says she will stand anchor watch while I shower and get ready We had all the chain, and much of the rode out. Holding just fine.

I get out of the shower, dripping wet, and pour myself a Mt. Gay rum, naked and drying off.

I feel the boat move, Erica shouts, " Den ' we are dragging ! " . I toss on my board shorts, no shoes, no gloves, and up I run to the anchor locker.. The wind is howling
and the rain is pelting down . The engine is running at 1500 RPM since we were charging up the batteries. This is good.
I had Erica remain at the helm and I head up to the anchor locker to pay out more scope and reset the hook.

I am paying out the line section of the rode, and a huge blast of extremely powerful wind hits us, I now, cannot hold on to the anchor rode, it it burning thru my hands.
I shout FULL POWER, FULL POWER !!! to Erica

She is at the helm, and she answers back ALL AHEAD FULL. We are running out of rode, This is not going to be good if the bitter end of the anchor line line tears out the screwed in anchor locker
U - bolt. The force would rip it out of the anchor locker bulkhead. Then we have the anchor, chain, and line laying on the bottom of the harbor. This is not good.

Even with the engine at full power, we are not moving forward much, but took enough pressure off the line that I could get wraps around the windlass, and secured the line
with proper a cleat hitch on the starboard bow cleat and backed it up with another cleat hitch to the port bow cleat.

The winds are now super strong, visibility is a few feet, due to the wind, We cannot see any boats, moorings or land due to the strong horizontal rain, and the spray picked up off the water.
We ran the engine in gear to take some of the load off the anchor , turned the VHF to Channel 16. it was now about 3:pm. in the afternoon,
The dink was double secured to the stern cleats . Chl 16: People not in the harbor were calling for help off shore. "We are just sunday sailors , we do not know
what to do, help us !.

Well folks, there is nothing that anyone can do for you. You have to use your seamanship, knowledge and experience, to handle the situation. There is no USCG, or Sea Tow . Your are on your own.
Those were my unspoken thoughts. There was a lot of people on Chl 16, all shouting at once. Not a good situation.

Winds came up to 64 mph plus gusts, and did not abated until about 2:00 am in the morning. 73 mph is hurricane force winds, Cat 1.

1:00 am : The visibility returned to maybe 50 yards and we could see that we were staying put. The winds continued to drop, and visibility increased, we hit the rack about 2:00 am in the morning.

What the heck happened ?

10:00 am: Ashore the next morning St Barts was sunny and calm.

We went to the Port Captains office to find out if this system was done. Yep, it was not forecast as the beast formed over the Islands of the French West Indies in the Caribbean.
Goes back to mother nature does what she wants to do, when she wants to do it, and those of us who chose to sail, or motor upon her oceans need to
have the skills to work with her. We certainly cannot beat her down.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the BVI you are going to have excellent weather reports, and with all of the computer help, you should be advised well ahead of time.

Other great advice by the posters here: : For the BVI, we agree to get a slip, Leverick or Nanny Cay, not in any open roadstead .
or if not available a good hurricane hole and extra bow anchor. Bahanian moor. If in a slip, extra lines is excellent, as is getting to cozy shelter ashore
until the storm passes . Important : Lots of rum, also a great idea.

Later, upon returning to Sun Charters Oyster Bay ( now gone from biz) base in St. Martin,, we found that they were also caught by surprise, and had dock staff , office staff , charter captains, etc,
on the their boats, dock lines wrapping around props and over lapping, boats crashing, etc.

The Airport at St. Martin was closed down, and passengers on landing jet liners were not allowed off the aircraft as the Terminal Roof was ripping off and debris was flying around .

Main thing ' for us ' , is to avoid hurricane season , that is why we generally select may, Also , it is before the kids are out school, less people and better deals on boats and air fare..

Others think quite differently, and that is fine for them .

Stay safe, have a grand sailing vacation in the beautiful BVI..




Last edited by captdennyj; 08/02/2019 12:39 PM.
Re: Charter during storm [Re: captdennyj] #201644
08/02/2019 03:47 PM
08/02/2019 03:47 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,605
VI,NY,AZ
sail445 Online happy
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sail445  Online Happy
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You weren’t in a squall you were in a tropical storm, squalls generally last from 15 to 45 minutes.

Re: Charter during storm [Re: sail445] #201647
08/02/2019 05:52 PM
08/02/2019 05:52 PM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,892
Charlotte, NC
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NCSailor Online content
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NCSailor  Online Content
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Posts: 1,892
Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted by sail445
You weren’t in a squall you were in a tropical storm, squalls generally last from 15 to 45 minutes.


If I had 15 to 45 minutes to read his posts I would retire.

Re: Charter during storm [Re: danmasi] #201652
08/02/2019 09:28 PM
08/02/2019 09:28 PM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 5
N
NolaJag Offline
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NolaJag  Offline
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Posts: 5
We rode out Tropical Storm Bertha on a mooring ball at Bitter End in 2014. According to my Husband, the North Sound used to be considered a “Hurricane Hole” and was a good place to hide out during a storm. Good luck!

Re: Charter during storm [Re: NCSailor] #201656
08/02/2019 11:24 PM
08/02/2019 11:24 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,510
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Online content
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RickinAtlanta  Online Content
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Posts: 3,510
Woodstock, GA
Originally Posted by NCSailor
Originally Posted by sail445
You weren’t in a squall you were in a tropical storm, squalls generally last from 15 to 45 minutes.


If I had 15 to 45 minutes to read his posts I would retire.


One sentence paragraphs.


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