* Alan Spicers Note: A line from that movie “21” has Kevin Spacey saying “Welcome to Vegas!”. And someone could just as easily say, about the Hurricane Season, Welcome to Florida! or Welcome to the Caribbean. And some members wrote that on this thread in Dockwalk’s forums.
Forecasters have been building up this hurricane season as one for the books. On Sunday, August 29, the Caribbean got its first taste of fury. Hurricane Earl, which churned into a Category 4 (currently a Cat 2), hit the islands of St. Maarten and Antigua with ferocity. Cbsnews.com reports that Earl gained enough strength to become a hurricane on Sunday morning by drawing in the warm Caribbean water at 86 degrees F. According to News.yahoo.com, Earl uprooted trees and left power outages in his wake. Antigua was left flood laden. Cbsnews.com states that Antiguas airport was closed and flights suspended. Cruise ships headed for the island were diverted. This is when hurricane-force winds began to radiate outward up to 50 miles from Earls eye. Go-Jamaica.com reports Antigua was without power when trees toppled onto electrical lines due to the strength of the then Category 3 winds. St. Maarten saw much of the same. News.yahoo.com maintains that no casualties were reported from officials on either island. As Earl tracks north, just off the coast of the U.S., Tropical Storm Fiona seems to be following suit but the area of activity that was Tropical Storm Gaston has dissipated with only a 40 percent chance of re-developing. Are there any crew in Antigua or St. Maarten who rode out the storm? If so, please send photos and share your experiences here.
As we move deeper into the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, we will keep our weather eye open as yachts prepare to head back across the pond for boat shows and an upcoming winter season in the Caribbean.
Pascal: (like the programming language? hell no?, really Pascal?) also writes…
there is way too much sensationalism in hurricane “coverage” as evidenced by some of the above quotes!
yes, some trees will fall, there will be a few power outages and a few unprepared structures or vessels will loose awnings and canvas. sure, airports will close for a day and cruise ships will be diverted… big deal…
having delt with hurricanes for almost 30 years, either on st Barths and now Miami, i’ve learned that while hurricanes need to be taken seriously there is way too much hype out there. but hey, storm coverage is good for ratings which is why it’s become “cool” to have “reporters” lean into the wind holding a microphone in one hand while the others push their hood on their head.
or better, watching news report of long lines at FEMA centers in miami after wilma in 05 when most stores had reopened…
that said, you can’t take chances. i flew back to Nantucket on thursday and got the boat i run out of there once i saw that the NHC forecast had the track very close to the island. right now i’m in Mystic CT as the track has shifted a little more to the west and further from the island.
here is the view from my HelmCam… not too exciting i’m afraid! just rain and average breeze on the Mystic river!
and Henning writes:
No doubts about the hype. After my foray around Lake Worth and docking up at the PB Yacht Club in the middle of Frances, I was surprised that CNN wanted to interview me, turns out I had been on live for the last 20 minutes. After that was all done, I was watching as the reporter was standing there on the walkway in full foul weather gear leaning into the wind giving his report and just then this dude just wearing a pair of shorts strolls on behind him walking his little dog just “la te da” style. It was comedy.
* Alan says: That would have been quite a comedy to see, indeed!
* I also posted on Dockwalk …
I always thought it was a little strange, the warnings that everyone *else* should stay inside … while the news crews go out, supposedly in the midst of hurricane weather. How are they any more qualified to be out in dangerous weather than anyone else? And why do we need to see their raincoats and hat hoodies flapping to believe there is bad weather in an area? I made a blog post about this. Welcome to Vegas! a pun on a quote from the movie “21” but instead someone could say “Welcome to Florida” or “Welcome to the Caribbean”. I feel for anyone in any area affected by Tropical Storm and Hurricane weather, but in yachting a lot of “boats” go north … It’s worth pointing out that the storms seem to be heading that way this year. Is that just a current trend? Or has that happened before?
Alan Spicer Marine Telecom
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