Over the last 3 days Danny has gone from a Tropical Storm to a hurricane force 1, then 2, then 3. But now we are back down to a category 1.
I almost feel like doing a little happy dance. But I won’t just yet, category 1 is still no joke.
We are hoping that it will continue to dissipate and end up being just some light wind and rain.
We don’t want to be too laid back about it either, because these things can change at any moment. We’re continuing on with our storm prep. Danny is predicted to pass over or near us (in St Thomas, USVI) on Monday night. We are currently at t-minus 2 days.
We have been busily working away. This is what our Hurricane prep has looked like.
t-minus 4 days:
We brought our boat into the mangroves of Benner bay. It is known to be a good hurricane hideaway spot.
With the help of some friends, we went stern into the mangroves. We set out our 65lbs Mantus anchor and then attached 2 lines off our stern into the web of mangrove trees.
Mangroves are a good storm option because they have huge root systems that can keep you in your spot but also have flexibility and give so that you boat isn’t ramming into solid trunks when the waves are pushing you around. The flex is also nice if the storm brings a big surge. You want your boat to be able to move up and down with the water level.
t-minus 3 days:
When the hurricane went up to a category 3 we went and dropped our second anchor, a Fortress FX 37 in. (Both our anchors are bigger than this boat requires. Perfect for a storm.) Like our friend Dare said, “there’s no point going through a hurricane with an extra anchor sitting on your deck”. So in she went.
Once that one was good and set, Eben went to work at taking down our jib.
Yes we could’ve waited a couple more days to see where the storm was heading and if we actually needed to remove it, but the winds are low now, so we figured it was better to do it now than fight with it later.
On my end, I took the girls into town to do laundry and withdraw some cash. The last hurricane that hit St. Thomas took out the island for a month, with power outages, floods, and mudslides. We didn’t want to get caught without any cash or undies.
putting the fortress on the mud setting
This is how you set a 2nd anchor, with the help of friends.
jib all folded up
Last night we had the “storm plan talk”.
Until what point do we stay on the boat? Where do we go? When do we go?
Right now the plan is the girls and I will go off the boat and stay at a friend’s place. Eben will stay with the boat up until a Cat 2. If it reaches 2 or more, he is off and on land with us. Beyond that point there is not much you can do sitting on the boat, so no point staying in harms way.
t-minus 2 days:
Eben has removed our mainsail. The SUP and kiteboard are gone in to storage on land.
As I type this he is crawling through the mangroves attaching two more lines, midship. This will help keep us from bouncing around, and hopefully help keep our neighbours from bouncing into us.
Next he will be adding more diesel to the boat, filling our gas jerry jugs, and bringing all the stuff we have on deck inside. But we need to leave enough space for us to live on her for the next couple of days.
The girls and I went and got some more groceries, to make sure our fridge is full for a while after the storm.
taking off the main
back into the mangroves he goes
t-minus1 and Storm Day:
We will keep you posted. But keep the prayers and good vibes coming because so far they have been helping and the hurricane has dropped two categories.
The storm passed. We got high winds and some rain, but luckily for us, the eye of the storm stayed clear of us. St. Croix was not so lucky.
Eben spent the night on the boat, sending me random pictures to keep me updated. That was the most stressful part, not having “real time” info on how things were going down on the boat.
The only hiccup was the secondary anchor of the boat neighbouring us came loose. When the winds were down, between gusts, Eben and the owner went and reset it. No damage done.