Friday, August 17, 2007

Hurricane Dean - Simpson Bay, St. Martin SXM St. Maarten

Well, it Friday... DEAN Day. We've been studying the weather and we decided to stay outside of the lagoon in Simpson Bay. Yesterday, after the 5:30pm bridge opening we were the only boat in the bay.

Quite a few boats went into the Lagoon on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday. We remember being in the Lagoon last year for Chris and watching a couple of 80-foot daysail catamarans throw their anchor out and leave. Holding in the lagoon is not good at the best of times due to grass. I can't imagine going in there the day before and just tossing the anchor out without having the time for it to settle in. We've seen many boats drag... Heck, we've done it too!

So, we are quite happy here in the bay. Last night a large catamaran anchored way out and they left this morning. A Morgan came in after 8am and puttered around waiting for the 9:30 bridge and a powercat came as well. The bridge did not open as the bridge will not open with winds in excess of 19.7MPH. So these two boats are now anchored well away from us.

A charteryacht just came in and anchored.

We are now getting some occasional gusts of about 25MPH also a bit of rain now and then. No worries here. We have lots of chain out, and everything is well secured, We topped up our fuel, water and food. Yesterday we rented some DVDs.

Here's a photo from a squall we had a bit ago

And here is a photo taken about 15 minutes later at about 11:15am

It's nice not having to worry about "the other guy"... I spoke too soon... The charter yacht either dragged or up-anchored thinking they could go through the 11:30am bridge which didn't happen. They have now anchored starboard of us... oh well, we have room but there goes the neighborhood :)

Just got the 11am (Aug.17,2007) public advisory with Dean's position:
At 1100 am AST...1500z...the eye of Hurricane Dean was located near latitude 14.6 north...longitude 62.6 west or about 105 miles... 170 km...west of Martinique and about 350 miles...565 km...southeast of San Juan Puerto Rico. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 105 mph...165 km/hr...with higher gusts. Dean is a category two hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours and Dean is forecast to become a major hurricane.

Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 25 miles...35 km...from the center...and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles...295 km.

St. Martin is approximately 18N and 63W so the storm center is almost directly south of us now.

It is a few minutes after 12 noon and a bit more squally but OK.

I hope everyone is well down south in Dominica, Martinique & St. Lucia.

All the best!