Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hurricane OMAR in Simpson Bay Lagoon St Martin

Well, it's been about a month now since Hurricane Omar passed through St. Martin and quite a bit of that night has been forgotten, even as of the next morning. Guess there were bits I wanted to forget.

Of course, Omar's projected path changed so early Wednesday morning we entered the Lagoon, found a good spot, put down our anchors and dove on them (the lagoon is very grassy and poor holding), and we removed our jib, secured our main, cleared up the decks, stowed the solar panels, etc. We were in good shape but you always have to worry about "the other guy".

Omar was forecast as a category 3 and at night, of course!

Well, we had an "other guy" experience. We believe they dragged over our chain and picked up our anchors while trying to sort out their mess.

Twice, we thought about putting out another anchor and, if you are thinking about it you should probably do it. Although now I believe that it was a good thing that we didn't because we slowly dragged and ended up in the shallows (3 feet of water with a 4.5 foot draft) but a 200-foot ship and a big tug drifted our way but stopped about 100-ft away from us as they bottomed out in the shallows. If we had put out another anchor and stopped, we might have been run over by this big fellah!

This ferry (below) dragged but ended up a decent distance away from us. On the marine radio show (Island 92FM) someone alleged that this ferry caused a couple of the other ships to drag.

The next morning the French Rescue boat was pulling boats off of the shallows and beaches. Very nice guys and we appreciate their service!

The guys in the dinghy took a halyard and careened us WAY over and then the lifeboat pulled us off. It took about 30 seconds and So It Goes has never gone that fast! Wow, what a ride.

Thanks guys! They gathered their lines and quickly took off to help another boat.

This yacht (below) was unattended and was not prepared for the storm. We saw its sails up and in the morning they were in tatters.

We heard that there was a tornado over by Simpson Bay Marina and Isle de Sol. One of the megayachts said their wind instrument pegged out at 150MPH. A jetski on its cradle flew off one boat. A catamaran flipped while the owners were in the cockpit and they swam ashore.

For So It Goes, Bob lost his glasses to the wind, we lost a bit more bottom paint but there will be less to sand when we paint in February, and the bed got wet because we weren't able to finish installing our new hatches!