Out running Cat 5 Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Boat Preparations on a mooring.

October 1st, 2016, Hurricane Matthew cometh. Which became a CAT 5 hurricane, while were relocating Black Diamond. The boat was in Freeport, Bahamas at the time, and Hurricane Matthew was barreling down right for her. We had a hurricane plan in Freeport, and pre-paid for a haulout and strap down on the hard. But we thought the better plan might be to relocate her out of harm’s way. The full story is unravelled in this video. You will also see how we prepared the boat for a potential near pass of Hurricane Matthew.

UPDATE: Just got word this morning from the Marina yard in Freeport Bahamas, where the boat was. This is where we had a hurricane plan, we would have been hauled out and strapped down to concrete. 20 boats that were hauled out and strapped, toppled over, 2 boats lost their mooring and thrown on the rocks, 1 boat sank and part of the marina hotel roof was ripped off. I am saddened to hear the news for the good people of this hotel & marina. They were very good to us.

However, sometimes sticking with the insurance plan with a $25,000 deductible is not the best idea, if the plan sees the eye of a CAT 3-4 passing right through. 

Honestly, we are not that smart. But thankfully, we had a divine plan, as we were already scheduled, plane tickets purchased, and on our way to move the boat to Miami for a race in November. When we arrived the news on the hurricane was heightened. We decided to stick to our plan, as the forecast showed only 10% chance of hitting Miami at the time.

If the hurricane forecast would have changed, and was heading towards Miami, we would have jumped back on the boat, and headed North on the Gulf Stream, we would be making good speed of 10-12 knots in the stream, back to Freeport in 12 hours or further East to the Abacos.

Nonetheless, We are thankful the way things worked out, praise the Lord.

Hauled boats toppled by hurricane

Hauled boats toppled by hurricane

PHOTO: NOT of the exact Marina, but a depiction of what it might look like. These are boats on the hard, that had also toppled over.

s/v Black Diamond

I have been boating for over 25 years, at the age of 43, this is more than half of my life time. Starting out with a number of smaller power boats, then switching to sail about 8 years ago. I have sailed various boats from wind surfers, dinghies (lasers), keel boats from 26 to 45 foot yachts. I live in the area of Toronto Canada and sail mostly on Lake Ontario. I have been racing yachts for the past 7 years. I have also entered many long distance races such as the Fort Lauderdale to Charleston, completed in 2 days 8 hours, we received 4th place in division, 8 minutes in PHRF behind a 3rd place trophy. Then 4 times finishing the Susan Hood, a 75 mile over night race, 4 times entered in the Lake Ontario 300 the worlds longest fresh water race, a 308 knotical mile race around the perimeter of Lake Ontario. My crew and I on Black Diamond finished in 2 days 12 hours in 2009. In 2009, delivering the boat back up to Canada from the Bahamas we entered in a couple of interesting races, one from Fort Lauderdale to Charleston described as a sled ride up the gulf stream, the Charleston race week regatta series and the New Year's Day Staniel Cay Regatta in the Exumas, Bahamas. This race we came in 2nd over entire fleet, only lost by 3 minutes in a 2 hour race to a 47 footer. This was a boat for boat race, no PHRF scoring. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So cast off the bowline, Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain Blue water experience include yacht deliveries from the Abacos, Bahamas to Charleston South Carolina 2006. This delivery was a non-stop, 3 and half days, total of 500 miles. We crossed parts of the Bermuda Triangle, and during most of the delivery were over 200 miles offshore. The delivery of Black Diamond a 40 foot Jeanneau racer/cruiser has been delivered to New York City and then offshore to Florida and the Bahamas from Toronto, Canada. This delivery from NYC to Florida was completed 100 miles offshore, for a distance of over a 1000 miles non-stop to Jacksonville, Florida. Completed in what might be a cruisers record of 5 days 3 hours non-stop offshore. This fall my family and I added another 500 miles of sailing throughout much of the Bahamas. Spending 6 weeks aboard Black Diamond sailing the Abacos, Nassau and the Exumas. I then sailed the boat back to New York, completely offshore, entered a few races along the way, and back to Toronto through the Hudson River and Erie Canal. During the 2009 season, we sailed Black Diamond off the dock 148 different days out of 365, winning the Vacant Dock award the second year in a row. Most recently, 2011, completed the delivery of friends boat Tracey & Nilson Ruiz, from Tortoal, BVI to New York. Tortola to Georgetown Bahamas in 5 days non-stop. Last leg from Charleston to New York over the momorial day long week-end non-stop Friday to Monday in 4 days. All completed safe and sound without incedent. Need any deliveries let me know. I am also an Open Water Certified diver and an active member of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, certifications included Power/Sail boat handling, Seamanship Sail, Piloting/charting, GPS Navigation, Extended Offshore Cruising and a VHF Radio operation license. I hope to further my education, qualifications and experience in long distance cruising and racing. One of my goals is to obtain a commercial Captains License. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Me