Sept 14, 2017

Hurricane Irma 1Last Wednesday morning through mid afternoon, Hurricane Irma made direct hits on both St Martin and BVI’s and at that moment of impact on the two tiny islands chains, as the most powerful storm in recorded history. Only during that short period of her devastating journey, was she a Category 5 (would be 6 if there was such a category) with 300km/hr. force and 7-11 foot surge.

Have you ever stuck your hand out of your car at 100km/hr. and felt the force? Sure probably. Have you ever at 300km/hr.? No, I’m pretty certain you can’t drive that fast. No one wants to experience this fury and the poor people of these tiny islands had nowhere to run.

Hurricane Irma 2
Having called the BVI a second home for almost three decades, I could only watch from afar and try to keep up with friends and colleagues via SMS and social media. Never before have I felt so far away and useless.

Even as I write this, my friends are still in search of many colleagues around our Nanny Cay base.

Hurricane Irma 3Pictures and messages received during the eye were grim and hopeless. Updates received after the second wave were further more depressing and devastating.

People missing. Buildings gone. Trees and vegetation completely disappeared like a razor blade had freshly shaved the landscape. Everywhere.

The resorts of Bitter End, Leverick Bay, Saba Rock … a bombshell.The little island of Jost Van Dyke … famous beach bars, disappeared.The hurricane holes and marinas providing proven protection from some of the worst storms in the past - filled with piles of FRP, yachts toppled on top of each other. The wind itself at 300km just buckled large bare masts with its force. One hundred foot palm trees tossed around like toothpicks.

Hurricane Irma 4

The impact of the storm will have consequences on the sailing industry and the local economies for years to come. Ninety percent of the charter fleets are destroyed. Hundreds upon hundreds of yachts will need to be replaced. And some companies in France are already booked up in production for two years prior to this catastrophic event.

Who knows what charter companies, agents, brokers and suppliers both local and worldwide, will survive after the dust settles. The BVI is the central hub for the charter business. It is Moorings, Sunsail, TMM and Horizon’s largest bases.

Hurricane Irma 5

What few yachts are left or are replaced quickly will have little in local venues to entice and attract vacationers for some time.

BUT WE NEED TO GO.

We need to support the local economy, which survives on us yachters to provide most all of their jobs and income. We need to go and help them. We need to go and let them know we are there for them. They have provided us one of the friendliest and most beautiful and welcoming destinations on the planet. Now is not the time to abandon them.

As soon as feasibly possible, it’s time to pay forward.

In the meantime, please support any relief efforts you can in the BVI and St Martin.

-Pat Festing-Smith

Related Articles

Destinations

  • Prev
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.
The Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) invites all sailors to join a cruising rally from the ...
Long popular with New England and St. John area boaters, Passamaquoddy Bay is too often overlooked ...
We did breakfast yesterday in the Greek port of Piraeus, just outside Athens:strong coffee, crisp ...
After much speculation Prince Harry finally popped the question to American actress and longtime ...

 Killarney

KillarneyStory and Photos by: Jennifer Harker

We’re aboard Attigouatan, a Pursuit 2260 that normally lives life as a friend’s cottage boat, running back and forth from dock to dock. This will be her longest run in four years, travelling the approximately 120 kilometres (80 miles) northwest from Parry Sound to Killarney, threading our way through the northern reaches of the stunning 30,000 Islands of Georgian Bay’s eastern shoreline.

Her name evokes an early indigenous name for Lake Huron – Spirit Lake. 

Read more about Killarney....

  

Lifestyle

  • Prev
This photo from a CPS member shows how talented boaters are. Brenda Cochrane from Kelowna BC, a ...
The first part of this blog will show that not every day is blue sky and sunshine in the Bahamas!
This beauty came our way from Reel Deal Yachts in Bahia Mar, Florida. Why not charter for the ...
This new legislation from Washington State Department of Fisheries applies to boats launched in ...
Don’t miss this brilliant photo double header
In honour of Launch Day, our POTW this time comes from Wendy Loat in Port Credit. This shot, taken ...
Our favorite, Man-O-War Cay, is home to the Albury Boat Building empire. They have been building ...
On the Easter Weekend, the Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club from Vancouver Island, had its first ...
We were finally able to get a SIM card and data plan on our phone Monday morning. We could now ...
It’s Friday afternoon at the Newport Yacht Club in Stoney Creek, and that can only mean one thing - ...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...
The latest new model from Cruisers Yachts is the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the ...
The Sabre 45 Salon Express is new for 2017, making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International ...
Jeanneau’s newest NC model is the NC 33, and it’s an exciting and innovative inboard cruiser ...
The Four Winns H290OB combines two of the most popular new big boat trends to come up with a great ...
Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...

 

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440By Zuzana Prochazka

There are few things more satisfying than watching someone thumb their nose at tradition and introduce something revolutionary that kicks convention to the curb. French designer, Philippe Briand, has done just that for Jenneau’s new line of Sun Odyssey family cruisers. By starting with a clean sheet, Briand re-thought how we move about on deck and below, and the results on the Jeanneau 440 are game changing.

Jeanneau unveiled the first hull of their 440 in Annapolis with dramatic flair. On command, the plastic that sheathed half the boat...

Read more about the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 440....

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
CYOB readers often ask questions about their boats and system. For this issue, I’ve answered a ...
Modern marine engines run at very high temperatures and rely on a few methods to keep their ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
In the early spring, just after launch, with the hustle and bustle of engine checks, antifouling, ...
All engines, including marine engines (inboards, outboards and stern drives) have many moving parts ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...
I once heard an argument at a yacht club. Two old salts, patiently itching to let go lines and ...
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 
This one-day course consists of both theory and practical demonstration sessions, is designed to ...
Water has a funny way of making its way into a boat: through through-hulls, stuffing boxes, leaks, ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...
Ga-Oh (spirit of the winds in Algonquin) creates bags and other items from re-purposed sails.
The 2018 Northwest Boat Travel Guide just arrived. This time of the year is the perfect time for ...
We are all looking to gain a little more time these days, and technology is often the route we ...
While they are no longer a part of the CPS Flare Program, Fogh Boat Supplies and Fogh Marine, both ...
We have all had the experience of heading down below on a nice boat only to encounter an unpleasant ...