Hurricane Earl

Hope EARL does not hit us direct or at least we get the south side. Wind field so far is mostly on the north side of the storm. Have Shanti tucked in tight in the mangroves.

Good luck Gary!

I’ve been through a hurricane tied into mangroves - did just fine.

Derek Lundy
BCC “Gertrud”

Gary, I add my best wishes for a secure mooring during the passage of Earl.
Good luck from Dubai.

Looks like Earl will just brush us to the north. We are just out of the 50kt wind field according to the forecast. But in '95 Hurricane Maryln was forecast to be a weak cat 1 and pass us to the south. It spun up to a cat 4 and turned north. We got clobbered. Total destruction of St. Thomas. I heard there was only one phone pole left standing on the island. Some areas didn’t get electricity back for 6 months. Wind gusts of 200+ recorded on the island.

I rode that one out on Angelsea (Falmouth 22) in the same mangroves I’m in now. Had a half dozen Snickers bars and we did just fine. Well I did lose my VHF antenna.

Thanks guys! We’re all set and ready to rock and roll. No pun intended :sunglasses:


Here is a Google earth place mark of Shanti’s location if anyone is interested.

Shanti for (818 Bytes)

Looks like Earl is on his way north … I;m keeping a close eye on him too. Let us know how you fare Gary.

when you get dried out Gary I would love to learn how you hide in the mangroves eg securing the boat etc prepping for the onslaught.

Survived Earl with no problems at all. We had about 50kts sustained w/gusts to 65kts for about a period of 5 hours. It was a long noisy day. We have 12 boats ashore in my local area. I’m sure there are more elsewhere. Two yachts were dismasted in Long Bay, the main harbor on St. Thomas. The yachts that bit the dust were in an exposed anchorage to the west.

He’s all yours Ben. I would suggest this weather site. Very excellent discussion
Good luck!

Stewart, I will be back with a run down once I catch up on a few things. Interesting situation occurred re: synthetic rigging on Shanti. More to come.


Hi Ben, Hope everything is going well in your prep for Earl. My guess is you will see 40-50kts of wind. Let us know. Good luck!

Stewart, this is what I did and do in the mangroves. first I run 3 days from estimated arrival. So I can get a good spot. I want a spot with the least amount of fetch.

I tie up to the mangroves along side. I put out a line from the bow, beam and quarter. I use 5/8" 3 strand nylon. I also have some clear water heater hose that I use around the mangrove branches for chafe protection. I wrap it around a BIG branch and secure with a bowline.

I put out my bower at 45 degrees. In this case it is a 22lb Delta. Then off my beam went a 25lb Danforth. And at 45 degrees off my starboard quarter I put my FX37 Fortress. I use the fortress out in the direction of most vulnerability. So some times I may switch the Delta for the Fortress.

As you can see from the attached photos I am right up against the mangroves on my port side. The mangroves are an excellent wind break, On my starboard side I only have about 100’ to the mangroves. So very protected. I line up the boat with the most exposed direction, and expected current. In this case I have about 500-600 feet ahead and astern of Shanti. We get about 5 knots of current in the mangroves from storm surge. Doesn’t take much storm surge to get it going.

I try to put out about 60 feet of line for the anchors, so I start out with about 12-1 scope. I am anchored in 5-6ft (yes, I usually bump a few times going in) of water. With a 2 foot storm surge I drop to approximately 8/9-1 scope. I use a 10 chain leader. My bower has 10 fathoms of chain on it. And I try to put out 100ft, so I have a nice length of nylon out. I then tighten ever thing up. I use the cockpit winches to do this. Then coil all the excess line in the cockpit. It is AMAZING how much the lines will have stretched after a storm. The lines will be hanging down considerably when all is done.

for chafe I use cowhide. I wrap it around the line and secure with tie wraps. I have punched holes in both ends that takes some small stuff. I then secure the chafe gear for and aft to the 3 strand with cunt splices so it stays put.

After all this I strip the boat of ever thing that is movable. And if I think it will be really bad, I will use small tracer lines and remove the halyards also,

I think that covers it all. This has worked really well for:

Marilyn CAT4, saw the NE eye wall. Official airport weather station recorded 128 kts before it blew away. Amateur weather stations reported 200+ gusts. Damage sustained: lost VHF antenna :sunglasses:

Bertha CAT2, saw the eye on the SW side. Maybe 75kts sustained. No damage.

Georges CAT1, sustained winds of 40-50kts w/ higher gusts. No damage.

Earl CAT3-4, 60 miles from eye. 50kts sustained w/gusts to 70kts. No damage.

One last note. Many people have wondered about chafe with my new synthetic rigging. Well Shanti got shoved into the mangroves when the winds were from the WNW through WSW. I estimate That Shanti’s rigging was chafing against the trees for about 2 hours. See attached photo. The result was a little bit of fuzz on my aft lower, and just a little red mangrove juice on the other parts.

Ben, let us know how you set up.



Gary I just read your treatise on handling hurricanes! Thank you so much for taking the time to do it, one just never know when that will come in handy. Just came thru on land Igor and it has trashed the island of Newfoundland, significant damage but in particulat complete roads washed away, what a mess. Thanks again.

I didn’t think the post made it. When I went to attach the photos the post disappeared. Maybe my browser just didn’t refresh or something. Anyway I posted even more details about the storm and some pics regarding chafe on the synthetic rigging during the storm over on my blog at . Just let me say I don’t worry about how the synthetic holds up to chafe anymore!

For those that didn’t hear, we had 40 boats go up on the beach or sink during the storm here in the Virgin Islands. I posted details on that also.


Gary I found it under We just had Igor pass through Newfoundland leaving a swathe of devastation in its wake. Some of the roads had 2 feet of water running over them with winds to 200 km/hr. It was exciting. Thanks again.