The (obvious) Problem with Cruising During Hurricane Season

The crew of Asante are hastily heading south for hurricane season safety, but Tropical Storm Chantal is on its way.

July 9, 2013

Windtraveler- tropical storm

We are on the island located under the bottom orange line.

Scott and I have talked numerous times how much we have enjoyed cruising during what is technically known as “hurricane season”. Anchorages are wide open, villages pull back their high-season dog and pony shows, tourists have headed elsewhere and, in general, things slow down. It’s nice. There’s a little more peace and quiet, and there seems to be a tad more, I don’t know, authenticity? Sure, it’s a little warmer and the wind isn’t always favorable this time of year (is it ever though, I mean…really?) but Scott and I would be hard-pressed to find a reason why cruising during these months is anything but a pleasure. Hard pressed, of course, if it wasn’t for hurricanes. There’s a reason the masses make a beeline south this time of year – and it’s a pretty good one. There are approximately three million and eight other places I would rather be than on a boat in a hurricane.


We’ve got Tropical Storm Chantal barreling this way and several of the weather prediction models have it passing not too far from – if not directly over – us. This is no bueno. While we have made our way south, we are still north of what is considered “safe” from hurricanes by most insurance companies which means we are at a risk. We knew this and understood the risks we were taking cruising in these waters the last five weeks. We’ve been watching weather closely and this weather system, which has been on the radar for a while (though not as a tropical storm) was a huge reason we made our big push south. Despite this, we are still not in the clear which is a little unnerving for a worry-wart like me. Of course there is a chance that the storm will pass to the north of us and we’ll experience nothing more than wind gusts to 35 knots and some gnarly rain, but mother nature has a way of throwing curve balls and, according to the weather man, we should prepare for the worst – wind of 65 knots or more and a torrential downpour.


We considered making a run further south today but decided against it. We are in a safe harbor, our anchor is firmly set and we’re setting a second just to be safe. We might even have a third on deck just in case. As one Facebook follower said, “It’s always better to be ready and have it fizzle, than to expect a fizzle and get a BOOM…” I couldn’t agree more. So we’ll keep our eyes on this system and prep ourselves and our boat as best we can. We’re in a safe and protected anchorage and we should ride this out just fine. I’ll tell you one thing though, it’s going to be a sleepless night and I’m looking forward to this being over and getting to our safe-haven of Grenada in the next week or so. We’re thinking of all our friends to the north…

When two people, with the same life long dream of sailing around the world find each other, there’s only one thing to do… make it happen! Scott and Brittany departed in 2010 with big plans to “see the world” from the deck of their sailboat. After sailing from Chicago to Trinidad via the “thorny path”, they are now back at it with their first baby and second boat.


More People