1 June 2022: Hurricane Season Is Here!
1 June 2022
Cumulative Mileage (NM)
Crew on Board
Skipper, first mate, chef, entertainment and more; I guess that is solo sailing for you!
GENERAL WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
From roughly 8 knots to 22 knots depending on gusts and lulls.
Not a cloud in sight!
Hot and muggy but the breeze was nice!
Dry, thank goodness!
FOLLOW THE DOLPHINS!
Wildlife always seems to be able to read the weather. Bird are always fleeing before a storm and migrate around the seasons. And these dolphins were leading me south. They knew!
The reason I had rushed and raced so far south so quickly was because I wanted to be in a good position for hurricane season to keep myself and the boat safe. Well – hurricane season is officially
It starts on the 1st of June and ends on the 30th of November each year for the Atlantic region. Typically, the bigger and stronger (i.e. more concerning) storms tend to be later in the season which is why I was happy to be in Martinique by 1st of June. I missed by two days, not the end of the world.
If was further north, by the time any concerning weather was identified I might not have time to get south to safety. Especially given I am solo on the boat my range is more limited. Even a sailing couple with only two people on board could easily do five days south in crappy weather to get south before the arrival of a potential hurricane. But that would be too much for me.
When running to relocate before a storm arrives, you do not get to choose your weather. You have to use those days prior to the storm’s arrival to get to a safe anchorage. So far to date, carefully choosing my weather windows has been how I stayed safe and kept my sanity (to the extent I have kept it, anyways). So I would not be putting myself in a position where I do not get to choose my weather for a passage that might be longer than I am comfortable making.
Martinique to Grenada – Grenada is considered safe for hurricane season – is max 200 nautical miles. And now that I know my max range so far is 295 nautical miles that would be doable. Plus there is many islands between the two so I likely would not be forced to do all 200 nautical miles at once. And that scenario would only arise if I stayed in Martinique, which would only be the case until the end of July. I was still making my way south but first I would be picking up friends flying in from Norway to Martinique and exploring with them. After dropping them back off in Martinique near the end of July, I would be heading straight to Grenada for the rest of hurricane season.
They have been warned that in July while they are visiting if anything pops up that is a concern our schedule may get totally altered! Keep your fingers crossed!
But for now to get to Martinique.
The trip was pretty uneventful, with the autohelm worse than ever you can definitely tell if you take a look at my track where I was trying to make lunch. It was very much a back and forth between the stove and the helm. I feel nervous with flames on the boat unattended but at the same time the boat could not hold a heading for its life!
My trip was now much shorter as it was broken into two, including an unscheduled stop in Dominica for propane. An expensive stop let me tell you! With check in, mooring, propane and checkout it cost me $95 USD.
Ultra frustrating because usually when I have to spend more money than I want to spend, something on the boat improves. You upgrade the amount of solar you have, you fix something broken, etc. In this case, I guess the improvement is that I can cook food and survive but still!
At least the views in Dominica are darn beautiful, I even got this hint of a rainbow on arrival. This was one of my favorite countries to explore last time I sailed this way, but it would have to wait until next year now that it was hurricane season. I remember the amazing hikes and wonderfully nice local people and already experienced it again. The Dominica Marina Center helped me to fully check into the country online before I had even arrived and left my papers for me at the place where I would drop the propane first thing in the morning. Easy peasy!
“At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.”
– Robin Lee Graham