Hurricane Earl In The British Virgin Islands

EarlParaqWe have talked to many friends in the islands and most of the news is positive. Power is gradually being restored and things are getting back to normal. There is however little news coming from Anegada which seems to have been affected the most, with flooding, several damaged buildings and many docks unusable. On Tortola, quite a few trees are down and vegetation damaged, but with all that sunshine everything grows back quickly and the island will look much the same in a few weeks. Bomba’s Shack will need to be rebuilt again, but being largely built of driftwood, he is used to doing this and it won’t be long before the full moon parties resume.

Thank you Tanya for permission to use your photographs. I particularly liked the one of Paraquita Bay. EarlMayaFew people know what goes into safeguarding all those bareboats when a storm threatens. Paraquita Bay has a narrow entrance and is not a popular charter destination but it has long been a hurricane refuge. The entrance has since been dredged, but in the early days we sometimes had to heel the boats over to get them in and then each bareboat company would try to anchor their yachts to avoid them hitting others.

As the top picture shows, much has changed. The companies have permanent storm moorings bow and stern, so more boats can be accommodated and damage between boats (always the biggest problem) is minimized. EarlBeefCompanies often leave much of their fleet here through late August, September and October, which are traditionally slow, but once they move out, Paraquita is filled with empty rows of white mooring balls!

The first time we used Paraquita Bay in 1973, I remember a white knuckled Charley Carey, with his entire Moorings fleet safely inside, hoping that the heavy storm surge didn’t permanently seal up the entrance!

The second picture is of Maya Cove and the third of Beef Island, during the hurricane. To see more pictures and larger copies of these, visit our Facebook page.

Earl hasn’t finished quite yet and we are getting ready for him all the way up in Wiscasset, Maine! He’s due here Friday night and Saturday morning!