Hurricane Ivan Journal Excerpts

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The following emails and personal log are from friends who were in Grenada during hurricane Ivan.  Ivan passed over Grenada on Tuesday afternoon, September 7.  Below are: 

--  email from s/v CENTIME, Walt & Pat, who were tied to the mangroves at Egmont.  They went to shore during Ivan and saw the building around them blown apart.  Their boat suffered damage.

--  detailed log and numerous emails from s/v REMEDY, Dick & Jo.  They were anchored at Hog Island dinghy cut and stayed on their boat during Ivan.  They also include commentary on friend s/v DUET, Cecil, who was anchored nearby them and also stayed aboard.  Both suffered damage to their boats.

--  email from s/v [anonymous].  Their boat was in Grenada, they were back in the States.  Their boat suffered severe damage.

s/v CENTIME, Walt & Pat:

Thurs., Sept. 9:  Hi Guys, Grenada is a disaster after the hurricane and we feel very lucky to have had no more damage than we do. We definitely feel blessed to be alive! We left the boat in Egmont harbor tied to the mangroves and went first to a shelter and then to a hotel for the duration. At the worst of the storm we were huddled under the sink in the bathroom of the hotel to protect our heads from flying debris--the roof had blown off the room and bath and we had only concrete walls for protection. One of the walls of the room was glass sliding doors and they were blown out early on. Mirrors, lamps, TV, mattress, glass and debris were flying around the room.

Needless to say we feel lucky to be alive. After the storm passed, we were able to locate a room in the hotel that still had most of it's roof left, turned the wet mattress to have a dry side and were able to get some rest before trying to walk to the boat at daylight. We were eventually able to hitch a ride with a local and were able to get most of the way to the harbor. We found our boat up in the mangroves but not taking on water, dry and secure inside. We felt lucky since many of the boats we saw were smashed against the bridge or up in the mangroves in a pile of yachts--needless to say destroyed. Our damages were a crunched bumpkin, some toe rail ripped and a couple of small punctures on the side. We did lose the motor from our dinghy which was ripped from it's mount and thrown into the mangrove trees. Glad we were not aboard, although some did stay on their boats and were quite traumatized. One sailor in another harbor did lose his life [boat broke free from it's anchor/mooring and was swept out to sea, his body washed to shore later] and so far the count we've heard is 22 dead on land. I'm surprised there weren't more from the destruction we saw as we returned.  Bill, we vacillate about still making the trip on to Canouan. We are trying to contact our insurance company and may have to stay in the vicinity to resolve our damages. But since things in Grenada have deteriorated to a lawless state, it may be just as well that we leave the island. Email is the only communication that we personally have without borrowing satellite phones or having others email with more dependable systems. We will be in contact as soon as we know better what we can do and can make a decision. There is not a lot more we can do here to help and many that can are leaving the island to get better communication for insurance, etc. It may take us a bit of time to get over the incident and many are going through a time of mourning and depression for their losses. Many sailor's boats were not only their only home but also their jobs--they've had tremendous losses. It's hard for us not to feel that as well. It's hit us hard to see boats of friends we've become close to badly damaged or destroyed.

We love you all, Pat and Walt

s/v CENTIME

s/v REMEDY, Dick & Jo:

 

Log from s/v Remedy,

Thought you guys might be interested in our log entry from Ivan.
 
 
9/7/04 N 12.00.330  W 61 44.324, Clarks Court Bay (AKA the dinghy cut to Hog
Island), Grenada
 
We have not moved and hopefully we will not today. Ivan is headed our way, we
made the decision not to move as we are in a relatively protected spot, that is,
Clarks Court Bay in the dinghy cut off Hog island. There is land all around us. 
 
At first Ivan was predicted to go north of us, now 10:00 AM it looks like we are
in its path. We could see 100 MPH winds at about 2:00 PM. One thing that is nice
is that it is coming through in daylight. We spent the last 2 days making
preparations. Head sails are stowed, as well as anything else on deck that can
go flying.  We have 4 anchors out: on 3 rodes, the spade is in line with a CQR
more or less to our north, we have a Fortress directly off our bow and the big
CQR more or less to the south. We are thinking that should keep us centered here
in the cut. A good thing is there are only 3 other boats anchored around us
although there are a lot of boats tied to the mangroves, that is we have plenty
of room to swing.  Some boats left a few days ago heading to Venezuela.  Some
tossed a coin and went to Trinidad although there really aren't any good
hurricane holes there.  By Sunday afternoon the seas were already big and it
would have been dangerous to try to leave the bay through the reefs.  WT 
[Wild Thing, their cat], Jo and I hate the waiting. 
 
9/16/04  Dick wrote the above Tuesday AM while we were waiting.  We had removed
the bimini and wind gen[erator] blades but left the dodger up since we planned to stay
on the boat and needed some protection.  Around 2:00 PM the winds started
picking up and the rain began.  We can only view our wind speed from the cockpit
so we didn't have it in view often.  Dick was seeing gusts up to 70+.  We could
see the other boats around us starting to drag.  (Other boats around us reported
that they were seeing 140-150 I (Dick) think our anemometer maxes out around 70)
Because the storm wound up going just south or right over us we had much more
east wind than we had planned for and we were being blown towards the boats in
the mangroves and were much too close.  Dick started the engine and tried to
give the anchors a little help.  He did a great job and kept this up for almost
two hours.  Then a sudden wind shift pushed us over one of the anchor rodes and
it, of course, promptly wrapped in the prop.  We believe this was about as the
eye was passing over us as the wind suddenly veered out of the south.  The
Fortress anchor rode was now wrapped around the shaft but the anchor was holding
us firmly, broadside to the wind and waves.  Remedy really took a pounding and
this is what sheered the bolts on the motor mounts.  The prop was pulled back
until it jammed against the rudder.  Sometime after this point the line to the
Fortress broke and the southerly wind slammed Remedy back onto the primary
anchor and chain.  The snubber had apparently already let go and the force
caused the primary rode to part at the rope to chain splice where it was secured
to the bow.  Now we are down to one rode with the two anchors in tandem.  We
swung to the north side of the cut and within a few yards of the bank and held
there for probably another hour as the wind/waves slowly diminished.  
Meanwhile, down below was a shambles.  We were knocked down first to port and
then to starboard so many times we lost count.  Books and everything else that
was not secured went flying.  Poor WT was flipping out so I (Jo) finally just
picked her up and stood in the doorway to the aft cabin and braced myself for
the last few hours.  One of the three of us had the doo doo scared out of us and
we are blaming that on WT.  As the winds subsided and it got dark we were pushed
"aground", most of the time on sand but we occasionally came down on rock with a
sickening sound that had us worried we would be holed after all we had been
through. We had a little east wind before the tide went out so we floated off,
the next day.  This went on all night as the wind and waves would quiet down 
only to be pushed into a frenzy by a squall several times during the night.  
I (Jo) went so far as to pack a bag of essentials and get WT's carrier ready
in case we had to abandon ship during the night.  We got a few snatches 
of sleep and I got up about 4:00 AM after my nerves had calmed a little to send
the email saying we had survived.  We had tried all night to get Duet on the 
radio and had heard nothing.  We went all night not knowing what had happened 
to Cecil.  The next morning around 8:00 AM here comes Cecil by in his dinghy.  
He was just as surprised to see us as we were to see him.
 
Now a little about our friend Cecil [single-hander], aboard Duet.  
He had prepared Duet as much as possible and his plan was to anchor out in 
Clarks Court Bay with plenty of swinging room and stay aboard with his two 
engines running.  He had his nav software up and running with his anchor 
location plotted so that he could see his position in relation to his anchor 
constantly.  Duet is a Formosa Clipper weighing 38 tons.  We could see her 
easily for the first hour or so and knew when she was knocked down that we 
were next.  Cecil said everything was going according to plan until he heard 
a "ping".  His snubbers had let go and his anchor chain snapped.  All was 
still not lost.  He had plenty of room out in the bay to just drive around 
and with his two large engines he felt sure he could do that for awhile.  He 
was knocked down several times with his spreaders in the water but was able 
to get her back upright.  When the wind switched suddenly to the south he was 
knocked down and Duet never righted.  He was swept down the bay with his rudder 
out of the water.  It is very hard to control a boat with the rudder out of the 
water. Cecil did a great job keeping his boat from hitting other boats. 
Nevertheless Duet ended up on high and dry with little damage - we think.
 
On the morning after the storm when Cecil came by in his dinghy (after rescuing
it from the mangroves) he and Dick set out to find another anchor to try to get
Remedy back out into deeper water.  The boat behind us, Hakuna Matata, had drug
and was out of the water in the mangroves.  She offered one of her anchors but
they were buried so deep in the muck they could not be retrieved with just the
dinghy.  Bill on Felicity loaned us a small CQR and we were able to center
Remedy back in the cut.  We discovered that we were in good shape except the
engine had been pulled off the motor mounts and the prop was jammed against the
rudder.  Our gen[erator] set had been out of service for about 3 weeks already, 
waiting for parts.  So we had no way to charge batteries except for wind and 
solar.  We only ran the fridge for a few hours each day trying to save what 
little food we had in the freezer.  Hakuna Matata loaned us their gas generator 
and we ran it a couple of hours each day.  
 
Meanwhile, cruisers started coming up from Trinidad almost immediately with gas,
diesel and food for the cruisers.  Jesse James and Joyce on Mood Indigo
co-ordinated and the outpouring was amazing.  Boaters became equally organized
quickly here in Grenada to locate and identify all the boats, make lists of what
people needed and set up security patrols to guard against looting.  Our friend,
Dalton, on Quietly, bought new motor mounts for us and sent them up with one of
the Grenada Relief boats.  Cecil and Dick worked for days getting the new mounts
installed and positioning the engine so that we could get it running again.
Meanwhile, our new friend Joe, on Jubilee, who is a diver, found both of our
anchor rodes and we were able to recover all three anchors.  We haven't actually
pulled them up yet.  That may take a while.  Cecil was not as fortunate.  The
bottom was so silty out in the middle of the bay Joe has not been able to find
his anchor.  Also, he is still waiting for a crane large enough to lift Duet off
the beach.  Cecil has been staying on Remedy since the night after the storm.  
Duet is completely out of the water and at such an angle it is too difficult to
stay on her.  We have been good company for each other and we "looted" Duet of
all her good food and wine.  Joe (Jubilee) has been baking us fresh bread so all
in all we have eaten pretty well although now we are getting down to canned
stuff only.  A few food stores are open a few hours a day but the lines are long.  
 
Now that Remedy is in good shape we have been working with the Grenada Relief
organization when we can.  When a boat comes up from Trinidad we go help unload,
repack and the cruisers have even been riding with the trucks to ensure the food
and supplies get to their proper destination.  Today (Friday, 9/24) Dick and Joe
helped put a tarp roof on a house for one of the locals.  It wouldn't have been
such a big deal if it hadn't been a three story house and they only had a 6 foot
ladder.
 
We understand that Trinidad customs has relaxed some of their entry rules to
allow boats from Grenada to enter the country.  Unfortunately now that Customs
in Grenada is up and working again we have not heard good things about them. 
Apparently there have been outright requests for money or gifts, they have
confiscated fresh vegetables and fruit, etc.  There have been radio broadcasts
made where officials say all customs duties, etc, are waived during this time
but some individuals are apparently profiting from the situation.  
 
After years of dodging hurricanes in Florida, this was our first one spent
aboard.  We definitely don't recommend it but it probably made the difference in
Remedy surviving.  There was a beautiful Mason 44, Pangwitch, that was lifted
off the beach yesterday.  She was just down from Duet but had the misfortune to
land on a pile of rocks so that she had two holes below the waterline.  We know
how fortunate we are and we are happy that all our friends in Florida have done
as well as they have so far, although Pensacola has been hit terribly hard.
 

 

Emails from s/v REMEDY:

Sunday, Sept. 5 (before Ivan): Hey...are you guys staying put? We are getting very nervous here. Betty (Parrothead) is heading to Margarita around noon along with several other boats. Dalton is not sure what to do.

This is getting old!!!!!  [referring to tropical storms Charlie and Earl]

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Monday, Sept. 6 (before Ivan):  Dalton left for Trini yesterday afternoon. We have four anchors down in the dinghy cut north of Hog Island. Sounds like a wild ride tonight.

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Wed., Sept. 8:  Glad to hear you two are okay.

Grenada is pretty well devastated. We were anchored with three anchors in the dinghy cut north of Hog Island. We broke the main anchor rode and got one tangled in the prop eventually. Rode it out on the last anchor, just bumping the bottom on the north side of the cut. May have some shaft damage, or transmission, and possible damage to the keel or rudder. Still to rough to jump in and see.

Many boats within sight high and dry in the mangroves, or half sunk in the mangroves. Two boats within sight up on the reef between Hog Island and Mt Hartman. Not many reports from Mt Hartman yet. Two boats only remain floating at Clarks Court Bay Marina. Most are ashore still attached to the floating docks. Heard a SSB report on St Georges. Most boats are piled up in the south end of the lagoon. Boats at the Yacht Club are upside down on the docks.

Cecil [s/v DUET] is here drinking coffee on Remedy this morning. His anchor rode broke and he was laid over on his side, 117 MPH gust, rudder out of the water. Wound up on the beach, fairly unscathed. Most of the houses on the hill, including Little Dipper, appear to be gone or badly damaged.

All in all we feel very fortunate but many years older!

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Thurs., Sept. 9:  Dick dove on Remedy today. Hull looks good. Only damage appears to be engine pulled off motor mounts when one of the rodes wrapped around the prop. We are incredibly lucky. Dinghyed over to Mt Hartman today and it is just heartbreaking. Jedi and Possible Dream rode out the storm with very little if any damage. Otherwise, most boats on the beach or in the mangroves or on the reefs outside. Major pileup at the marina. Moorings [charter] boats drug into the docks, etc. But the floating dinghy dock is still there. Just amazing.

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Sun., Sept. 12:  So good to hear from you two. We were foolish enough to stay aboard. Remedy would probably be washed ashore if we had left the boat but who knows. If possible, things are getting worse here. Boats ashore are being looted and the boats that came up from Trini to help are being badgered by the locals for fuel so they are planning to leave later today. Dalton has found engine mounts for us in Trini and is hopefully sending them up for us on Sunday. If we can get temp repairs made to the engine we will try to sail to Trinidad sometime in the next week. Did I tell you Duet is washed ashore? Cecil is staying with us onboard. He and Dick are over there now removing valuables and staples we need on Remedy. It has been good to have him so that we cheer each other up. Can't think of anything you can do but start planning the party for next time we meet up.

PS: Dick says pls email us some beer!

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Wed., Sept. 15:  We have made great progress. Dalton got the mounts to us and Dick and Cecil have installed them and have the engine back in place and running! Everything isn't bolted together yet, still no transmission and the headsails are still in bags in the cockpit but at least we can charge our batteries and make water.

Eat a pizza at Joe's for us and we hope to be there soon. will keep you posted.

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Mon., Sept. 20:  We hope to be there later this week. We are not rushing the engine work 1) because Dick is worn out and 2) Cecil is staying on Remedy but his tug and barge are here now and Duet may be lifted today or tomorrow. We hope to sail down together later this week.

Dick is back at work on the engine this morning. Just has to tighten the bolts to the engine mounts and reattach the shaft. We will need to seek professional help to get the engine properly aligned but think it will be good enough for the trip down.

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Wed., Sept. 22:  Thanks to all of you for worrying so about us. Sorry to keep you waiting but we will be here a bit longer. We got the final bolts attached and tightened on the engine yesterday and we are very pleased with the results. Remedy should be in great shape and able to wait her turn for a normal haulout. The barge and crane for Duet, however, has been delayed and looks like may be early next week.

We will keep you posted but looks like next week now. Things are improving here, slowly but surely. We will keep you posted.

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Mon., Sept. 27:  Dick is over in Mt Hartman right now to see [s/v] Overstreet [to collect a package that ARGO sent up on a boat from Trinidad]. Cecil hopefully has a deal with a large crane to pick Duet up this afternoon. Keep your fingers crossed!!!!

Dick just got back with your package. Thank you so much!!!!!  We will have the goodies for a celebration party and rum is always welcome on Remedy.

We are anchored near CCB Marina and we just watched the large crane pick Always Saturday up, over several boats in the marina and she is sitting in the water now. Heart of Texas is anchored behind us. She is floating but looks like much of the hull is held together with duct tape.

Will keep you posted.

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Tues., Sept. 28:  Clarks Court Bay , Grenada

Just a quick update. Our friend Cecil's boat, Duet, is now floating happily at anchor beside Remedy. He was lifted this morning by a 250 ton crane. That puts us that much closer to Trinidad!!!!

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Fri., Oct. 1:  Thanks so much for your newsy email. Made everything seem so normal and normal seems very nice right now. We moved Remedy over to Prickly this morning, partly as a shakedown cruise and partly because there are no dinghy docks anywhere else. CCB Marina and Martin's Marina have closed their dinghy docks and Woburns is non existent anymore. It is so sad to see the marina's just burning their bridges. I can't imagine why anyone would ever go back to Martins Marina or CCB after the way they have treated cruisers since the storm.

At least over here in Prickley you hear hammers and chainsaws as work is being done. About the only sound from Woburn was gun shots. We were boarded by the Grenada Coast Guard yesterday. They were supposedly looking for some of the escaped prisoners. They were very polite but it was unnerving to have 4 or 5 guys with big guns and big boots stomping around on the boat.

Our plan now is to rest, wait for this little wave to go by and head to Trini Monday afternoon to arrive Tuesday AM.

Duet must have a small hole or crack as she is taking on some water but nothing the bilge pumps can't handle. Everything else seems to be working fine. Cecil even recovered his anchor and chain this morning by pulling a huge grappling hook around the bay!!! Should be able to motor down even with his one damaged prop.

Some things are moving quickly here. They seem to be restoring electricity at a rapid pace which is amazing. But the sad thing is the looting continues. The owner of the Foodfair (under the Nutmeg in the Carenage) was on the radio yesterday. He was one of the first stores to open back up but the looters continue to break into his store at night and he was very critical of the government for not being to control the situation. Buses are running again and Dick and I went downtown Wednesday to use the internet and buy a little food. It is so sad. All the vegetation is gone and there is so much destruction. Spiceland Mall has not re-opened and Cecil said there were armed guards patrolling the parking lot in broad daylight.

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Sun., Oct. 3:  Will let you know if plans change but otherwise we should be in fairly early Tuesday AM. Don't know how many but from listening on the net sounds like there is a large flotilla leaving at the same time.

Your bottle of rum has been much appreciated. We took a bus into town this afternoon and tried to shop some. The Food Fair at Grand Anse was open but there was a long line to get in and even longer lines inside to check out. We came back to CJ's where the line was shorter and actually found a couple of pork tenderloins (frozen but not in a can!!!) Also picked up some more rum so we should be good till we get down there.

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Mon., Oct. 4:  Happiness is Grenada in our rear view mirror!  Just to let you know, we cleared customs this AM and plan to leave around 4:00 PM this afternoon. Sounds like there will be at least 6 boats coming down tonight. Still don't know about Duet. He has some steerage problem as well as a leak problem and when we checked with him around 10:00 AM he still wasn't sure if he would leave today or not.

See you all soon!

Jo and Dick

s/v REMEDY

s/v [anonymous]

Thurs., Sept. 9:

Hi All,

This is to let you know the status of s/v xxxx and xxxx & me. As many of you know s/v xxxx was in Mt.Hartman Bay, Grenada when hurricane Ivan hit. We left Grenada on 9/1 and were in [the States] ... before and during the storm. S/v xxxx was seriously damaged, we hear, from several indirect messages from friends there and in nearby islands.  She was on a secure mooring, under the care of a boat watch service and we believe prepared as best as possible. [It is now believed that the boat watch service did NOT put out their anchors as instructed.]  The info we have is that one or more other boats broke loose and were blown into s/v xxxx in turn breaking her loose also and then into a pile of other boats in a nearby marina.  Word is that she is afloat but holed with water in at least one hull and apparently atop another sunken yacht. We are sad to hear also that many other friendsí boats are either sunk or lost, and others in boatyards toppled and severely damaged, so I guess we are more fortunate than many others.

Our insurance company is sending a representative to Grenada to assess the damage and Ė if possible - put her on a barge for Trinidad for repair.  Taking s/v xxxx to Trinidad appears to be best for her and us. We plan to go back to Grenada and/or Trinidad ASAP. As you probably know Grenada is in shambles and services/communication are almost non- existent, so we donít know what we would be able to do in Grenada. Being away from s/v xxxx and not being able to do anything is difficult, but we are glad at the same time we were not there and in personal danger. Being with ... and soon to be joined by ..., is very comforting for the stress and helps keep our minds from constantly focusing on s/v xxxx and Grenada.

s/v [anonymous]

Links to websites related to Ivan:

www.imagehaven.com - links to an alphabetical listing of all boats in Grenada area and their status;  4 pages of pictures of Grenada after Ivan.  Click on "Caribbean" link.

www.reservationsbvi.com/grenada - another alphabetical boat list and more pictures, including some aerial shots.

www.boatus.com/hurricanes/past_hurricanes/2004/ivan_bands.asp - shows Ivan's path near Tobago and Trinidad, and over Grenada.

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