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
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
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.