Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hurricane Tomas hits the Meercat

There is never a dull moment onboard Meercat. We watched NOAA diligently as the tropical depression organised into a tropical storm and with the ferocity of a metro train flyin through a subway station, it then formed into a category 1 hurricane as it approached St. Lucia.

We prepared ourselves for the perfect storm...

It was a stroke of good luck that we had not been hauled out when we were intended to be, since this would have been a much more dangerous position to be in. At first we were confused that they pushed our haul out date back a week, as we watched the storm form in the atlantic it all became very clear. The best place to be in a bad storm is tied up to the dock. Even though if a storm serge of more than 3 feet came through we would have been floating attached to the entire dock... no good.

The serge never came through and we were spared on that aspect.

We secured the Meercat using close to 15 independent anchors. We did this while the front closed in during the early hours of the morning. It was crazy to see the marina fill up with boats and yachts taking shelter. We had been on this dock for a few days and were one of the only boats there and when I awoke on sat morning the entire dock was full. Not to mention almost all the slips in the super yacht dock.

Securing the boat "properly" was quite the task. The difficult task in this is making sure that all the lines have tension at the same time so when the boat gets pushed away from the dock the lines all pull together. We managed to do this relatively quickly making sure it was done right.

My pops always used to say "son, never forget the six p's"

I haven't and this is something we took very seriously while preparing for the storm.
For those that don't know about the six p's heres your moment of enlightenment...


Wise word of wisdom passed on through generations.

the marina was a mad house boats comin, noone leaving and the Island Waterworld shop no longer had any more mooring lines. Honestly if they were smart they would have seen this opportunity to make a killing with extra lines...but they didn't so we made do with what we had.

The system started with strong winds and rains and let me tell you if you've never experienced anything like this.

Its fuckin' scary.

The amount of energy was incredible I watched massive palm trees sway with a good 6 feet of movement, starring out the back of the boat was like looking at a snow covered mountain with a strong breeze. It seemed as if the rain never actually touched down, it just flew across in a floating manner. The sky was a dark grey that the suns rays could not penetrate through, only the deafening howl of the wind passing through the masts and lines echoed through my head.

 I felt a sheer sense of just how small we are in the larger scheme of things. Mother natures wrath is certainly not to be taken lightly.

Even though we were in the middle of a hurricane there was still work to be done and a good time to be had.

We saluted Tomas and cracked open a round of Beers. What a better way to ease the tension than with a cold brew and a good laugh.

Thats when I decided this would be a great time to sit down and edit the footage we have been working on since we got to St. Lucia. Since we were practically boat locked...no more landlocked bullshit, it was the perfect desision.

It got my mind off the impending danger and I was making a great deal of progress with the film...even though final cut is a bitch. Its a good feeling to put time into something and see it materialise into something great.

Being an artist is the same way. i love to look at a blank wall or canvas and see what I'm going to create within its constraints and when the task is complete there is no better feeling than seeing the work you've  accomplished.

But I'm running on tangents here lets bet back to the real story...Tomas.

We drank, ate and watched as Tomas devastated the island. I know now that 12 people died since there were landslides and rivers that overflowed. My heart goes out to their families and the rest of the St. Lucian population that was on the windward side of the island that took the greatest part of the storms fury. 

We were constantly watching the wind meter to see just how intense it would get. We registered sustained winds at 55 kph. doesn't sound like much but bare in mind that one we were in the leeward side of the island and two that there is a mountain that separates us from the windward coast. the island itself on the windward side registered winds speeds that exceeded 120 mph and a swell of 30 ft.

This shit was LEGIT!

I laid in my bed and didn't sleep due to the amount of movement we were experiencing due to the high winds. every time the lines wen taught i though one would snap. I kept telling myself to just chill out and  let the storm pass but as the morning approached i soon fell into a deep slumber.

The storm itself raged the island for 20 hours just for you to get an idea of its tremendous size.

I'm happy I was able to experience the storm in a safe environment but I am truly saddened by the destruction she left behind.

Still right now we do not have any water and the southern and northern parts of the island are separated due to two bridges being destroyed.

This storm has changed my outlook on life and drastically altered the lives of many St. Lucians.

Again My heart goes out to the affected and I will continue to help in any way possible.


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