Today marks the first official day of hurricane season for the Atlantic. While it’s not something ANY of us want to think of, it’s pressing on the minds of those sailors in the Caribbean right now. Most of them are trying to hightail it to Grenada or Trinidad, where the likelihood of being hit by a hurricane is less than those islands farther north.
My only personal experience with hurricanes was in Ocean City, Maryland in the late 70s. I worked as a waitress in a hotel restaurant on the boardwalk. On Labor Day weekend, the restaurant was empty but open, and the tail end of a hurricane hit us–the restaurant flooded and we all went home. One heck of a way to end the summer! About a month and a half after that, I returned for a weekend to Ocean City. That was a weekend I’ll NEVER forget. A hurricane swept its way into Ocean City and we were holed up on the third floor of a hotel, watching waves come up to the second floor of our building. The hotel pool had whitecaps and water sloshed over its sides.
Fortunately we stayed safe and the storm passed. That was nothing compared to the more famous hurricanes, like Sandy last year, and Katrina in 2005. My hope is that this is a calm year, but predictors say otherwise. To all my sailing friends out there, all I have to say is – stay safe and be smart and prepared!
In case you are curious about this year’s hurricane names, the first will be called Andrea. Let’s hope we don’t make it through the alphabet to the next one (Barry). I really don’t want to think about getting all the way through the names to Wendy (last name on this year’s list)!
On our last trip to the British Virgin Islands, which was just a couple weeks ago, we experienced only one bad night. Otherwise, we enjoyed perfectly beautiful weather and had a wonderful time, despite being on the cusp of H-season!