Tropical Storm Don, Our Grenada Welcome Wagon

I have much to catch up on, but for now, a current update…..we arrived in Grenada a week ago, and Tropical Storm Don is our welcome wagon. Here’s a photo of Don’s predicted path. We are the bottom-most island/dot, in the yellowish-brown, with a 50-60% change of winds over 39 knots.

[Image of probabilities of 34-kt winds]

The storm is essentially passing right over us, with it’s specific path having very different results.

A tropical system spins counter-clockwise, with the top/north half having the most intensity.  Think of a pinwheel, sucking wind off in it as it spins. As the storm moves, that wind in the north half is given a extra boost, doubling it’s strength.

At the bottom of the pinwheel, the winds oppose the movement of the storm, and are much less, so south of a storm is where you want to be (scratch that…not anywhere near a storm is where you really want to be!).

If Don passes just north of Grenada, we expect sustained winds in the 25-30 knot range,  clocking around in every direction. However, if the storm tracks a bit south, we’ll get more direct winds, sustained closer to 45 knots….possibly as high as 60 knots.

None of this is life threatening, and we are preparing for maximum winds, just to be safe. Unfortunately, there are not completely protected anchorages or marinas here in Grenada, so we’re just gonna have to ride it out with fingers crossed.

We are currently in Prickly Bay, on Grenada’s south side. Many cruisers come to Grenada for hurricane season, so the bays are crowded with boats.

Map of Prickly Bay, Grenada

 

Image result for aerial view of prickly Bay

Our plan was to anchor, but we arrived to find that the marina here had filled most of the bay with mooring balls. Prickly Bay is safer than most, as far as local crime, so we chose to stay and take a ball. For those who may not know, a mooring ball is anchored to the bottom with a metal shackle. From there, a line travels up to the surface with a float/ball that you attach a line to.

On the positive side, balls are usually well spaced, and there’s no worry about boats with little anchoring experience breaking loose and dragging. The downside is that you’re never sure what condition the balls are in; whether the lines are still strong and the shackles are good. Several boats here have broken from their mooring here, drifting through the anchorage, one as recently as four days ago.

Our quandary is whether to stay here on the ball, and risk it breaking, or having other moorings break, and those boats drifting our way. Or, head for another bay that is just as full, and risk anchors dragging (instead of moorings breaking) and boats drifting. We considered going to a marina, but they aren’t much more protected from heavy wind, and Scott’s concerned about being tied down and not able to swing with the winds, or cut and run if needed.

Here is Don’s timeline…..Murphy’s Cruising Law: Bad shit almost always happens at night! (we are between the blue line, and the S to the right…roughly 10pm-midnight)

cone graphic

So, we’re hunkering down here in Prickly Bay, and hopeful that Don gives us a gentle welcome to Grenada.

“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”

10 thoughts on “Tropical Storm Don, Our Grenada Welcome Wagon

  1. Hello Scott & Caroline,
    On behalf of the Caribbean Krogenites, we would like to welcome you to these beautiful islands!!! We are John & Paulette Lee on m/v Seamantha… KK5816… having set off from Florida on 2014. We spent the last two hurricane season’s in Grenada at Port Louis Marina. This season, we opted to stay at Marina Le Marin, Martinique.
    We just read your post, as it was forwarded on the Krogen Cruiser’s website.
    It is good that you are prepared for the blow. Just know that Prickly Bay can get bit rollers coming in with storms. Be safe!!! We’ll be thinking of you all… hoping TS Don will be kind to everyone!!!!!!
    On another note… let me introduce you to all the Krogens that we know of here in the Caribbean:
    At Port Louis Marina, there in Grenada, is m/v Alizann. The Tucks (Marty & Suzanne) are currently in the States. They just came down this year.
    In Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, m/v Bay Pelican is on the hard as her owners are currently back home. (They’ve been in the Caribbean something like 12 years now!)
    In Antigua, in covered storage, is m/v Sylken Sea. Ken & Sylvianne have been here two seasons. They are currently back home in Canada.
    In Bonaire is m/v Tusen Talk II. The Shipley’s (Barbara & Chuck) came down some 8+ years ago and when they reached Bonaire… never left!!! (except to fly home now and again!)
    There are also a couple of Krogen Sailboats. So keep your eyes peeled!!!
    Not certain if this is your first time in the Caribbean… but if so… feel free to contact us at any time with any questions you might have!!!
    Perhaps our wakes will cross one of these days!
    Until then… enjoy lovely Grenada and all she has to offer!!!
    Paulette & John

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    • Hello to you two! We saw Seamantha, when we came through Rodney Bay, on our way to the dinghy dock near the mall! We assumed you were home for the season, and are sorry to have missed meeting you. Scott has been in touch with Marty, via Trawler Forum, but did not know of the other Krogens here on the eastern side.
      We’re tucked in here at Prickly, and are ready for the roll. We’ve the paravanes out, with both flopper-stoppers in the water since we arrived, but have pulled everything in, in case we have to cut and run. Fingers crossed that everyone’s moorings hold here, although it seems Don is coming through weaker than expected, thank goodness!
      We stopped at St. Martin on our way here, in St. Pierre and Fort de France. Weren’t up for more easting, to get to St. Anne and Le Marin, but plan to visit in the fall/winter, as we love the island.
      Thanks for reaching out, and we hope to cross paths this winter!

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  2. Hi Guys, We will be thinking about you even more this evening. Hopefully your mooring, and everyone in front of you, holds tight. I am surprised to here Prickly is full of moorings now. We anchored there a couple times. There were some moorings but mostly anchoring. Anyway, we look forward to the post-Don email that everything is fine.

    We are moored at Bonaire. The marina here is full and we couldn’t get a cat in there. A few monohulls got in. The mooring field still has a lot of boats so we are in good company. Don is likely to loose some steam by the time we see him, fingers crossed. Latest forecast is max 40KN. We have added a couple extra lines to the mooring so I don’t think we are going anywhere. We’ll let you know how it goes.

    Take care, Mary & Dave

    >

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