Media Release 53

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EMERGENCY: Hurricanes in the Caribbean

Hurricane "Ivan the Terrible" Hits Grenada.

ALERT: Sat, September 11, 2004; 8:13 AM ET

For the third time in a row during the last two weeks the Caribbean is under attack by a hurricane. First it was Charley, then Frances and now Ivan. In all three cases they eventually made landfall in Florida, that is, after having left trails of destruction in the Bahamas Islands and/or the Greater and Lesser Antilles. AussieWinlink’s founder had just prior to these hurricanes returned from a cruise of the Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao – see AussieWinlink's: Media Release 52). The ABC Islands are normally spared the effects of major hurricanes; however, they are not immune and this time “Ivan” came uncomfortably close. Fortunately, as these hurricanes moved further to the northeast US, after their landfall their strength normally dissipates when on shore. Grenada was hit particularly hard. This Media Release covers damage to boats. The photographs inserted below tell the story better than could a thousand words! (Photos courtesy of:

The Winlink system is heavily involved in relaying information about the status of recreational cruisers in the Caribbean. One of such text-based messages is replicated below. It should be noted that text-based messages by radio amateurs are possible only through Winlink. In contrast, information transmitted via voice (vox) or Morse Code systems would either fail or take much longer to verify and distribute. Particularly outstanding is the contribution by the Winlink PMBO (Participating Mail Box Office) operated  by Bernie (WG3G) out of Trinidad. Bernie retired in October 1988 as Lieutenant from the Philadelphia Fire Department. He started living onboard fulltime and, after he arrived in the Caribbean in 1990, he has cruised just about anywhere between Trinidad and Curacao. He began running a Winlink PMBO for Mobile Mariners (MM) in 1992 and now carries a database covering the Caribbean. It includes bulletins and other information of interest to cruisers. Bernie also actively takes part in promoting Winlink at the Annual Gams of the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) normally held in Melbourne, Florida. See the photo below:

Bernie on stilts promoting Winlink at the 2002 SSCA GAM

For those with interest in Bernie’s PMBO, please follow this Winlink link: It provides detail about Bernie’s station, including the scanning frequencies, that is operated from his boat.

For those that might have relatives or friends on cruising boats in that part of the Caribbean here is a copy of the long list that was prepared by Bernie and published by the ARRL – US Virgins Island Section, on its website. Those with a personal interest will, no doubt, read the whole list. Those who do not, could just scan the list to get an impression of the severity of the hurricane damage and of the valuable service provided by Bernie through Winlink. Someone could make a tally of the damage record.

(Editor’s Note: There could be duplications in the list and, of course, many boats have identical or similar sounding names. Generally, the status of boats after the hurricanes is in one of six categories: Floating – without any or, possibly, with major damage; Aground – barely or solidly stuck; Ashore – wind blown onto shore with probable damage and chance of recovery depending on shoreline rocks and/or access for salvage; Sunk – Partly or not visible at all at the water line;  Missing - those that had disappeared during the hurricane; and, finally, Departed - had left Granada for another known or unknown destination)


9-10-04 1800Z hours.

This is a status report about boats that are in Grenada. I am also putting out a bulletin on boats that were in Grenada and are now safe elsewhere. I will post the latter separately as "Boats that left Grenada and are now safe". What folllows is in no way a complete list. Bernie (WG3G).

n Grenada (Gre-NAY-da), hospitality comes in all flavors - from the growing bevy of luxury hotels on Grande Anse Beach (a two-mile stretch of sunstruck perfection) to comely gingerbread inns with romantic views and such genteel forms of recreation as croquet and billiards. Tennis and many aqua-sports are widely available, though golf and gambling are not. St. George's, the capital, has earned virtually unanimous praise as one of the Caribbean's most handsome harbor town. Tucked in a lush volcanic valley, it appears from the water as a crazy-quilt of orange-tiled roofs fronted by a dockside parade of elegant yachts. Grenada is, in fact, a sailing and boatbuilding mecca; its gorgeous profile and sheltered west coast attract wealthy sailors from all over the globe. (If honeymooning clients yearn for an intimate chartered cruise, this island may be the perfect choice.)




The information is provided, to the extent available, in the following order: Boat name; Hailing Port; Condition.

1.                  Ace of Clubs floating

2.                  Alisea (moorings) "Aground, but only just"

3.                  Antares; St. Thomas; Floating

4.                  Arrow Floating

5.                  Bamsen; Toronto; Ashore

6.                  Bella Gata (moorings) Floating

7.                  Blanquilla Floating

8.                  Bloody Mary FF Floating

9.                  Brawra; California; Floating

10.              Calcutter (moorings) floating

11.              Camille;Dartmouth; Ashore

12.              Carib Dream floating

13.              Chimere floating

14.              Copihue II Floating

15.              Crazy Horse Floating

16.              Deneb; Cayman; Floating

17.              Ducado ssr Floating

18.              Edelweis "Aground, but only just"

19.              Elusive; Milwaukee; Ashore

20.              Enchantress II (moorings) Sunk on dock

21.              Fairwinds; Monroe; Floating

22.              Fantasy; Delaware; Floating

23.              Follie a Deux (moorings) Floating

24.              Francis Ashore

25.              Freedom (My Way) Floating

26.              Galapago Floating

27.              Harbour Home III Floating

28.              Hope; Wisconsin; floating

29.              Huff n Puff floating

30.              Indigo Drum floating

31.              Irie - Afloat ( Left the anchorage for unknown destination)

32.              Jai Ashore

33.              Jedi floating

34.              Kal Heal Ashore

35.              Krakadawn Floating

36.              Lady Kay Floating

37.              Lady M; USA; Floating

38.              Lauraus (moorings) floating

39.              Leeandus Floating

40.              Lena Emden "Aground, but only just"

41.              Loon Floating

42.              Lucy Maria Floating

43.              Magic (catamaran) Sunk on dock

44.              Maxima; Italy; Floating

45.              Misty Leon on Sea floating

46.              Moondance (moorings) Ashore

47.              Night Owl ashore

48.              Odyssey; LA; Floating

49.              Overstreet Floating

50.              Possible Dream; Illinois; Floating

51.              P'Tit Morgat Afloat

52.              Ragauffin Ashore

53.              Restless Farewell Ashore

54.              Rudherkia; Calif; Floating

55.              Saga Boy floating

56.              Scalpay of Rhu Ashore

57.              Sea Dream I; Ontario; Sunk on reef

58.              Sea Dreamer; Melbourne; Floating

59.              Sea Gypsy; St. Croix; Floating

60.              Serefe; Toronto; Floating

61.              Serendipity; Plymouth; Ashore

62.              Sialia; Lewes, DE; Ashore

63.              Solmates (Lagoon 55) floating

64.              Sonia D floating

65.              Split Second Grenada sunk

66.              Star _nder(?) Dismasted & ashore

67.              Storm Bird Floating

68.              Talania; UK; Ashore

69.              Tandu Ashore

70.              Tiamo; Hilton Head; "Aground, but only just"

71.              Vuela floating

72.              Watermark; NY; floating

73.              White Heater (catamaran) "badly holed, still afloat"

74.              Wooden Nickel Floating

75.              Woodfield II;UK; "Aground, but only just"

76.              Yellowbird (Jeanneau) Floating

77.              Zagora IV; Nice; Floating

78.              Zivio Floating

Also, a large (75' ish) Blue Swan in Martins Marina, with cutter rig, is sunk. Two Moorings 4200 are ashore; 1 Moorings 3800 is ashore; 1 ketch, 40' (ish) sunk on Martins Marina; 1 sloop, with green roller furler, sunk on Martins Marina; Five boats were on the reef in Mount Hartman Bay but only 2 are there now but no names of the surviving vessels are visible - 3 boats have disappeared; A red Italian Boat dragged out to sea with the crew on board but reports are that they are OK.

Hi John and Deb,

I hate to be the one but you might as well know it is very bad. I haven't seen it yet but I understand there were only a few boats left on the docks and Sea Witch was not one of them. I can't believe this happened as soon as you left but there is nothing you could have done if you were here. I understand there was a lot of damage to the boats in the mangroves in Eggmont. Most of the boats in Mt Hartman are on the beach. Boats that were on the hard at Spice
Island and Grenada Marine are on the ground. Also very bad picture from the lagoon. All phones, radio, water, etc is out. No one even knows if anyone was killed because there is no communication.

Dick just got back and he says the boat next to you is ashore, then the finger pier and next is your boat partially ashore. He saw your friend Bequia and he said tell you hi. His boat has sunk.

Jo and Dick



1.                  2 Lazy 2 Floating

2.                  (no name) Blue Trimaran?? upside down

3.                  Bodacias; Philadelphia; ashore

4.                  Epicuras Floating

5.                  Fanny Magnet Floating

6.                  Felicity Floating

7.                  Grenadier dismasted but floating

8.                  High Elk Floating

9.                  Iolair; Sligo; Floating

10.              Julio (Trimaran) Floating Kamaloha Floating

11.              Manchineel Floating

12.              Manx Cat floating

13.              Mawali; St. Vincent; Floating

14.              Misty; USA (Pete & Barbara); floating

15.              Moya Floating

16.              Rachael Katherine Floating

17.              Rio Dulce Floating

18.              Saga Floating

19.              Sea Sett Floating

20.              Tartaruga Floating

21.              Ulissee Floating

22.              Yahoo Floating

Not a single boat left standing even when stored on land in this storage yard
Catamaran Upside down; Sloop grounded
A large catamaran upside down and another boat grounded


Hello- This is Henry and Bev on the Yacht Windquest. With the help of Walt and Pat on Centime this is our count and status of the boats here. Some of the boats are in piles and damage is hard to estimate. We will send our reports of other Bays shortly."

1.                  Ajoie - Afloat

2.                  Alzia - Hard Aground

3.                  Ananas - Afloat

4.                  Aquarel IV - Hard aground

5.                  Ar Jagoar - Afloat

6.                  Beowulf - Grounded

7.                  Blue Moon II - Afloat

8.                  Canelle - Afloat some damage

9.                  Cap Bon - Afloat

10.              Captain Georges - Grounded

11.              Catch the Wind - Afloat - major damage

12.              Ceol Namara - Grounded

13.              Chenapan - Hard Aground

14.              Cherub - Grounded

15.              Estrell - Afloat

16.              God's Way – Afloat -some damage

17.              Island Girl - Afloat

18.              Irie - Afloat (Left the anchorage destination unknown)

19.              Lajobal - Sunk

20.              Maoae (Cat) - Grounded

21.              Minstral - Afloat

22.              Mustart Seed - Grounded

23.              Myrtle; Holm; Afloat

24.              Oceos - Grounded

25.              P'Tit Morgat - Afloat

26.              Samba - afloat

27.              Santana - Afloat

28.              Scheherazade - Afloat

29.              Sea Witch; (Peter from Germany); Afloat

30.              Seven Sisters - Grounded

31.              Sharki - Grounded

32.              Soliton - Afloat

33.              Sta Claire - Afloat

34.              Taiyo - Grounded

35.              The Corinthian - Afloat

36.              Windiva - Afloat

37.              Windquest - Afloat, no damage

38.              Wyvern - Afloat - minor damage

39.              Yocahn - Afloat

There is a Lagoon 470 sunk but the name is not visible.


Hello, Windquest again with the list / status of boats in Old Harbor.

All boats are floating with minor to moderately bad damage. Alibi: Kokomo; Eclipse; Can Can; Ocean Breezes; Dolphins; Julia B; Island Flyer; Tera unga; Inti; Reder Morieou Ned Kelly; Carilla; Atlantis; Dione.

There is one boat name missing from the list but we are working on it. Eight Horizon Yacht Boats from Tru Blue are damaged but floating.

Close up of capsized and broken catamaran

Aerial photo of large ketch blown onto shore


1.                  Always Saturday - ashore

2.                  Sea Witch - ashore

3.                  Yahoo - OK, no damage

4.                  Nellie Belle - at dock, damage

5.                  Swan Song - sunk,

6.                  Dennis Marshall fine


1.                  Chasing the Moon - was blown into the Mangrove with holes in thru hull;

2.                  Kandu - can be heard on the radio;

3.                  Centime - ran aground

Bernie WG3G
Winlink PMBO Operator


Lessons learned: Although the hurricane danger hasn't passed yet in all areas, we should not pass-up on the lessons learned from this natural disaster. Maybe this includes:

1.    Hurricane Risks: Having a sail or other boat in an area where and when hurricanes can strike will always be a gamble. While the incidence of direct strikes, such as in Grenada is relatively low, the risks can be calculated. This is already shown and will be reflected even more by increasing marine insurance premiums for journeys in hurricane-prone areas. However, no one should be discouraged from visiting these areas and stop "living the dream" because there are risks in cruising;

2.    Weather Watch: Being aware of the possibility, however small, of hurricanes, mariners should have a basic understanding of weather patterns and closely follow weather forecasts and, particularly, the birth of tropical depressions. Those fortunate enough, and having had the foresight of having Winlink installed, can call on weather text and charts at anytime during the day and night. In addition, the Caribbean has the benefit of having many active and supportive amateur radio marine nets;

3.    Amateur Radio: Many recreational cruisers have gone to the trouble of getting an amateur radio license. While commercial alternatives are available for weather information, position reporting and email, this can be costly. With the lifting of the requirement for learning the now obsolete Morse Code, getting an amateur radio license has never been easier. In the Caribbean there are many opportunities to study for and sit for exams conducted by Volunteer Examiners. It's worth the effort as it will allow cruisers to access Winlink and tune in to the many radio amateur cruisers' nets;

4.    Evasive Actions: While sailboats are inherently slow travelers, it is interesting to note that those boats that took evasive action early enough by, for example, sailing for Trinidad and Venezuela, got out of harms' way safely. Against this type of enemy it's better to run than stand and fight;

5.    Hurricane preparation: You may not ever, or very seldom, be exposed to this extreme type of danger; however, it pays to understand the importance of reducing windage and safe anchoring. It is surprising to see that some boats, often with their owners absent, still had their furling headsails up on the forestay. Anchoring is another important topic but than we have to realize that the force exerted by a hurricane is awesome. Keep in mind also that it is not only your boat that you have to worry about but also what another boat might do to you or what your boat might do to someone else's boat;

6.    Choosing between Life and Property: When escape is no longer an option, if ever it was, first choose to protect your life by finding shelter onshore. Also consider the life of others who may have to come to your rescue if you stay on the boat. You and they cannot be replaced. Boats sometime can be replaced, assuming adequate insurance coverage that will be honored, or there's always the chance to find another boat and fix that up to continue "living the dream";

7.    Knowing your "buddy" boats: The cruising family is extremely friendly and helpful. When we're all in the same proverbial "boat" it pays to maintain close contact with fellow cruisers. Who knows, sooner or later you, you might need each others' help. Make an entry in your log about skippers and crew met and where. Take special note of those in the "graying hair" fleet and those with children;

8.    Vessel identification: As the boat list shows there are many boats with similar or sometimes difficult to pronounce names. That's part of the sailors' tradition; however, for identification purposes and emergency reporting it would be useful if cruisers would more prominently show their unique national documentation or state/province registration numbers on the boats and personal Boat Cards. These numbers could then be matched with filed Position Reports and/or Float Plans. A notable example are the Position Reports filed via Winlink. These are always identified with the amateur radio call sign of the sender providing the opportunity to track down the owner;

9.    Float Plans and Position Reporting: AussieWinlink has long argued for the need, via Winlink or by other means, for the regular filing of Position Reports and Float Plans. The former is well covered by Winlink but the latter is not; however, there are many websites that deal with the subject and provide the opportunity for filing Float Plans. For an example, view the US Coast Guard Auxiliary suggested Float Plan at: It would be ideal if the AirMail program, used by Winlink, had such a special page included for filing Float Plans as it already has for filing Position Reports; and

10.  Email: If not with onboard-email like Winlink or SailMail, when in port go and find an Internet Cafe and let the folks at home know how and where you are. Elderly parents or even "grownup" children will be concerned about your welfare.

Our heartfelt sympathy goes to our fellow cruisers that were adversely affected by the recent unusual weather patterns in the Caribbean. Our deeply felt thanks goes to Bernie (WG3G), and all the many others that participated in reporting the status of yachts in Grenada.

11 September 2004

PS: Additional information about:

BOATS SAFE (list current as of 09/10/04)

The following yachts were in Grenada and left over the weekend and arrived safely in Trinidad on September 5 or 6, 2004:

1.                  Gladys Geoff & Kathleen Humphreys

2.                  Quietly Dalton Williams

3.                  Miss Heidi Rick & Deb

4.                  Lehto Jasp Paul & Amanda

5.                  Dream Bird Gary & Liz Bird

6.                  Promise Lee & Mary Ellison

7.                  Canim Jonathan

8.                  Panacea Ron & Roxann Gebing

9.                  Miami George & Hoota

10.              Carylar Ross & Carol Bregman

11.              Scud Interlude Motor Yacht is safe in Margarita

12.              Lily Maid is in Venezuela

13.              Second Millennium is fine in Tyrell Bay.

Some boats still afloat, other beached or sunk

For contrast and if not already read, go to Media Release 52 below.

Copyright © 2002-2006 AussieWinlink. Material may be quoted with acknowledgement of its source. Last modified: January 01, 2007