Born of the Sea

Preparing for a phased retirement on the sea. Muirgen (Gaelic for 'born of the sea')

15 April 2024 | Marigot Bay, Saint Lucia
08 April 2024 | Saint Lucia National Parks
06 April 2024 | Rodney Bay / Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
31 March 2024 | Sainte Anne, Martinique
13 March 2024 | Iles des Saintes
10 March 2024 | Deshaies, Guadeloupe
03 March 2024 | Monserrat to Guadeloupe
02 March 2024 | Monserrat
29 February 2024 | Nevis
27 February 2024 | St Kitts
24 February 2024
20 February 2024
17 February 2024 | Jolly Harbour, Antigua
09 February 2024
08 February 2024 | Guadeloupe and Iles des Saintes
18 January 2024 | Seaworth's Bluff, Antigua
09 January 2024 | Barbuda

A Storm in the Tropics

09 February 2024
Donna Cariss
Everyone was talking about the heavy rain and potential swell from rare westerly winds and all of the charter boats were back in the marina. There were far fewer boats in Mosquito Cove and Jolly Beach than usual. We had anchored quite close to the beach on Tuesday and I was concerned about running aground if the wind turned west and we turned stern to the beach, especially if the swell got up. I put the instruments on to check the depth and we had between 0 and 0.2m under the keel, plus half a metre extra that we offset, in case anyone else is helming the boat. Pete made tea and said he wasn't concerned. Just after dark, we touched the bottom, very briefly, so we needed to move. The 2 yachts behind us didn't have their anchor lights on, so it was difficult to see where they were but we managed to anchor again without hitting anything, Pete having rejected my suggestion that we move to Derek's dock.
Shortly afterwards, we started to see flashes of sheet lightning, behind Five Islands but there was no wind or rain yet. As we were close to boats with no lights, with impending bad weather, Pete decided to sleep in the cockpit and keep watch. I went to bed and watched the lightning flashing through the hatch. Next came the thunder and then the rain, which was torrential. The wind changed direction and started to increase, so all the boats turned through 180 degrees. We had 30 metres of chain out and it soon became apparent to Pete that the yacht behind us had much less, as our chain extended and we came right alongside. At 0230 hours, he shouted me to put the engine batteries and instruments on, put some clothes on and take the helm. I grabbed a little cagoul to put over my shortie nightdress and out I went into the torrential rain. It was a difficult job at the helm, avoiding the other yachts, whilst Pete raised the anchor. It was now too windy to move to the dock, so we decided to head out to deeper water, beyond the channel, away from other boats. Visibility was terrible, due to the rain and there were more yachts and cats without lights. We could really only see then when the lightning lit up the sky. We anchored with 2.5 metres under the keel, to the north of Reeds Point, where we had some light from the houses up on the hillside. Even then, we spotted another yacht without lights, about 100 metres away from us. The swell was slowly increasing from the northwest and we were rocking from side to side. My clothes and hair were plastered to me and Pete's clothes were the same (obviously not the hair), so we stripped off in the cockpit and dried off under the sprayhood, as best we could. Pete went to bed in the saloon and I sat up top to do anchor watch until dawn. There were no further incidents. Around 0645 hours, we decided to make the move to Derek and Linda's dock but first Pete had to motor the dinghy round in circles at speed to empty out the rainwater, as it was too heavy to tow. When we arrived, we were greeted with offers of a shower and breakfast. That was followed by tea and cake, on the terrace, where we were joined by Helen and Bill, then a glass of wine. Pete and Derek nipped to the Epicurian to buy a take-away lunch, after which we both needed a snooze, before going to the yacht club. The rain continued to come down all day and through Thursday night, eventually stopping around 2am on Friday. On Friday morning, we hung out all of the wet clothes and towels, on the rail, to dry.
It was said that Montego Bay, Jamaica was badly hit by the storm and that the BVIs also suffered and a flight to Antigua had to be diverted to St Kitts.
Comments
Vessel Name: Muirgen
Vessel Make/Model: Westerly Typhoon
Hailing Port: Hull
Crew: Donna and Peter Cariss
Muirgen's Photos - Main
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26 Photos
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Created 26 September 2020
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Created 3 August 2020
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Created 26 July 2020
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Created 18 July 2020
Photos of Muirgen preparations
8 Photos
Created 12 July 2020
39 Photos
Created 11 August 2017
52 Photos
Created 6 August 2017
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Created 6 August 2017
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Created 6 August 2017
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Created 6 August 2017
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Created 21 July 2017
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Created 21 July 2017
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Created 1 July 2017
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Created 23 June 2017
Photos are limited as the weather was dreadful and was mostly a white out. Photos are from the phone as too wet to take the cameras.
10 Photos
Created 19 June 2017
9 Photos
Created 17 June 2017
11 Photos
Created 15 June 2017
17 Photos
Created 15 June 2017
The Beautiful Kvitsoy
5 Photos
Created 5 June 2017
Weekend with Hommersak Divers at Kvitsoy
8 Photos
Created 5 June 2017
13 Photos
Created 30 May 2017
Mad creatures
16 Photos
Created 29 May 2017
Getting to Norway and waiting for Donna to fly out
6 Photos
Created 18 May 2017
12 Photos
Created 6 December 2016
Buying Muirgen
6 Photos
Created 26 November 2016