Captain's Log, Stardate:

2/1/05

Arrived Grenada Marine Post Hurrican Ivan!

Hey!  How are you?  Thought you could use an update. Please do not include a copy of this email in any response.  If you wish to be taken off the list, please click "Reply" and type "Remove" in the subject line.

I last reported we were heading for Puerto Rico where our summer partners were to take over the boat on May 1.  However, personal reasons prevented them from sailing at all last summer so Mary and I had to secure the boat for the hurricane season which runs from June 1 to Nov 30 so that we could fly home for the summer.  Puerto Rico often gets hit by hurricanes so we hesitated to leave it there.  One of the boat yards in PR had special concrete footings which they used as anchors to strap boats down in, but they had no room for us.  So we did the "right thing:"  We sailed day and night for three days to get Escape Cay to Grenada, "out of the hurricane belt."

Wouldn't you know it!   For the first time in 49 years, Grenada received a direct hit from a hurricane.  Ivan struck on September 6 and was Category III at the time!  There was carnage all around us.  Of 200 boats at Spice Island Marine, all but 10 were toppled over with their masts twisted, bent, and enmeshed like so many bent Pick Up Sticks.  At Grenada Marine, where we had hauled out, "only" 31 of 180 boats were toppled including two on our port side which did not fall into us.  The roof had blown off the office which was 10 feet off our starboard side but none of the roofing material hit us.
Here are a few photos from Grenada Marine which "didn't get hit too badly:"
1     http://www.escapecay.com/images/PostIvanGrenadaPhotos/TwoBoatsOverJustBeyondOurHelmSmall.jpg
2     http://www.escapecay.com/images/PostIvanGrenadaPhotos/Adjacent%20office%20has%20no%20roof.jpg
3     http://www.escapecay.com/images/PostIvanGrenadaPhotos/RedRacer30FeetFromEC.jpg (The racing yacht "Extra Dry," a Javelin 75)
4     http://www.escapecay.com/images/PostIvanGrenadaPhotos/BladeFromNeighborsWindGenLayingFoundOnTransomButPlacedOnFlag.jpg
5     http://www.escapecay.com/images/PostIvanGrenadaPhotos/PicOfPicECBowsRedRacerSmall.jpg

Miraculously, we sustained almost no damage at all.  Our kayak was blown into the lifelines so hard it bent a couple stanchions and dented the kayak.  And our TV antenna atop the mast was destroyed but we had never used it anyway.  A neighboring boat's wind generator threw off its blades and one landed on our transom but no accompanying damage was found on Escape Cay except, possibly, one small ding in a saloon window which might have been caused by some other flying debris. Even our sunshades were still intact and the piece of cardboard and duct tape we used to seal the window air conditioner was still in place!  I keep telling Mary, "It must be that clean living."  She thinks not. In fact, it could be said the boat is actually in better shape now than before the hurricane!  Our starboard dagger board has been repaired so it's the same length as the port one. (However, they still don't quite have it installed!  They must have made it a little too big.  They tried to make it fit, it wouldn't, they ground off some, tried again, etc. . . four five straight days with 2-4 men the whole time!  They finally have it fitting and are proceeding to put gel coat, primer, and antifouling back on.  After that, they  will probably start verse two of the same song.)  We've extended the skegs so they now protect both the props AND the rudders.  We have new helm covers. The leach-line pocket in the jib was repaired. Some fittings on the mast were repaired.  The hull-deck joint was re-caulked.  We have a new tramp.  I replaced the rusty anchor chain with STAINLESS STEEL!  I'm about to install his & her ammeters for the wind generators so we can see how much each one is contributing directly. (We had to take the wind generators down so the travel lift could clear them which might also have helped with Ivan.)  Our sail cover has been reworked and we have new reflectorized sun shade inserts for the saloon.  Our tiny window A/C keeps it nice in here while on the hard even when the sun is out and I'm sure our water cooled A/C will do the same in a marina now. We hope to be launched on Monday or Tuesday.  We then will sail to Isla Margarita (just 14 NM off the North Coast of South America) followed by a "TransCarb" (sounds like something fattening) across the Caribbean Sea to Puerto Rico where we will be for a couple of months. Around the 1st of February, we will island-hop down the Leewards, the Windwards and finally back to Grenada by late April.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know that we came through Ivan just fine and will be sticking to the schedule published at www.escapecay.com .  It would be nice if your schedule could synchronize with one of the "holes" in ours and you could come down and join us for a short cruise.

In the meantime, I hope all is well with you and your family,

~~~~_/)Lee~~~~~~~~~~_/)_/)~_/)_/)~~_/)~~~~_/)