Tropical Storm Gonzalo
Written by Pieter Jan on Jul 22, 2020 — 2 min read
At: Hog Island mangroves
The incoming storm now has a name: Gonzalo. It sounds a bit like a Mexican drug lord and is slowly creeping up on us. Or is it? Nobody is sure where Gonzalo is going to end up.
We talked to every old salt in the neighborhood and also to every young salt who had been here a while. Some of them had pretty interesting stories. Like Bobbie, who has survived 7 hurricanes on her boat, of which two category 5 ones. One of those carried her and her boat right onto the beach. She spent weeks in the hotel on the same beach — converted into emergency housing — with 6 people in one room. Creates a bond.
John and Anne survived another category 5 hurricane on St. Maarten. John said: “I promised my boat I would never let her go through that again. We were so lucky, so lucky.” What he promised Anne, he didn’t tell.
Tom advised us to put the boat in the mangroves, just to be sure. With a small storm like Gonzalo, you never know how it’s going to turn out. They can suddenly increase dramatically to hurricane strength or they can fizzle out as quickly. Because there are a lot less flights these days, the weather models don’t get the input they need. All the models predict a different path, some predicting it will go north of Grenada (good), some south (bad), some straight over Grenada (worst). Wind speed predictions ranged from 0 to 90+ knots. For reference: 64 knots is 12 Beaufort — hurricane level wind speeds.
So we put our home and all of our belongings in it in the mangroves, where the trees will both protect her from high winds and keep her in place with a spiderweb of lines. We deployed the spare anchor too. The storm is supposed to hit on Saturday. We have plenty of time to enjoy the mangrove mosquitos.