ON STREET AND HURRICANES
There is no other yachtsman or yachting author that can match Don Street’s experience with hurricanes ashore and afloat, gained over the last 78 years, or his knowledge of Hurricane tracks as they approach the Caribbean gained since 1984 when he obtained from NOAA Tropical Cyclones in the North Atlantic 1871 to 1980. From 84 on he regularly obtained loose page up dates until 2017 when he obtained the new NOAA book 1851 to 2008 with up dates thru 2017.
All this is backed up with 58 years cruising , chartering ,exploring, charting , racing and writing about the Eastern Caribbean. Obviously his advise should be seriously considered and followed if possible.
Don Street’s first experience with hurricanes was the 1938 hurricane that cleaned out the yachting fleet of Manhasset Bay(where street grew up and learned to sail) by putting ashore or sinking 400 boats. Further east in the New London Newport area, it killed 485 people and caused in modern dollars 1.4 billion in losses. It is still one of the most destructive and expensive hurricane of all times. Then the 44 hurricane , which NOAA refers to as “the great storm” hurricane force winds in a 600 mile circle sinking a US navy destroyer, a light ship and two coast guard cutters. It severely damaged but did not clean out the Manhasst Bay yachting fleet. Snipe number 3 owned by Don Street and his three older sisters survived, but damaged. Street at age 14 filed his firm marine insurance claim as a result of hurricane damage .
In the light of the above, the contention that hurricanes are becoming more destructive is dubious.
Then while skippering the 53’ Abeking and Rassmussen yawl Ondine, he went thru two hurricanes, one in City island, the other in Duck Harbor Llyods neck. In 60 , while delivering Abenaki, a 55’ alden schooner south, he took refuge in the ICWC secured along side a timber barge. All night the hurricane blew logs off the barge that landed on Abenaki deck. In 61 Iolaire survived hurricane Gerda on two heavy moorings, off City Island YC. In 66, delivering Caryl, a fife 8 meter from Charleston to St Thomas they were caught by the edge of early June hurricane Alma . Caryl spent four days beating to windward under double reefed main and small headsail.
From 66 to 84, Street and Iolaire were lucky, not involved in any hurricanes . but in 84 Iolaire was caught on the north side of St Martin’s by the late season wrong way hurricane Klaus. Iolaire survived, using six of her seven anchors, how he did it is a story in itself. As a result of being caught by a late wrong way hurricane Street obtained the NOAA hurricane book that shows the track of all hurricanes 1871 to 1980 with up dates that Street regularly obtains and regularly studies almost every year. He has developed a tremendous knowledge of track of hurricanes as they approach the Caribbean and what they do once they hit the islands.
As a result of Hugo, he wrote in all four of his guides Reflections on Hugo 1989. This was followed thru the next five years by fifteen articles in Caribbean Compass, and various yachting magazines on wind forces, pressure per sq ft goes up with the SQUARE of the velocity, hurricane tracks south of 19 n are easily plotted, go south get out of the path of the hurricane, advise on correct storage ashore, plenty of stands, well tied together , boats tied down to dead men. Street has continually pointing out that there are NO hurricane holes in the eastern Caribbean
However the present generation of sailors were not in the Caribbean in the early 90’s nor were the managers of the yacht storage facilities. The result in 2017 massive destruction of yachts stored ashore, two exceptions, Marina Puerto del rey and Bobby’s yacht storage St Martin. In both cases boats were properly stored with mast out. Result minimal damage.
In marinas the only one that came out well was Marina Puerto Del Rey, 552 boats only 2% sunk, 4% major damage, other marinas varied from major damage to disasters.
Roughly 200 boats fled to the so called hurricane holes of Coral Bay St John, Inner Benner Bay St Thomas and Ensenada Honda Culebra Almost all sank or were very badly damaged. (more…)