When storms come, it may be far too late to do what you need to do. Although some things, such as adding extra lines, can often be done within a few hours of the expected blow, other things should be done well in advance. Many of these are important not only to survive a particular storm but also for your overall boating safety.
Here I’ll discuss some of the steps you should take for basic readiness.
Every year, cruising websites fill with “breaking news” and panicked reports about boats running aground as they head south on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Tips are posted on how to get through these treacherous areas, and a week or so later there are often new tips that say the previous ones are no longer valid.
Writing about all of the intelligent things you’ve done seems to be in vogue in boating magazines and books these days. I may have even been guilty of this from time to time. But I’m here today to set the record straight — or straighter.
Here are three mistakes I’ve made that have taught me there are lessons to be learned out there, even if I haven’t learned them.
There is a place on Earth where no one can help you. It is an alien place of destructive, killing powers that have always and will always be capable of totally overcoming any and everything mankind can do to survive. It is the sea. And it covers most of the Earth.
We lay anchored in the evening, to the east of Gun Cay in the Bimini chain of the Bahamas. The warm, humid spring air sent mixed signals about whether the next day would be the good Gulf Stream crossing day we expected. We’d hastened across the Great Bahamas Banks to make this weather window. You don’t mess with the Gulf Stream where it powers between the Banks and the East Coast, and we were being cautious.
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