Sunday, November 12, 2017

Post Irma Virgin Islands

We arrived in the Virgin Islands 7 weeks after Hurricane Irma and 6 weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the Virgin Islands. The British Virgin Islands took the eye of Irma with 185 mph sustained winds and gusts of 220 to 240 mph, and a surge of around 13’! Maria was not insignificant as people whose boats were blown ashore with Irma were literally blown back into the water by Maria. The boat yards were devastated! The hurricane chain in the Paraquita Bay failed and virtually all the boats, several hundred, were destroyed or heavily damaged. Although we didn’t see it, we were told the hurricane chain in St John also failed and most of the boats sheltering in Hurricane Hole were destroyed. An amateur weatherman there recorded long wind gusts of 275 mph.
The Steele point at Sopers hole the
houses faired pretty well
The ferry house and customs is gone
Customs is now the open tent

 The predominate damage to houses were the loss of roofs, although many houses were completely blown out or down. Sopers Hole was hard hit.

Pussars is gone
The Voyager yard is up and running

Customs is operating out of an open sided tent, Pussars is gone as are many other buildings on that side. They were clearing a pile of wreckage that were one time boats.

The middle is wreckage that was once
boats being removed by a backhoe
The Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour
is devastated

Throughout the islands the people were upbeat, friendly, helpful and anxious to run their business and take care of visitors. A picture is worth a thousand words so here are the islands.
Fichers is heavily damaged
All the boats in the yard were over

The islands are not destroyed, but are ready to take in visitors, renew their businesses, and start making some money to continue the repairs. Remember, the islands are green, the sky clear and blue, and the water is clear and warm. They are rebuilding quickly and as I write this I am sure many more businesses are open.
The Rock Café lost its roof
The Rock Church was heavily
damaged, but we had service Sunday

Marina Cay was badly damaged,
Pussars is gone, but they are starting
to rebuild and will be open 1 Dec
In Cane Garden Bay Quito's continues
to build the new hotel and also repair
the beach bar

All the beach at Cane Garden is damaged

Myett's was closed, but will open soon.
The store in the back was open and
undamaged, even the glass windows

Rhymers is already rebuilding and
is open. We had drinks and food, and
they said rooms were ready to rent
Rhymers is already building a new
bigger porch and deck

At Jost Van Dyke Foxys is up and
running, even the shirt shop is open
Foxys was heavily damaged

Foxys is putting all back together

Corsairs is gutted

The Church at Great Harbour is
gutted, but they are working on it
No one was exempt from Irma's fury

At White Bay Ivans is destroyed
Hendo's survived and the Soggy Dollar
rebuild is well underway

Gertrudes was wiped out, but people
have already rebuilt her house and
the beach Bar is next. Gertrude was
one of the only people on Jost Van Dyke
seriously hurt and was evacuated
One Love had drinks and is rebuilding

Residents are living in tents

We had drinks at Foxy's and
Al Baba's who is working hard
to rebuild
Foxy had his costume Halloween
Party. He even provided costumes!

The party was small but went on a while
Leslie was in the middle of it

Entering the US we were greeted by
a pod of porpoises!
In St Thomas Enki was wiped out
and Culebra I was sunk

A big crane was there to lift a dry dock
from the Crown Bay Cruise Ship dock.
FEMA and others were housed in this
cruise ship at Crown Bay

Vendors park is running, but is waiting
for visitors

Fresh Bistro is up and running

Havensight is open for business
The public housing survived well even
the solar hot water heaters made it!

Roofs were a major causality so the
blue roofs appear everywhere
Utility workers were everywhere getting
power restored

Redhook didn't escape damge

I was shocked the newly planted trees
made it!

Water Island Honeymoon beach got
hit hard
Heidi's is up and running. She still
serves great burgers!

The Virgin Islands await you. The air and water are clear and warm and the beer cold!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Demise of our Home Frolic

We finally got permission to go into the BVI and we contacted our friends Loren and Jo on Ragamuffin. They graciously agreed to take us aboard for a week and take us to Virgin Gorda to check out our boat.

Our first look at Frolic did not look good

We motored up against 20 Kts. of wind to Virgin Gorda and anchored inside the reef. Since it was late, our first foray to the boat yard was just to take pictures.
The star sugar scoop is torn away from
the hull and the hull broken
The port rudder is twisted and bent

The dinghy is wrecked and bottom
of hull at sugar scoop torn up
Frolic is dismasted and the mast broke

The port keel is bent and crushed and
torn open
The starboard keel is driven 2' into
the ground

All mast top devices are gone
Starboard chain plate is distorted

The solar cells and all aft lifelines are
gone and davit is twisted
cockpit table and debris block the door

The wheel didn't escape destruction
even the starboard jib sheet winch was
destroyed. we found all the pieces, but
not the winch drum

The hardtop and solar panel are gone
and the frame destroyed
More debris to get in

Inside was a mess
stuff was everywhere

The port hull is deformed and aft cabin
door ripped off
Port fuel tank is driven into the aft cabin

Port bilge should be 3' down not  against
the floor boards
Starboard bilge is full of water and
floor boards floating

water in starboard aft cabin went over
the high pressure water pump for water
wind around the door turned 2
circuit breakers on

starboard grill support driven through

both engine hatches were torn off
and engine compartment ripped apart

Carl puts tarp over engine compartment
tarps on sugar scoop and deck holes
taped up

The next day we worked to mitigate any further damage. I drilled a hole in the starboard keel to drain out the water and prevent further water accumulation. We cleaned debris off the boat and cleaned off mud and dirt before taping up all the holes on the deck and putting blue tarps over the sugar scoops to keep any more water out of the engine compartments.

Ragamuffin then took us back to St. Thomas via Marina Cay, Cane Garden Bay, and Jost Van Dyke. We are now making a blog of pictures of the Virgin Islands, but as we speak more places are opening up, and more places are being repaired. The charter companies are saying they will be in full operation by 1 Dec. and many other spots are shooting for the same date.

Now we await the insurance adjuster to declare her a total loss. Then it will be back one more time to remove all our personal items, and then move on.