Preparing for Our First Hurricane (Hurricane Matthew) in Georgetown, Bahamas

(This is crossposted to our Facebook page, where we update more often, as well)


Screenshot from Mike’s Weather Page

Hey, monkeys and Monkey fans. Patrick here. We’re getting a lot of questions, so I thought I’d post a quick Hurricane Matthew update.

The storm is still tracking towards us, with our current location being directly in the path of the eye. This is a change from yesterday when the forecasters were predicting it would swing East of us. At the the moment they’re saying a direct hit around 2PM on Wednesday with sustained winds of 100 knots (115 MPH).

We have secured a hurricane strength mooring inside a hurricane hole that we’re moving to tomorrow, and will spend the next two days stripping the boat of sails, stowing and lashing everything else.

If the storm maintains it’s current track we’ll be leaving the boat and going to a resort nearby (St Francis Resort) where other cruisers will be congregating.

Several people have asked where we’re getting our weather updates, so I thought I’d provide a list of places I’m watching. My first choice is Spaghetti Models, which aggregates information from multiple forecasting venues. Tons of info there. I also cross check with the National Hurricane Center.


Screenshot from Mike’s Weather Page

For wind and sea state information my preferred site is Passage Weather, which publishes pretty comprehensive GRIB files and sea state charts. I also cross reference these predications at Windfinder.

For a more graphical interface I really like WindyTy.

I don’t normally check all of them, but in situations like this one we need all the info we can get. Wish us well!


Hurricane hole Georgetown Bahamas

T-minus 18 hours to Hurricane Matthew in George Town. We’re still directly in the path of the eye and the likelihood of it missing us one way or the other dwindles every hour as it bears down on us.

The boat is as settled as it is going to be. I have two solar panels to remove and the blades to come off the wind generator, then all will be as set as we can make it without removing the masts.

The wind is starting to pick up already, but we’re still not going to see anything above 30 knots until mid morning tomorrow. We’ll be staying aboard tonight, then head for shelter in the morning.

All our go bags are packed or already in the shelter. Every device is charged and the emergency crank charger is packed. The DeLorme satellite communicator is fully charged and I tested it today. We have several gallons of fresh water (plus a lot more in the shelter) and enough food for several days already stowed on land.

We experienced an interesting phenomenon today in that there was no low tide. The water rose this morning to high tide and it has stayed there all day as the storm drives the ocean in front of it. The next high tide late this evening will likely herald the beginning of the storm surge.

There is a gentleman here from Haiti who heard from his wife this morning. She says that devastation is the best word to describe conditions there today, and if anything Hurricane Matthew is forecast to strengthen before arriving here.

I’ve done all I can do. At this point Neptune gets to decide the fate of our home. By Thursday afternoon we will know whether we have a home to return to or not, though I doubt we will have any communications here other than the DeLorme. I am able to send brief text messages to Byn on land, and she will be able to post updates to this page.

Wish us well, please.


Hurricane Matthew Georgetown Bahamas

T-minus 6 hours or so to Hurricane Matthew in George Town.

The first of the rain bands just came through, and more water poured out of the sky in 20 minutes than seems remotely possible. I know that there is a lot more to come. We’re expecting something on the order of three FEET of rain in the next 24 hours.

The wind is picking up considerably, and it feels positively pregnant with power. It has the same feeling of relentless inevitability that I always felt when my wife went into labor. This is happening, and it’s happening now whether you like it or not. There’s nothing you can do but ride it to the inevitable end.

Everything important is packed, and the humans and pets are as ready as we can be. Our ride to the shelter comes in an hour and a half.

If we have a home in 24 hours, then all the preparation will have paid dividends. Let’s hope Neptune is feeling merciful this day.

See my other posts on Hurricane Matthew:

Preparing for our First Hurricane

Hurricane Matthew: Waiting for the Eye of the Storm

Watching from Afar as my Family Preps for a Hurricane (Byn’s perspective from the US)

Weathering Our First Real Storm

Broken Dreams and Happy Endings: The Aftermath of a Hurricane in Georgetown, Bahamas

Hurricane Matthew Salvage Report