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Old 03-13-2010, 07:53 PM   #1
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Ever wonder what it is like for boats in a marina during a hurricane?

This video was filmed by forum member "Delezynski" at the Marina de La Paz during Hurricane Marty. This is one of many of their videos being made while they are out cruising.

SCARY STUFF!

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Old 03-13-2010, 08:19 PM   #2
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Gee thanks for that Lighthouse! We have one on the way - due here around the middle of the week

There did not seem to be any rock breakwater around that marina and I was interested to see how short the pontoon pillars were. In 1995 here in Cairns the main marina got trashed when the pontoons floated up and over the pillars and we had a harbour full of drifting pontoons with dozens of hapless vessels still attached. As a result, all pillars have been doubled in height but they still evacuate the main marina and send vessels up into the mangrove creeks of the inlet. We are at Yorkies Knob and there is a high rock retaining wall right around the small marina but although they tell us it's cyclone proof - we all have our doubts. I'll let everyone know next week if we end up on the golf course behind us! FOUR!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:30 PM   #3
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Prepare well and hold tight Mico - we'll all be thinking of you.
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:53 PM   #4
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Hi Lighthouse,

I am happy to report that I did not film that “Hurricane Marty” video at Marina de La Paz. I did put together the video from about 4 hours of raw footage provided to me. I was helping with a a “Summer In the Sea” seminar held during Bay Fest there in La Paz.

I DID take the video of the Hurricane John at the same (improved) marina. MUCH better. During Hurricane John, the eye went directly over us! We looked up about 2 AM to see stars just before the other side of the eye wall hit us. It was a VERY interesting experience. I posted both videos to show the difference between a well prepared, BOTH boats and marina, area.

I also videoed 2 other hurricanes that we rode out at anchor. They were both a near mis. One we were at anchor AND mooring in Puerto Escondido, and one on our anchor in Purto Don Juan. The video for those hurricanes are a bit longer with more detail and are in our “Summer in the Sea” and “Middle Sea” DVDs.

Greg

The BIGGEST suggestion we have, TAKE DOWN ALL ( EVERY BIT) of ALL sails, even on other boats!
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Old 03-14-2010, 03:05 AM   #5
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Greg, that was so scary! What terrible damage. From what I've seen, all too often the damage to boats in marinas is generally worse than damage to boats that chose to anchor out the storm.

And I heartily agree, take everything off the deck, the masts, everything.

We were lucky, the first hurricane we got caught in, and were forced to stay at the dock, was a Category 1. We came through fine but realized that we never wanted to go through that worry again. Then we saw the terrible damage to boats in a marina in Florida. So by the time we found ourselves facing a real hurricane, we had a fairly good idea of what to do. Frankly, I'd prefer not to be where hurricanes/cyclones are rather than survive one, by luck or experience.
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Old 03-14-2010, 04:38 AM   #6
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JeanneP,

We agree about being in a marina.

Marina de La Paz had suffered that first hurricane and knew how to prep for John. We were there and lucky enough to have a bit of inside info from the people who had been there for Marty. The marina had all the large boats move out. It is normally a one finger per boat marina, but for the hurricane, they gave all of us that stayed 2 slips. We tied Guenevere in the middle. She was way away from all fingers. We were also in the second slip out, much more sturdy than way out on the docks. The slip we were in did not suffer any damage, even in the first (Marty) hurricane. Before it hit, the marina people made sure every bit of “stuff” was off of ALL boats! That evening, the staff came to each boat that had people aboard and invited us up to the brick building. They had sandwiches, coffee and soda for us.

The other marinas were NOT as well cared for by the staff. One marina, that was talked about as “the safe one” was and is on our do not go list. They have the type of gate that needs a credit type card to get through the gate, both in and out. About 8 PM, we heard many frantic calls on VHF for help. The power had gone out and people were trapped on the dock and ALL the workers had gone home. Not one employee was there to help. It took some time to get some one with an override key to let the people out!

We did feel safer on our own hook. We also felt safe on the mooring, I dove it and made sure the chain was secure, and it was designated for a 100 ft. boat, (we are 27 foot). But we did keep our anchors at the ready.

In the Sea of Cortez, we normally head as far north as we can (BLA). It's not totally safe, but we do not normally have a bad one. And Don Juan is a nice hurricane hole.

Greg
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:49 PM   #7
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What a difference a marina makes? Management sets the tone for the staff, and good staff is a godsend. Your slip strategy is what I've seen elsewhere - the boat tied in the middle of the double slip with a web of lines keeping it securely in the middle. Did you stay on the boat during the hurricane?

We saw the damage to the marina in Cairns in '95. Scary to imagine the height of the water. For us, sea surge is the biggest fear when in an enclosed place like that.

Thanks again for providing that video. Those pictures are worth more than the pages of words we all could write about it.

J
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Old 03-14-2010, 03:40 PM   #8
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Gina and I can attest. Riding out Hurricane Fredrick in Mobile Bay in 1979 on my small boat Desperado, was pretty scary...it was the first time for me...and Gina and I riding out both Jeanne and Francis in the Tampa area back in 2004, none of the storms were necessarily fun. For Francis we were out in the closest hurricane hole in the Tarpon area....Francis we rode out at the Marina. Spent most of the time within the marina helping to secure other people's boats....too many of them. It is funny how people mistakenly think that just tying their sails down with sail ties will do the trick....most unfurled...there were so many we could do nothing about....but watch the unfurled sails take the boats on rides, into other boats, into docks, up on the beach. The damage was pretty substantial.... Friends and dockmates walked the docks doing what we could during the storm...but in many cases there was little we could do.

In Francis, we were just fine with bahamian rigged anchor systems, and the occasional engine boost to minimize the higher gusts...got awfully wet though even in our storm gear....hard to make coffee though...and we needed it to stay warm. Fortunately there were plenty of imbibments to help with warmth, although gettign toasty was not in order. Our boat, Didjeridu, handled both storm(s) quite well. During Jeanne at the marina, as long as you are on her and able to get out, adjust the lines and things to help take the strain off, you should be fine. Used lots of fenders...... This marina looked awfully exposed to the elements....ours was far more protective, though the surge and gusts were serious. The best recommendation is to stay aboard if you can, use plenty of chafing gear and be there to do what you can to help...and MAKE SURE YOU MINIMIZE ANY AND ALL WINDAGE YOU CAN. All sails must be removed....all canvas, bimini, dodgers, everything must come off and be stowed... I was on deck most of the time....

Perhaps we got lucky since we did not take a direct hit during Jeanne but the storm did its damage....as there was no eye to give you a break from the storm. Be safe and be aware....I was more fearful of flying debris than the storm itself, or of other boats that may run you down....
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:58 PM   #9
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Perhaps we got lucky since we did not take a direct hit during Jeanne but the storm did its damage....

While this cyclone in still out in the Coral Sea everyone is at least doing the mental checklist in preparation. i.e:

Do I remove the dodger and bimini?

Do I remove the blades off the airex rather than just tie them down.

Do I remove the main, yankie and headsail off their self furlers and tracks even though we have them well tied

Do I take the washing off the line?
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mico View Post
Perhaps we got lucky since we did not take a direct hit during Jeanne but the storm did its damage....

While this cyclone in still out in the Coral Sea everyone is at least doing the mental checklist in preparation. i.e:

Do I remove the dodger and bimini?

Do I remove the blades off the airex rather than just tie them down.

Do I remove the main, yankie and headsail off their self furlers and tracks even though we have them well tied

Do I take the washing off the line?
I would leave the laundry line...but do remove the undies and other naughties! Hate to have them end up on another boat of people you are not quite familiar with.....yet....!
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:44 AM   #11
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Cyclones and Typhoons are a common event in the Pacific and Indian oceans - with marinas being built as we write. However, many of the newer ones have very little protection from the open ocean. And as mentioned in the above posts the biggest danger is when the storm coincides with high tides resulting in extraordinary surges, resulting in marina pontoons rising above the height of the pilings, carrying the berthed boats to damage and destruction.

Here is an photo of a recently built marina on the north coast of Borneo :

[attachment=3067:Miri_Marina.jpg

Here is a photo taken by Danial Kramer, showing what happened during Hurricane Ike's devastation:-

hurricane_ike_slams_into_baytown.2539114.87.jpg
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File Type: jpg Miri_Marina.jpg (56.9 KB, 85 views)
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Old 03-15-2010, 02:53 AM   #12
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The above post shows a photo taken by Daniel Kramer following Hurricane Ike's landing in Galveston and Houston. (For some reason the text applicable to this 2nd photo could not be loaded)
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:15 AM   #13
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Much of the damage at Marina de La Paz during Marty was due to boats from another marina blowing down on the marina. Since then, the marina has put up new sea walls and extra pilings along one side (we referred to them as boat shredders).

During John, we were on the boat up to almost the last min. Then we went up to the brick building.

When we rode them out at anchor, we used our masks and snorkels when in the cockpit. Simple foul weather gear was NOT enough.

Greg
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:16 AM   #14
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You have to admit it was orderly.
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