Riding out big massive WAVES on a mooring: Dancing with Hurricane DORIAN (2019)

In Dominica we’ve been riding out big massive waves on a mooring. We decided to stay for the 2019 hurricane season in middle of the hurricane belt on anchor and found ourselfs dancing with hurricane Dorian. Anchoring during a hurricane is possible and sometimes even smarter than to tie the boat onto solid docks. Better than to stay during a hurricane on anchor might be to tie the boat during the hurricane on mooring. At least if the mooring is heavy enough to resist the power of the storm. Surprisingly the biggest waves have been thrown at us from tropical storm Karen a few weeks after hurricane Dorian. The saison started late and we have still been busy with the last few “Sailing for a Smile” projects in Dominica, when the first signs appeared from one of the strongest storms in the north atlantic history – Hurricane DORIAN. At this time nobody knew yet what would happen later down the road in the Abacos and Grand Bahama Island. We focused on the situation for us in Dominica. At the time when Dorian passed our position, it was rated a tropical storm and it was a whole different story for us than for people further north. We knew, that we would not get more than a category 1 hurricane and decided to ride it out on a strong mooring. All time ready to head out to the sea in case it would get worse, but first give it a shot in port. Dorian was not very big and at this time not even that strong. Still we got some massive waves and huge swell right in the mooring field. We have never experienced something like this before – at least not in an anchorage with moored sailboats.

In a certain constellation, the Prince Ruppert Bay in Dominica can be a safe port – or a deadly trap. All depends, if the Caribbean sea is capable to build up some ground swell out of Southwest or not. The swells from tropical storm Karen, a few weeks later, demonstrated this hazard very impressive. Over all, this is not an advice video but our experience with hurricane Dorian, which was only a tropical strom at this time. Bamba Maru is a very heavy old catamaran and we are pretty sure that it needs at least a major hurricane to flip Bamba Maru upside down. BAMBA MARU doesn’t have a big freeboard and the wind can hardly grab her. With strong anchor and mooring gear, we would ride out most of those storms. This is, how we made it through the tropical storm DORIAN.

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