When we first sailed to the Caribbean we nobly decided that we would always keep ourselves and our humble vessel out of the hurricane zone. Well that lasted one hurricane season, and after that we endured many many years of stressful hurricane seasons up north in the firing line.... all because well, we had to earn a living. During our 10 years in the Caribbean we were actually VERY lucky, only going through 3 hurricanes, (and not on the scale of Hurricane Matthew) but we also tried to minimize our risk by hauling our boat, and even living onboard in the boat yard the first time. Here is a photo of me hanging laundry in the rubble of the boat yard.
Not exactly the glamorous life of Caribbean sailing you had all imagined is it ! Here is another photo of me showering under the boat.... ok I am only putting this one in because LOOK HOW GOOD I LOOK IN A BIKINI.... sneaky !
Still now as Hurricane Matthew roars through the Bahamas on its steady way to Florida, I feel SICK to my core thinking about all of my many many island friends out there.... with their boats, houses, businesses, cars and most importantly their LOVED ONES, all preparing for the worst. Here is a photo that my friend Alyson Levy posted today of Jacksonville.
There is no WORSE a sky than a hurricane sky. The first time I saw a sky like this, we were house sitting for a friend in St.Maarten with our 1 year old baby girl. Our boat was safe in the yard and we had this amazing view across the sea to St.Barths. We had busted our butts for days preparing everything for the boats, house and business in our charge as Hurricane Frances roared towards us. Exhausted we sat on the deck that evening watching the weird sky. Conditions go so erie when a hurricane is coming. The air is still like the 'calm before the storm'. The birds all disappear to another island, and the clouds circle overhead in the opposite direction to their norm. Here is a photo of the sun setting under the dark clouds of Hurricane Frances.
That was my first experience of a hurricane, and it missed us, passed safely out to sea north of Anguilla. Other times we were not so lucky, but I am always reminded of that sick erie feeling when a hurricane is coming. Many times I have sat up late at night waiting for the NOAA updates and held my breath as Grenada disappeared under Hurricane Ivan or New Orleans under Hurricane Katrina. Sick erie feeling...
Tonight I await updates on Hurricane Matthew - send positive vibes and ONE LOVE to all of my friends in his path and wait to hear from the school in Haiti where our sponsored student Edine attends school, as Haiti has already been hit. Why does Haiti always seem to get hit?
We do have orders ready to ship this week, and the new CORAL sarongs have arrived on Tuesday - but we will not be shipping this week, as we are boarded up and hunkered down as our warehouse is also in the current path. Pray for us too, especially Lauren & her family who have worked so hard these last few days preparing for a major storm.