The National Hurricane Center (NHC) at 1PM issued the following information for the Tropical Wave now at the southern end of the Lesser Antilles.
A 1007 mb low pressure center is analyzed along the wave near the southern Windward Islands at 11.5N 61.7W…there is a medium chance of tropical cyclone development over the next 48 hours and a high chance through 5 days.
The day saw strong winds from Grenada to St. Lucia while heavy rains fell from Grenada to South America. Parts of Trinidad had torrential rain and flash floods have occurred. Here in the boat yard in Chaguaramas, rain has stopped all outside work. Stephen and crew have a few more details to work on the deck and hull but they should be completed by the weekend. Then next week the bottom anti-foul painting will be done and we will be ready to splash the following week. The engine runs and we are just awaiting a new fuel lift pump from the States (being brought down by our cruising friend Rob) next week to button it up. The engine has been extensively worked on – new injector sleeves, injector servicing, injection pump rebuilt, new lift pump – so It should run “like a new 40 year old”.
The rain today gave us the opportunity to go through lockers that accumulate “stuff” that needs to be reviewed every once in a while. Small dumb bell weights that only adds weight to the boat will go. TV coax cable used for cable TV will go. The old chart plotter, and keyboard amp may be on the chopping block. Large paper charts from Maine to Trinidad and dozens of burgees have been deep stored. Maybe someday they will be museum pieces. Maureen has been re-stocking the galley in anticipation of cruising again. Five-year old emergency water? Dump it!
The new sails arrived in Trinidad Customs so they will be available soon. Dinghy chaps are fabricated and fitted, the sun awning for the mizen is being sewn and so we find ourselves on the final stages of cruise preparations. It is as if Kalunamoo goes into a cocoon and then through a gestation period to venture forth into the azure Caribbean seas. Like a butterfly if you like. Again.
The current weather can also be called a gestation period for a tropical depression, then a tropical storm and then a hurricane. Although I have a hard time envisioning a tropical depression. How can you be depressed in such a “paradise”? In any event, perhaps in a few days when this wave moves hundreds of miles west it may be named and officially be born to run wild over the horizon.
The NHC predicted (guesstimated?) that 14-21 named storms would form in the Atlantic this season. Well, we do have a good month of the season to go, and storms can form through late November but, there has only been 9 so far. Only one tropical storm (not a hurricane) affected the Lesser Antilles so far this year (the average is about 2 per year). Of course, the location of any particular storm is very important. Puerto Rico and Florida can attest to that. I don’t lessen the destructiveness or consequences of any storm that may pass wherever they are. Are they getting stronger? Linger longer? More disruptive? Individually, it’s impossible to say. Collectively, time will tell. Although I think it can be safely said that the more people and developments there are, the more “targets” there are for major disruptions.
This tropical wave will move on, as all waves do. Gestations of all sorts will continue as nothing springs fully formed in the ether of life on earth. Be it storms at sea, preparations to cruise, anticipating floods or sending armies off to war, it is the mark of wisdom to take note of these gestations and act accordingly.