For a lot of boaters, finding ways to safely secure their boats and ride out hurricanes is an important part of boating culture. There are many methods that boaters can use, including moorings, marinas and docks that are designed to keep boats safe during storms.
A hurricane hole is a protected area that is far inland and has the ability to avoid surge and winds. The best hurricane holes have natural barriers that help break up the wind. They are usually bays or lagoons with shallow water and surrounded on three sides by trees, mountains and other natural barriers that minimize damage from the wind.
The most important feature of a hurricane hole is that it has an inlet that faces the Gulf of Mexico or the north. This will minimize risks from waves and wind since most hurricanes come from the Atlantic.
Some of the most dangerous locations for hurricane holes are areas with strong currents, sandbars or other debris. These can be devastating to any boat, and are not always as safe as a protected harbor or mooring field.
The ideal spot for snorkeling is parallel to rocky points or mangrove-lined shorelines and the best spots are found on the east side of Mardenboro Point in Princess Bay, the west side of Otter Creek and along the northern side of Water Creek (see short video below).
Powerful winds and waves from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 uprooted many mangrove trees, toppled corals and moved rocks. Some reef species survived but the overall environment is very fragile after a big storm.