When hurricane season begins, many yachts owners begin to wonder where they should go. The Caribbean is a popular cruising ground, but it also has a high risk of tropical storms and hurricanes during the summer months.
It is possible to cruise during hurricane season, but it requires some planning and common sense. Fortunately, there are many safer destinations for sailing during the summer.
As the Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1st each year, you should be prepared to monitor weather conditions before and during the season. Using modern technology, you can receive warnings and forecasts of hurricane activity as they develop.
If you plan to sail during hurricane season, you must choose a destination that is not too far north of the storm track. The farther north you go, the greater your chances of being caught in a hurricane.
During hurricanes, the wind shifts more than 180 degrees, which makes it difficult for anchors to hold a boat. Sails are especially susceptible to this shifting wind, and can become blown loose or unfurl and start flapping.
You may want to consider anchoring in a protected river area, such as the Intracoastal Waterway, during an active hurricane. This will give you some protection from storm surge and flooding, as well as provide a safe haven in case your vessel is swept away by the high tide or is lost.
Before hurricane season begins, make sure you have a plan for your household members, a 3 day supply of food and water, and emergency supplies such as first aid kits and flashlights. Having these items on hand will help you get through the stressful situation and stay calm during the crisis.