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Curious if anyone has heard from JK Boston

Bob S

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Sep 27, 2007
1,579
Beneteau 393 New Bedford, MA
I know Jesse and Stacey were in and around St John's but I haven't really been following him. Has anyone heard from him? I just hope he made it far enough south to get somewhat out of the path of Irma.
 
Dec 16, 2011
204
Catalina 310 Atlantic Highlands
As of approximately 1300 east coast time, Jesse reported from Puerto Rico that S/V Smitty and crew are safe, and they moved back to the boat from the hotel. The marina and the surrounding area doesn't have power. They have food for 6 months, plenty of water and the ability to desalinate more, fuel, etc and other supplies. Their plan is to stay in Palmas del Mar, PR for about another week and then make their way back to STT with as many supplies as they can carry to help our friends in what ever way they can.
 

Bob S

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Sep 27, 2007
1,579
Beneteau 393 New Bedford, MA
Thanks Curt, glad they made it through this one OK
 
Feb 20, 2011
7,456
Island Packet 35 Tucson, AZ/San Carlos, MX
Sounds like Puerto Rico weathered the storm fairly well from a glancing blow.
 
Nov 18, 2010
2,407
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
Hey guys,

We made it through. Curt saw my update on our FB page. We were watching this one for a while. We use Mike's Weather Page to monitor the tropics this time of year. I am also a big fan of the EURO models. It's been the most accurate for the last few years. EURO showed the war goddess as a monster and coming right at us for over a week before it hit. We prepped the boat, provisioned up and look at our options on where to run. The options were Culebra to the mangroves in Ensenada Honda, Vieques for more mangroves, Salinas for, you guessed it, mangroves, Nanny Cay in BVI, the hurricane holes in STJ or BVI, St. Croix or Palmas del Mar to a yacht club with a massive breakwater. We ended up picking the yacht club in Palmas del Mar. It's tucked into the mountains with good coverage from every direction but the east. With the storm forecasted to hit the north side of PR, this area should see winds clocking north, west to south. That would put 3,000 foot high mountains between us and the worse winds.

So we set sail from STT and arrived Sunday with the storm expected to hit Wednesday afternoon. We faced our bow southwest, towards the forecasted heaviest winds. Stripped almost everything, lashed the mainsail and spiderwebbed Smitty into the slip using the 12 foot high piers for multiple lines to various attachment points. We had over 20 lines out covering all directions of expected wind.

We did get a hotel and spent the bulk of the storm in the room. Although I did walk down to the boat several times to check on the boat (the hotel was bout a half mile away).

Smitty and crew are fine. We didn't get a scratch. We did only see about 50 kts of wind at the strongest gusts.

This now makes 6 hurricanes, 4 nor'easters and two blizzards we have gone through with Smitty. The worst winds we have seen during any was 75 knot gusts during a suprise nor'easter in October of 2014. I think picking the location to ride out the storm is the most important part of the prep.

Here are some post storm pics of the hurricane hole in BVI (almost the entire moorings and Sunsails fleets appear to be gone), Nanny Cay on Tortola (no word if any boats survived), our favorite sushi restaurant (we had drinks and dinner here Friday night to discuss options with other boaters, our home mooring is literally 300 yards from this place) and some pics of Smitty prepped.

We are hopeful heading back to STT next week. On top of everything it appears I have bad fuel (growth) and we're going through filters every 2 hours while making our way here. So I have to get some supplies and build a fuel polishing system. My bride's job is mostly based on rental properties in Jost Van Dyke and early reports are that the entire island was wiped out. My work boat for this coming season is a 56 foot catamaran that was secured in some mangroves, I don't know how she is and the reports coming out of that area are not good.

I will report back some more once we get back to STT.

Thanks to those that kept us in your thoughts.
 

Attachments

pk104

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Jun 30, 2009
199
Catalina 310 Atwood Lake
Jesse so glad you and your wife are safe and your home has survived. When we were younger we sailed all the BVIs and Leewards. It's hard to see the devestation of so many places that we visited and loved. We are concerned for all the people who befriended us and live on those islands. The people that live on an island have no where to go. At least in the states we have a chance to run. How scary it must be for them and sailors like you to have few options.
 
Oct 3, 2011
730
Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155 155 Lake Erie/Catawba Island
Jesse, Thanks for the updates our thoughts and prayers have been with you and everyone there, Glad you and Stacy and Summer are doing well.
We also have been following you somewhat on FB.
Keep your heads down! Thanks for thinking of others!
 
Dec 16, 2011
204
Catalina 310 Atlantic Highlands
I heard via Facebook the following from Jesse on Tuesday: We are fine - Hurricane Maria was a direct hit to where we are in Palmas Del Mar, Puerto Rico. Smitty and Sea Frog are fine. no communications (we just drove a long distance to get service) long gas lines (literally days long). plenty of food and water. Kendra Matthews. Jesse K On Smitty love to all!
 
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KZW

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May 17, 2014
711
Catalina 310 #307 Bluewater Bay, FL
Good to know. I was worried about him. I know people on St Croix and things are bad there. No power, no water, no food.
 
Nov 18, 2010
2,407
Catalina 310 Hingham, MA
Hey guys,

Thanks for thinking of us again. Yup we got the northeast eye wall of Maria. There was simply not time to run some place safe for this one. We only had about 4-5 days and really the safest place to run was Bonaire or Aruba or that general area, all of which is about a 350 nm run. Sunday would have been our last chance to run but the models were in such disagreement that we didn't and missed the opportunity. We looked at running a shorter distance but couldn't find a spot we liked better.

So we prepared again and this time went a little overkill. We stripped everything but the mainsail, which we lashed to the boom. For Irma we left the dodger up for some rain protection while we worked. I wasn't comfortable with the amount of lines we had so I ended up sacrificing one of my anchor rodes to make more dock lines (we are more prepared to be in mangroves then docks and carry 5 anchors with rodes). At some point I will do a full post on how we prepared but we had 30 lines holding us in. We ran out of places to tie lines or I would have had more.

We got the northeast section of the eye wall. The local wind instruments recorded winds at 170 knots before they broke. The biggest issue with this storm was the surge. It was insane. One friend in STT had waves breaking over his roof that was 70 feet above the water. Buoys in the are recorded waves over 30 feet. From what we could tell based on the storm surge had the docks we were tied to 8-10 feet under water (based on high water mark on the marina buildings). The condo we were staying in lost its roof but the storm shutters held. I honestly thought we lost our boat.

The worst part of the storm had passed at about noon. It was still blowing about 50-60 knots with gusts to 100 knots. We walked down to the boats expecting the worst. But Smitty was still floating. We had lost 9 lines, but that had included 6 of 8 stern lines. The double braided dock lines literally exploded in the middle, no chafe, they just exploded. We scavenged some more line and re-secured Smitty to wait out the rest of the storm.

In the end there were 40 boats in the marina. Of those 37 had damage including 6 sunken boats and 6 dismasting. In the private slips outside of the marina the damage was just as bad if not worse.

We were very lucky with Maria and really hope this is our last storm of the season. We lost our refrigeration due to the vents on the stern, we didn't tape over them and the spray/surge was enough to soak the control module. It also filled the blower hose full of water and pushed enough water into the bilge to put 4 inches of water below the engine. I scavenged a module from another boat but the circuit board with the LED for diagnostics was also fried. I was able to use the wiring diagram in the manual and recreate a working version of that circuit board with wires and a terminal strip. So we have refrigeration again but lost diagnostic ability until I can get real replacement parts. It also seems to be drawing a little more power but it's hard to say because our battery monitor is acting up. We think there was some lightning with the storm but we couldn't hear the thunder over the wind. Our Windex and Raymarine wind instrument are gone. Somehow our mast head mounted TV antenna stayed but was bent.

Puerto Rico is in a bad place. Most people were not prepared. They are running out of food, water and most importantly cash. Information is not getting out. People are yelling and screaming at store owners for rationing water to one case per family but a quarter mile away there is a truck that giving away water for free you just have to bring your own containers. Gas lines are 14-36 hours long and when you get up to the front you are limited to $20 of gas. There is almost no cell phone service in most of the island. We had to drive about 40 miles to get service. Almost all of the island has no power and the official estimates we heard were 6-12 months. About 75 percent of the island has no water. It could get ugly there.

We are back on St. Thomas now. We got here yesterday. It's not great but seems a little more manageable than PR. I am hoping to find some work this week. I don't think I will driving boats for tourists anytime in the near future.
 
Oct 3, 2011
730
Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155 155 Lake Erie/Catawba Island
Jesse,
Thanks for posting, Glad to hear from you and you and stacy and summer are now safe.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by the storms.