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The Wild Hurricane
Honeymoon Cruise

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Sailboat Blown Aground Near Ft. Recovery, B-V-I Guide, 9/23/98: At the height of the storm, a 72′ ketch was blown off a "hurricane mooring" at Peter Island’s Great Harbour. The sailboat was unable to make headway to the weather, its motor being no match for the wind. Marine radio contact was made with VISAR as the overpowered boat used GPS readings to track its position, its captain and crew showing incredible seamanship throughout. VISAR was able to plot its drift across the Sir Francis Drake Channel, while luckily being blown toward VISAR’s own communications center at the Greenspons’ home on Tortola’s Sir Francis Drake Channel near Havers, west of Nanny Cay. Conditions approaching almost a complete "whiteout" prevailed, although there was very little rain, fortunately. Mr. Greenspon went out on his balcony, in what resembled heavy fog, and spotted the glint of the boat’s swaying mask in the changing intensities of light. The ketch was about 300 yards offshore, beam to the wind. VISAR directed them, the boat motored, "paring off" perpendicular to the wind, to reach a relatively coral- and rock-free grounding on the property next to Ft. Recovery Estates. Two managers from Ft. Recovery, who were contacted by VISAR, went out in the storm, bringing back five very shook-up people, including the captain, his wife and daughter. Also with them, now guests at Ft. Recovery with its famous in-villa candlelight dinners, were a honeymoon couple, who after getting the special BVI never-to-be forgotten honeymoon hurricane cruise special, were reported as saying, "everything is up from here."

In return for these good deeds, Ft. Recovery was blessed with a huge amount of sand deposited by the hurricane, widening its beach considerably (Peter Island’s Deadman’s Bay lost some sand as in 1995). We expect the BVI will roll out the red carpet for these folks. And send your contributions to VISAR for more of its outstanding work! Partly based on telephone interview with Alex Greenspon at VISAR, 9/23/98.

Telephone Interview with Pamelah Jacobsen, Ft. Recovery Estate, 9/22/98: The sailboat [a 72′ yacht] was moored [at Great Harbour at Peter Island]. Its anchor chain [to the mooring] broke in the heat of the storm. Onboard was a honeymoon couple, the captain, his wife and daughter. The boat was advised by VISAR in which direction to motor but they could not see. VISAR called us to ask if we could see them. We sent out a truck with two of our managers [who declined to be named]. They brought back 5 people in lifejackets. The boat had gone aground on the shoreline on the adjoining property less than 1/4 mile from Ft. Recovery. We put them up in villas and gave them warm clothes and food. They were very shaken up. Apparently, they had no major injuries, except maybe cuts and bruises. The captain and his wife and daughter went back to the boat today to prevent the boat from being salvaged. They are having someone come to pull the boat off the shoreline. The honeymoon couple has checked in at Ft. Recovery. They are smiling now. "Everything is up from here," they said [note: Ft. Recovery’s famous in-villa candlelight dinners will be a nice change from the mad hurricane voyage]. Ft. Recovery got a lot of sand from the storm–its beach is considerably widened. Ft. Recovery is open and had guests during the storm. Anita MacShane, the owner of Ft. Recovery Estate, says they have to clean up. She has been here since 1969, that the seas this time were much rougher than Hurricane Marilyn, but wind not as hard, and that Ft. Recovery is located in a relatively safe position.

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