The Voyage of Vagus V
Year 1
Burlington, ON
Start Date: October 8th, 2004 Location: Burlington, ON
End Date: October 8th, 2004
The Return

Well, we are heading back to Grenada. I must admit that it is with some anxiety and trepidation that we return. As you are aware, Grenada was hit by a Category 3 Hurricane on September 7th. The eye of the hurricane passed directly over the south coast. Winds were estimated at over 120mph with gusts to 145mph for over 2 hours, initially from the North. Then, after the eye had passed, the winds reversed and blew from the south. Apparently at these wind speeds, there is no distinction between the water and the air. Pictures showed pieces of roofing embedded in trees. When Ivan was finished, many people had lost their lives, over 90 percent of the homes in Grenada had been damaged or destroyed, all power lines had been downed and trees had been either blown over or stripped of their leaves. The islands population of over 90 000 people were homeless, and without power or water. As well, the nutmeg trees, a source of livelihood for many Grenadians and Grenada's main export crop, were severely damaged and in most cases destroyed. It takes 10 -15 years to grow a nutmeg tree.

Vagus was stored at a marina at the upper end of an inlet on the south coast. From the reports that we have received, the marina survived and was well protected from the north winds. When the wind reversed and came from the south, waves, combined with the storm surge, dragged the marina into the mangroves nearby. Several of the docks broke up and several boats were sunk. Initially, we feared the worst. But fortunately, our good friends on Julia B, who were anchored in mangroves in a nearby harbour, were able to visit the marina and give an initial report on Vagus. All other communication was down, but Ken and Ann were able to contact us through the ham e-mail system. Vagus was okay. She was in fact still tied to her dock; the dock just was not tied to anything else. She was pushed in with a jumble of boats, scuffed and beaten, but still floating with her mast up. Many other boats were not as fortunate as several boats were sunk directly in front of her.

Due to the extent of the damage in Grenada, all travel to Grenada was restricted to emergency and humanitarian relief so we could not travel earlier. Fortunately, the people at the marina did a super job in looking after her while working to get the marina back into shape. They, in fact, plan to reopen part of the marina in November. In general, the people of Grenada are working hard to rebuild their country. During our brief stay last Spring, we found the people very friendly and proud of their island. I know that they will rebuild, but, due to the extent of the damage, they will need help - not just now, but for many months to come. We feel the time is now right for us to return without, hopefully, being a burden on their relief efforts. We have the surveyor=92s report and, while the damage to Vagus was not severe, it will take some time to get her repaired. The boatyards are already busy repairing damaged boats and launching boats stored for the hurricane season. All in all, we were extremely lucky. Our hearts go out to the people of Grenada and sincere wishes for a speedy recovery.

Our next update to the web site will be early November after we are in Grenada so stay tuned.

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