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Posts Tagged ‘hurricane’

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Despite evidence to the contrary every decade or two, locals in Banderas Bay, Mexico have long held an irrational belief that the high mountains around Puerto Vallarta make the place ‘hurricane proof.’  That may be the only way they can keep the huge development pipeline going in a place with constant growth and development.

The strongest storm in the history of recorded storms is going to test the Vallartans’ theory, and you can watch it all unfold, live, above. Best of wishes and hopes to all the Anarchists from Sayulita to Yelapa to Zijuatanejo.  Thread here.


October 23rd, 2015 by admin

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It’s been a brutal few weeks for seamen, and we take a few moments to list and remember them.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 12.29.07 PMMohammed Al Alawi was one of the earliest success stories of the widely lauded Oman Sail program.  We met him years ago and his passion and eye for detail stood out long before he’d become a multihull ocean racer.  Mohammed was one of a tiny handful of Arabian sailors with the skill and confidence to handle a MOD-70, and we’re extremely sad to have followed the saga of his disappearance from the deck of the Musandam as she was sailing off Croatia on her way to the Barcolana and the international search just called off this morning.  Fair winds, Mohammed, and may you sail on forever with 72 sailor chicks of the week.  There’s a thread here.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 12.48.25 PMBritons Robin Wyatt (shown right) and Brian Turner, Canadian Harry Taylor, American Alan Lundy, and Filipino Rudolph Bollozos have still not been found after their yacht disappeared on a run from Hong Kong to Subic Bay.  Apparently trying to run from a very well-forecast typhoon Mujigae (and ending up smack in the middle of the killer storm) when their EPIRB went off on October 3rd, no search was initiated by local authorities for two more days; the EPIRB transmitted for another day and a half before dying.  Reports that a lifejacket and body were found were dismissed as being too far from the EPIRB location, but other than that?  Crickets.  For a great analysis on the storm track and the yacht (which rumors peg as a brand new Beneteau 60 Oceanis) from SA’er Galactair, click here.  Our condolences to the sailors families, and continued hopes for their recovery, however unlikely.  For the full, quite spirited discussion on this ongoing mystery, clicky.

News of the disappearance of the Faro, a casualty of the nasty Hurricane Joaquin, spread far and wide after the US flagged cargo ship disappeared in 140-knot winds near the Bahamas.  The ship’s owner said Capt. Michael Davidson had “a sound plan” to avoid the storm, a plan which apparently unraveled when the ship lost her main engine.  In other words, not a very sound plan.  Past crew say the ship has serious structural problems, and the family of one of the 33 seamen lost have already sued for $100M, with the other suits to follow quickly.  For the full crew roster of the lost ship, click here.

Not all hurricane stories are bad ones; the US Coasties rescued 12 from the cargo ship Minouche off the coast of Haiti as she sank, another casualty of Joaquin.  Rescue video here.


October 16th, 2015 by admin

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12036673_873278652767872_5329785065186097861_nDespite the fun of pop-culture references to Hurricane Joaquin, the third big storm of the Atlantic season ain’t fucking around, and Joaquin will hit parts of the Bahamas today and tonight as a Cat 3 or 4 monster.  The storm may not stop her destruction there, either; some of the latest tracks still have it teeing off on a possibly wide swath of Mid or Northeast coast with winds well over 100 knots.  So get your dinghies stowed, triple all your lines, and make sure your premiums are paid up – and post video to SA Facebook if you’re brave and/or dumb enough to get some.

Good luck, especially to all the boys and girls setting up the US Sailboat Show in Naptown, and monitor the thread for the latest, including forecasts from SA’er DryArmour.


October 1st, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 9.44.21 AMA pair of big storms is set to drench the US, but without a major hit in some time, you can smell most of America (aside from the Weather Channel and Home Depot) getting complacent.  Are we so programmed to quickly forget the current tragedy that we’re doomed to repeat it?  A look at New Orleans’ rebuilt levee system says ‘probably.’

Meanwhile, Florida Governor (and Midnight Oil frontman impersonator) Rick Scott declared an emergency today for the already homicidal Tropical Storm Erika, though she’s likely to do little more than make a muddy state muddier.  Erika updates from the Anarchists are in the forums here.

And on the Left Coast, Hurricane Ignacio is teeing up on the Hawaiian Islands, where ancient crumbling stormwater systems, infected sewage discharges, and widespread beach closures threaten to turn American indignation at the Brazilian Olympic venue pollution into a discussion of first-world hypocrisy.  Monitor Ignacio over here.


August 28th, 2015 by admin

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Does anyone else find it amazing that only 24 people died during one of the nastiest cyclone landfalls ever on one of the world’s poorest islands?  We’re all damned lucky to live in a time when most natural disasters are well known ahead of time, and everyone on the planet owes a debt to the multitudes of engineers and scientists who’ve made modern forecasting and observation possible. Check out this view of Pam as she hit Vanuatu, and head here for a high res gallery of the aftermath.

March 20th, 2015 by admin

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Homicidal monster supercyclone Pam is tearing through Vanuatu today with gusts to a stupefying 175 knots (while an amazing 3 more cyclones are sweeping the Southern hemisphere) and she’s now headed towards Aotearoa.  It confuses the hell out of us – we thought killer storms were consigned to Australia, just like venomous jellyfish/toads/reptiles, giant man-eating crocodiles, surfer-loving Great Whites, and debtor’s prison exiles. It turns out that New Zealand tropical cyclones are now (or since 2011, anyway), a thing.

After consulting with team skippers and Boatyard leadership, Volvo Ocean Race Control has delayed the start of the Auckland to Brazil leg until at least Tuesday.  This throws a logistical wrench into the works for both Auckland and Brazil, but in the meantime, we get spectacular conditions for today’s Auckland In-Port Race.  Above you’ll find a short promo, and check back here in about 5 hours for the live link to some great racing.  Join a few hundred of your closest friends to discuss it here. 

If you really need your sailing fix, here’s some day 3 Extreme Sailing Series analysis and a preview to tomorrow’s finale for their Oman stop.



March 13th, 2015 by admin

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We’re not sure how long the webcam will hold up, but for the moment we have the rare luxury of watching a hurricane as it rolls into Bermuda.  Our thoughts are with all the Anarchists on island – stay safe.  Click the pic to see the live camera, and now for the PSA from SA Weather Bureau Chief (and tech shirt guru) Mark Michaelson.

Now would be the time to move you and your family to a three story or elevated steel reinforced concrete structure. This one is for real.

My hunch is that the island could be without power for up to a month so make sure you have plenty of cash on hand. Let me know if you have any questions.Winds will be Tropical Storm force this morning becoming Storm and then quickly becoming hurricane force this afternoon. Seas will rapidly build to 35-40 feet. Heavy surge will accompany high tide around 5PM. Structurally this is on the large side for a Category 3 storm. It is moving NNE @15 so there is not a lot of time left to get to a safe shelter before movement will not be possible without risk of severe injury or death from flying debris. I expect the next advisory will maintain the intensity (Roughly) but change the trajectory to more NE. Bermuda lies in the NE quadrant of the storm which is the worst place to be. Good luck to all on the island. You are always welcomed to call or text me to get eyes on the storm from the outside for as long as you have the ability to communicate.


October 17th, 2014 by admin

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GONZALO9Cat 4 Hurricane Gonzalo visited many of our favorite sailing destinations yesterday, and Antigua, Anguilla, St. Martin and St. Barths are all reeling.  Despite accurate forecasts days ago, dozens of yachts were tossed onto land in SXM and sunk in its lagoon.  It wasn’t just boats damaged, either – the 120 knot winds tore roofs off homes and sent shanties toppling, one person lost his life in the lagoon and at least two people are missing…thus far…and there’s still no power and therefore not a ton of information.  There are some decent damage reports, pics, and video on local Yana Gibbs’ Facebook Page and keep an eye on the thread for more.  And if you have some info, please post it - because Gonzalo ain’t finished by a long shot.

The NHC’s warning map makes the tiny island nation of Bermuda look like a slow pitch down the middle for Gonzalo’s 140 knot bat, and he’s taking aim tomorrow with no real weakening in the forecast.  If you’re visiting or living in Bermuda, don’t take the laissez faire attitude many did in the French caribbean; get your shit tucked away, be sure you have potable water and food, and get to high ground long in advance.

And if you’re a fan of the America’s Cup, now’s the time to figure out what to do when a hurricane comes straight at your fleet of AC62s, cruise ship hotels, and super yachts.  Our suggestion: Ask Russell.


October 16th, 2014 by admin

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In 2006, the Pindar team launched the most powerful Open 60 ever built – a title the boat would never relinquish.  Unfortunately for Mike Sanderson (for whom the boat was designed and built) and later Alex Thomson, the boat was never a contender.  Too powerful and draggy, too hard to sail, and too physically demanding for even the strongest IMOCA men, Pindar was plagued by drama, failure, and weak results.  

Even in the hands of Alex Thomson, the JuanK boat was a dog (imagine that, a JuanK boat being a dog), relegated to corporate and PR sailing duty while Alex and his team sourced other boats for his racing.  And while losing a racing boat is never a good thing, we have to say that the world may be a better place without more JuanK grand prix boats around.  The embattled Argentine has to be relatively happy with this calamity; at least this one didn’t break in half, lose a keel, or kill anyone.  More on the wreck from Alex Thomson management team 5West boss and long time Anarchist Stew Hosford:

The boat had been laid up in LA since the end of a tour last year for our sponsor, and we chartered the boat to a new IMOCA team in Europe to who were going to enter this winter’s Barcelona World Race. Our team were bringing her back to Europe via Panama for a re-fit when TS Odile started to appear in the Pacific. We had worked out a number of stopping-off points in case of hurricanes with the team securing her in Cabo San Lucas well in advance of the hurricane strike, and given the forecasts, it was a massive shock to the team, city, and nation when the storm intensified into a hurricane and bore straight down on Cabo.

By all accounts, the storm was brutal; “The End of the Earth”, as locals called it, shocked the entire region, and the morning after the storm hit, the picture you see above is what greeted our delivery team.  The boat was remarkably still in her berth, but took serious damage from flying debris and boats that had come loose, floating around while still attached to big chunks of dock and pontoon.

For the first few days, the team used what they could salvage – freeze dried food, water, diesel, and satphones – to help locals near the marina.  But without comms, electricity, or any way to get off the peninsula, the situation began to deteriorate badly into the looting and later, military response that’s been widely reported.   It rapidly became a crisis situation for us, and the guys on the ground somehow managed to get a small plane out of Cabo and return safely to the states.

So now what?  To be honest, it is not clear; while we are used to dealing with crisis at sea, this is something of a new problem for us.  The boat is most definitely not seaworthy and remains tied to her slip, but until the local government gets control over security and infrastructure, there’s not much we can do besides work on a plan for what happens next.  Given the intensity of the hurricane, the loss of life and property, and the fact that there are many people still trapped there, it is a stark reminder of what can quickly go wrong.  Everyone here has great hopes for the people still on the ground, and we wish them all the best of luck.


September 21st, 2014 by admin

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planeMissing cruisers, busted boats, widespread looting, stranded tourists and destroyed infrastructure (including big parts of the Cabo airport, left) are Hurricane Odile’s legacy for much of the coastal Baja Peninsula; our thoughts and hopes for a quick recovery go out to everyone affected by the storm. For reports and photos of the chaos, hit the Odile thread here.

Megayacht humanitarian aid worker Mark Drewelow pleaded with yachties for help.  ”Every yacht big or small that intends to head south to Cabo needs to bring aid,” Drewelow said. “Recovery will take months. YachtAid Global is coordinating some efforts with Marine Group Boat Works, which also has a facility in Cabo San Lucas. The Marine Group Boat Works yard in Chula Vista is collecting items that are of critical immediate need: drinking water, basic first-aid stuff, food with a long shelf life, temporary shelters, small line. If you want to help, contact Leah Yam, Cabo Relief, at Marine Group Boat Works in Chula Vista at (619) 427-6767.”

Donate via YachtAid here.


September 18th, 2014 by admin

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