Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hurricane Gonzalo on SXM.. Chris went down with his Odyssey.. and compilation..

Chris had a nice and good life on the water, probably would have been 'happy' to go down in a fitting way at 87.. 

Cheers Chris..

 Happy on his Odyssey with 'tailless' cat..

Was lucky enough to meet this guy just a few months ago...what a cool fella he was and happy to say we had him dancing at Bavaria Sxm with 3 chics, he was the last man standing..x  Gaynor Williams  

The 'problem' with Gonzalo was that it did not form at the other side of the Atlantic so you can see it coming, 
but it formed only 500nm from SXM 
and it also suddenly upgraded to 65knots= Hurricane force 
People were prepared for about max 60knots..  but is was more..

It started at 1600 and was over at 2200..


wo 15 okt 2014, 13:22
Dode bij orkaan Sint Maartenamsterdam - 

De orkaan Gonzalo heeft op Sint Maarten een leven geëist. Een oudere man die zich aan boord van zijn boot in de Simsonbaailagune bevond, is om het leven gekomen bij de storm.
Gonzalo heeft op Sint Maarten voor een grote ravage gezorgd. Veel boten zijn gezonken, de dierentuin op het eiland ligt in puin en veel dieren zijn gewond geraakt.
De orkaan wordt steeds sterker en beweegt over de Atlantische Oceaan richting Bermuda, waar hij vermoedelijk vrijdag aankomt  

  Gonzalo destroys 37 boats, 22 in Simpson Bay Lagoon alone

By Judy H. Fitzpatrick and Darlene Hodge
PHILIPSBURG--Boats were not spared the wrath of Hurricane Gonzalo which barrelled through St. Maarten on Monday evening, sinking or completely destroying 37 boats.
The hurricane claimed the life of an elderly sailor, who was on one of the destroyed boats near Boca Marina in Simpson Bay (see related story).
The number of boats destroyed excludes damaged dinghies and vessels that suffered minor damages. A total of 22 of the completely destroyed or sunk boats were in the Simpson Bay Lagoon; nine in Oyster Pond; three at Bobby's Marina and three in Great Bay, Acting Head of the Coast Guard and Head of Operation Wendell Thode told The Daily Herald on Tuesday.
The pier at the Coast Guard office suffered some damage when a wrecked boat slammed into it during the midst of the storm. One of the Coast Guard vessels that had been on a lift also suffered minor damages.
Nature Foundation Manager Tadzio Bervoets said several boats sank after breaking from moorings and anchors. "Many mariners were caught off-guard and did not get to prepare as they normally should," Bervoets told this newspaper.
A number of salvage companies were busy Tuesday looking through the wreckage on the water. The foundation is assisting in the shoreline clean-up of gasoline and diesel spills caused by damaged boats using absorbent pads and boons. The main concerns are gasoline, as diesel evaporates relatively quickly.
Once the seas calm down, the foundation will check all marine park installations, as well as the mangroves in Mullet Pond for damage, Bervoets said adding that the lagoon still houses wrecks from previous hurricanes.
St. Maarten Marine Trades Association (SMMTA) President Brian Deher said there was "significant damage and loss in the marine industry." The damaged boats included one yacht in port at Isle de Sol. Three boats nearby sank and another was seriously damaged. There was no structural damage at Simpson Bay Marina, but one charter boat sank. No boats were damaged at Dock Maarten in Pointe Blanche, as all boats present were in lifts. The breakwater for the new Dock Maarten expansion was relatively unscathed, only losing some top soil.
Manager at Aquamania Garth Steyn called the aftermath "unbelievable" devastation. He described six or seven damaged boats near the Red Cross, four or five more in the shipyard nearby. Aquamania experienced one damaged boat and lost wood on its dock, which he called "relatively good" given the circumstance. He added that some of the yachts recorded up to 99 knots of wind during the hurricane, the maximum measurement.
No one reported missing
Thode said "one or two" flares were shot from vessels in the Great Bay area during the peak of the storm; however, he could not say whether any persons from boats were missing.
Chief of Police Peter de Witte said no one was reported missing to authorities on Tuesday, while Curacao-based Dutch Caribbean Coastguard Public Relations Officer (PRO) Roderick Gouverneur said there were no official reports of missing persons at sea in Dutch St. Maarten. Up to late last night, one person was reported missing in French St. Martin and one in St. Barths (see related story).
"The Coast Guard responded to different calls that came in during the hurricane. From last night [Monday night – Ed.] around 10:00, we were working straight the entire night until this morning and we continue today [Tuesday – Ed] during the day time," Thode told The Daily Herald. "We responded to different emergency calls as soon as the wind died down a little bit. We put two boats in the water to respond to the calls that had come in.
"Most of the boats that are destroyed are completely under water, we cannot even see registration. Some of them can only see the mast out of the water. Nothing else," said Thode.
"We got some calls when the hurricane was blazing, but we could not go out during the storm. But, as soon as it was okay we went out. People have to realise that the Coast Guard and every other department that give service to the community are also human beings and when there is a storm and a hurricane warning they have to take precautions because they cannot expect that when the storm is blazing and get to 120 miles per hour that we can put down a boat in the water – that is impossible," said Thode.
"People have to know that they are personally responsible for their own safety and after we come into the picture to help them and reassure them that they are safe, but we are talking about Mother Nature and this is unpredictable. When we are dealing with a catastrophe of this magnitude when it concerns Mother Nature we have to check and deal with safety."
Regarding the flares, Thode said one of the vessels that shot a flare had run aground and everyone on board were safe. "We expected a storm, but got blessed with a hurricane. It was still a catastrophe, no one expected it."
During the course of Tuesday, the Coast Guard had been busy assessing the damage, doing a count of the destroyed vessels and assisting persons who had issues with their boats in whatever way they could. "We checked on people whose boat sank; we tried to help them and give advice on how to salvage their boats; we helped people whose boats were taking in water to pump the water out and helped others to patch their damage. We also helped marinas to help get debris out of boats."
Thode said although many Coast Guard officers had suffered damage to their homes, personal belonging and had family members who were affected by the hurricane; they still went out to work in numbers to help others recover from the storm. He was very proud of the workers for this show of unselfishness. "We got people to work in a jiffy and they worked all night and went into the water as soon as the wind went down although communication was limited," he said.


Forbidden to drive in...

 Erwins home direct on the Atlantic shore, Guana Bay..  the living quarters are at 1st level.. very nice view.. 

  Leaving Lagoon through the bridge next to Yacht Club to Simpson Bay again this morning...

Gonzalo wreaks havoc in St. Maarten

Cars_damaged_by_a_landslide_on_Gladiola_Drive~ Leaves one dead ~
By Judy H. Fitzpatrick
PHILIPSBURG--Hurricane Gonzalo barrelled through St. Maarten on Monday evening leaving one person dead and a wave of destruction in its wake.
The deceased, an 87-year-old sailor who was on one of the boats in Simpson Bay Lagoon, had survived Hurricane Luis in his boat in 1995, but succumbed to the category one Gonzalo. It is believed he was on his boat at the time of his passing.
His body was fished out of the lagoon near Boca Marina in Simpson Bay around 8:00am Tuesday. No one else was reported missing in Dutch St. Maarten, Chief of Police Peter de Witte confirmed on Monday, but French St. Martin authorities reported two persons missing as of 7:00 last night – one in St. Martin and one in St. Barths (see related story).
Gonzalo downed utility lines, knocking out electricity, landline telephones and cable TV in several areas; uprooted trees; flooded homes; blew off roofs, doors and windows; toppled boulders; caused mudslides; sank and completely destroyed 37 vessels; and in at least one case collapsed a pool.
"It was a terrible hurricane, the wind was very heavy, it did not feel like a category one at all," one resident said after weathering the storm, assessing the widespread damage at daybreak Tuesday.
"It caught us off guard because we were preparing for a storm," another resident said.
"The noise from the wind banging against my window was scary," said another resident.
Caught off guard
Many residents said they had been caught off guard when initially preparing for a tropical storm, but ended up with a hurricane after being notified at what they considered the 11th hour.
The country was placed under a tropical storm warning, then hurricane watch and tropical storm warning and then a hurricane warning on Monday as the storm was developing. Businesses were advised to close at noon on Monday and motorists were advised to be off the roadways by 4:00pm and to focus on their preparedness.
Some residents were witnessed closing their shutters and few boarding up late Monday. The roads were generally free of traffic by 4:00pm as authorities had advised. By this time the island had been experiencing a downpour for sometime already. By early evening the wind picked up and was barrelling across the island at peak strength around mid-evening Monday.
There were several reports of fires around the island during the storm, as well as reports of vessels firing flares. However, no major fire was discovered when the winds subsided, just sparks at GEBE boxes, amongst other places, Fire Officer Tony Gibbs said (see related story).
Several districts were plunged into darkness and taps went dry in a number of areas at different times during the hurricane. When the power went, some residents were tuned into radio to be updated what had been transpiring. On one station – Laser 101 – several callers relayed their experiences. Some were emotional and some in tears.
There were reports of roofs, doors and windows being blown off. One family reported being in their vehicle, given the destruction to their home, while several minors called in expressing fear and wanting to know when the hurricane would be over.
Most of St. Maarten was without light and water by Tuesday morning, but electricity was restored to most districts by early evening, when just one per cent of the island was still without electricity. Some residents were lucky to have had electricity, water and cable during and after the storm.
Gonzalo's destructive winds began to subside between 9:00 and 10:00pm Monday. Authorities began assessing the damage early and cleanup crews were out clearing main roads as soon as it was safe for them to do so.
The extent of the damage was evident by daybreak when many residents had a chance to see the destruction Gonzalo had left in its wake. In several areas residents were walking and driving around assessing the damage in their general areas and making sure their families and friends were okay.
However, the general scene was cleaning. Many residents were sweeping, mopping, chopping up downed trees and removing debris from their homes and businesses. Some were repairing damage or preparing to do so. The cleanup was extensive in some areas, as trees had fallen onto homes and crushed vehicles.
Several streets were impassable with power and utility lines and huge trees strewn across them. Several areas were under water. The area where the police homes are located on Walter Nisbeth Road was one such, area as water had poured into some homes and yards and partially submerged some vehicles. A pool collapsed in Mary's Fancy.
Some residents reported being blocked into their yards by fallen trees and mudslides. There were also reports of persons being blocked inside their homes by large fallen debris in front of their doors.
The St. Maarten Zoo was among the places Gonzalo did not spare. St. Maarten Zoological and Botanical Foundation Vice-President Amy Arrindell said the facility had been "totally devastated" with uprooted trees and extensive structural damage, but noted that all animals were alive and safe (see related story).
St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) was one of the lucky ones. Although a tree damaged the vehicles of two staffers, the SMMC building itself suffered minor damages and safely delivered three babies in the midst of the storm, Director Kees Klarenbeek said (see related story).
A total of 37 boats were sunk or completely damaged by the storm, 22 in Simpson Bay Lagoon alone (see related story).
The disciplined services also sustained damage. The pier at the Coast Guard office was damaged when a boat slammed into it and one Coast Guard vessel that had been on a lift also was damaged. The renovation works at the Philipsburg police station suffered major damage and four police vehicles were smashed when the roof of the building near the police station toppled onto them.
Authorities said only one hotel had been partially damaged on its seventh floor. The Daily Herald understood that the hotel in question is Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel, but this could not be confirmed. Damage to other properties was "cosmetic," authorities said, adding that the damage was limited to greenery such as trees and plants.
The owner of Tamarind Hotel e-mailed this newspaper photos showing damage to that property, including damage to the inside of a room.
Emergency Operations
The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), which met yesterday to assess the damage, said in a press release that emergency services as well as technical crews from the utility companies had worked throughout Tuesday and would do so during the evening hours as part of the national recovery effort.
EOC said the landfill was open and persons taking debris there needed to be patient and wait their turn to enter the area.
The water level in Great Salt Pond was said to have one metre left before it reached its maximum water level when the release was issued after 6:00pm. Link 1 in Cay Hill was closed until further notice as a precautionary measure due to rock falls.
Cleaning of debris was continuing on the road leading to Dawn Beach and The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort and Spa.
EOC said cleanup efforts would continue on Front Street, Back Street and the main roads under the Ministry VROMI and private contractors. Secondary roads will follow. EOC said primary roads should be clear within another 24 hours. The cleanup of secondary roads could take up to 14 days.
Large green waste bins have been placed at various locations along the main roads to collect hurricane-related debris and will be placed along secondary roads as well, EOC said.
EOC advised homeowners and businesses not to dump bush, tree trimmings or other garbage/debris on top of GEBE water or electrical meters to prevent them from being damaged and affecting service to consumers.
EOC also advised residents in hilly areas to be mindful of mudslides and rock falls.
"If a retaining wall has given away at your home, do not remove it at this point in time. Let the ground dry out. Removing it now would create further slippage of earth," EOC advised.
Persons in need of assistance can visit the Department of Social Services today, Wednesday, during office hours from 8:00am to 3:30pm. Persons will be assessed on their individual needs and circumstances. Priority will be given to the most vulnerable such as senior citizens, handicapped and disabled persons.
Public health
EOC had said in an earlier statement that residents and businesses experiencing issues with sewage water should use disinfectant such as Clorox to clean.
"Remember to wash your hands frequently. Keep young children away from where the cleaning is taking place. If you don't have water, you can still throw the disinfectant on the area that needs to be cleaned and sweep/mop it away. Clean hands properly and avoid touching your mouth with dirty hands," EOC said.
It advised persons against fishing in the ponds and said persons should steer clear of eating fish from the ponds because they are contaminated with runoff water. "Consuming the fish is bad for your health."
Residents and businesspersons also were urged to check their yards and clean spouts and drains, etc., to remove containers that could become mosquito breeding grounds in an effort to stem mosquito breeding.
(Additional reporting by Darlene Hodge.)

Dudley dodges death .. okt 25th

Dudley dodges death

dudly_1A true story of how boat dweller Dudley Campling survived Hurricane Gonzolo
By all accounts, Dudley should be dead. He was watching a movie to pass the time during the expected tropical storm when suddenly his 30-ton steel boat heeled over as though it was under full sail. A trip on deck found his toe rails underwater and brought the immediate realization that the forecast tropical storm had changed into another animal. A quick look around in the lagoon also revealed that S/V Linde was no longer anchored nearby. Her ever cautious owner had taken her to Mullet Pond and the mangroves; the traditional Simpson Bay Lagoon hurricane hole. Mullet Bay had given protection to many vessels during storms and is exactly where Dudley would have been had the forecasters got their facts right.
Dudley shot down below and grabbed a hand held wind measuring device. He recorded winds of 90mph – a good 40mph over the projected tropical storm wind speed. Dudley felt his boat lurch sideways without warning towards Explorer Island. She was dragging on her 65lb anchor and 150feet of heavy half-inch chain.
To combat the powerful winds which seemed to be increasing exponentially, he started the boat’s engine; but nothing was slowing his sideways drag. The massive northerly wind was determined to blow S/V Folkloric onto Explorer Island. “Well, at least I’ll be stuck aground and stop my free sail towards the shore.” Folkloric came to a rather undignified, bumpy stop; she was caught on the rocky shore of Explorer Island. But then, as is the habit of hurricanes, the wind direction shifted. Folkloric was no longer firmly stuck. She had been blown off Explorer Island and was now heading down the new wind direction and gathering speed at an alarming rate.
With the hurricane winds and rain now firmly entrenched, Folkloric was being pushed rapidly downwind. Eyes stinging, Dudley searched through the flying spray for a safe haven. He saw a dingy secured to a mooring ball. He calculated that if he could secure his boat to the mooring, he’d be better-off than dragging and being pounded against the next shore or possibly smashing into another vessel. He put Folkloric’s diesel engine into full astern to attempt to wield better control of her in the treacherous winds. His plan was to “wedge her large steel hull between the dingy and the mooring ball and then attach her to the mooring. (He would then relax a little while the storm passed knowing Folkloric would stay well afloat and secure in one place.)
His plan worked. Folkloric came to a dead halt. All that was required was to secure her to the mooring. Dudley figured he could hop into the dingy with a stout line, secure her to the mooring, and quickly get back on board. But the weather had other ideas.
Before he’d had time to complete the bowline he was tying around the mooring, the hurricane force winds once again took Folkloric. She sailed away and before he could grab the line again, she was 10m downwind. Instinctively, Dudley dived into the storm waters and swam frantically towards her. Within seconds, Folkloric was moving at a rate of knots and was impossible to catch. The fact that her engine was still full astern, made no difference and she gathered speed towards the southern shore.
The storm was getting worse. The waves, yes waves in the lagoon, were relentless and breaking on top of Dudley. He was without a boat, exposed and vulnerable to the elements.
In the 30seconds Dudley had decided he could secure his boat, he’d changed the course of his life. For the next few hours, he battled the hurricane force winds, the deadly short chop, the relentless spray and the constant force trying to suck him down further into the salt. He’s usually an excellent swimmer, whose chosen stroke is backstroke. But he kept being churned by the waves. This was too tiring. He was swallowing water – like a scuba diver with water in his snorkel – and needed to change stroke. His mind was in over-drive. He knew he needed to conserve his strength. But equally he needed to keep afloat and to keep moving south in order to make dry land. He adopted an old lady style breaststroke on his side and focused on the southern shore.
The water started to feel like a warm bath after what must have been two hours later. And looming out of the spray about 20m away was Boca Marina. The lagoon bath was more and more appealing. (What Dudley didn’t know was that he had severe hypothermia; the lagoon water was only like a bath tub because his own body temperature was so low.) He could now recognize people he knew were on the dock – Johness and Dom, Tony and Julian. They were carrying animals in cages and seemed very frantic and eager to get out of there. Dudley called out but they were too far away. His cries were drowned by the wind as it tore away at the metal and smashed the boats into each other in Boca Marina.
It was like he was hallucinating. Dudley considered giving up. Another glug of seawater and the warm bath water was so relaxing… But something snapped through his soporific daze. He knew he had everything to live for.
Dudley is the ultimate optimist. His glass is always half full. He’s the positive guru. He believed sincerely that his life was just starting… and had endless possibilities; one of which was making a concerted effort to get through the now violent, confused waves to reach the dock. It was now or never; and Dudley had voted for now and all that this would mean in his life.
He watched Julian and Tony hop over boats to reach others. It had to be now. One concerted surge… and he had the swim ladder of S/V Celine, the charter Catamaran tucked firmly under his arm. Although M/V Jasmine C was being evacuated, she was still floating; even though she’d broken her cleats and was free in the “pool” of the boat yard. The yacht Don’t Panic was starting to head across the marina and was soon to be thrown against the inside dock. M/V Odyssey would go down under her, taking her skipper with her.
As a teenager took one last glance at the water, Dudley cried out! “Help!” “Help!” He’d been spotted. Someone and the youth grabbed his shoulders and tried to lift him off the swim-ladder and onto the dock. But he was stuck! After all that effort! Wanting life soo desperately! Suddenly, the fog in his brain cleared. The elastic of his underpants was caught on Celine’s ladder! He asked his rescuers to “hold on a mo” and unhooked it.
Next instant, he was being held by the shoulders and carried between two people; his feet dragged against the dock. Nobody recognised him. A flash blinded him as Tony Brewer took a photograph. (I wonder what it shows.)
In a few minutes, they’d bundled Dudley into the back of the car. Celine was pounded once more by the waves and went under the dock; but Dudley was on terra ferma – safe – for at least a few hours. Unfortunately, he’d been forced to abandon his boat and his pets to the storm.
After a real warm shower and plenty of sweet coffee at Julian and Tanya’s house, his hosts made up a camp bed. The storm was still raging; and in a few hours, Dudley was awake and baling out the living room! Gonzalo was not going easy on St. Maarten.
Folkloric had finally been pushed aground outside Francine’s Car Rental. Dudley’s old senile dog Lilly was rescued by a passer-by on Tuesday and given safe passage and refuge at Time Out Boat Yard. Dudley collected his skittish cats and together with Lilly they all made their way to Ozzi John’s apartment in Marigot.
S/V Folkloric may be floated on Saturday. To date, Dudley has lost 10 pounds in three days. He’s thinking of patenting the Gonzalo diet! “He’s determined it’ll make sufficient funds to start his next adventure.” I told you Dudley is a Positive Guru; and I’m very pleased he’s very much alive and quick.

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