The month of May has started here in Sint Maarten. Actually it is May everywhere in the world. Officially that is the last month of the Caribbean sailing season, before the hurricanes start to role in. At least if you go by what the insurance industry defines as the start of the hurricane season. Most seasoned Caribbean cruisers seem think that it is OK to sail for another month or so and that August, September and October are the months you really need to be careful of. In fact, there are many that sail the whole year while keeping a close eye on potential tropical storms developing out in the Atlantic. Only to make a quick dash south in order to get out of the way. That is not going to work for me. I’ve worked with trying to prevent industrial losses most of my professional life and have seen what damage a hurricane or a cyclone can do. In fact, Sint Maarten still clearly suffers from the damage caused by Hurricane Irma four years ago. Severely damaged buildings around the island constantly remind you of that this is not a safe place to be in a couple of months time.
I want to move south to Grenada. Technically that is not an entirely safe island either but it is a lot less likely to get hit than further north. Grenada has been hit by Hurricanes four times in the past hundred years. The last two in 2004 and 2005. I am willing to live with those odds and right now I am in the process of ensuring that my insurance company feels the same. If not, I am willing to live with liability cover alone and not have cover for Saoirse. That falls within my risk appetite. To use a term from my past life.
Before I leave Sint Maarten though I have some boat work to do and I am waiting for a quote for a replacement of Saoirse’s standing rigging (the wires that support the mast). Another thing that the insurance industry requires when the boat is older than ten years. But I’m also enjoying my stay here. Most of my neighbours are due to take part in the ARC Europe Rally which starts from Sint Maarten on Saturday and I have volunteered to help out with the start of the race. In return they welcomed me to join them to watch the local carnival yesterday and tomorrow I may attend their cocktail party at the Simpson Bay Yacht Club.