Hurricane Season 2011 – Rum Run to Grenada

If you do have a hurricane party this year don’t forget to invite me.  I’ll bring the rum.

Every paradise has its price.  Every place has its own type of natural disaster.  California has earthquakes, the mid-west has tornadoes, the north has snow and ice storms, and Hawaii has cyclones and volcanoes.  I’ll take my hurricanes thank you very much.

Today is the first official day of the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season.  Nobody is expecting a tropical depression to form today or even this week but the prudent are ready.  It will be Arlene who steps up first for the dance, followed by Bret and Cindy.  The folks that read the tealeaves say there will be somewhere between 12 and 18 named storms this year.  Let’s hope they are wrong and like the past few years there are fewer.

Eye of the storm

Eye of the storm - Image NOAA

Hurricanes are serious.  They cause loss of life, flooding and plenty of property damage.  In some places like Haiti the effects are magnified due poor infrastructure and preparedness.  That being said who doesn’t love a big ass hurricane party!

The two ingredients that make a hurricane party so much fun is the rum and the shared fear realizing all the bad shit that could soon happen.  There is truth to the fact that drinking and pretending something bad is not about to happen is stupid.  I think there is a theory by Darwin in there somewhere.


Margaritaville - Image Flickr King Kong 911

I fondly recall the 2004 hurricane season when I had to board up my house twice once for Charley and once for Ivan.  When Ivan showed up west of Cuba I was supposed to be heading to a wedding in Chicago.  I sent my family without me so I could watch the house.  Once I was done I did what most lackadaisical beach bums would do, I headed to the tiki bar.

The tiki bar I choose was in Redington Shores, near Clearwater Beach and St. Pete Beach.  Guess who was also there?  The Weather Channel.  A two-person crew was, “reporting live” every 30 minutes.  We had the channel on the weathered 10-inch TV that was precariously hung under the palm leaves of the bar.  By the second broadcast we started whooping it up and yelling at them while they were on air.  We could hear ourselves in the background on TV.  Funny stuff.  Or was it?  I realize now that all those northerners who were watching were shaking their heads commenting on the reckless drunken idiots down there in Florida.  And they were right, my mom would have been proud.

Storm surge

Storm surge - Image Flickr us1mm0

Preparing your home for an approaching hurricane is one thing but what if live on a boat?  I’m not talking you own a boat, but actually live a large portion of your year on a boat.  You run south to Grenada or Trinidad and Tobago.

Most boat owners who carry full insurance are mandated to avoid the Caribbean during Hurricane Season.  If they get caught in a named storm and loose their boat, to bad so sad.  The policies will often stipulate they must be south of 12 degrees north latitude, which means Grenada.  Except for Hurricane Ivan, which ravaged the island and wrecked a whole bunch of boats, few hurricane’s track this far south.


Shipwreck - Image Flickr KimberlyD

As today is the first day of the season, and if you are a sailor or have friends who ware currently sailing in the Caribbean, you’ll know that they are in or are approaching Grenada today.  Perhaps a few are lounging in St. Vincent and the Grenadines knowing they can make the one-day sail south if needed.  I guarantee however, that the serious live aboard sailor is focused on making a nutmeg run and enjoying a few well deserved Pain Killers once below the prescribed little latitude.

We will have storms and good people with loose their property and a few their lives this year.  Hurricanes are serious business and everyone in the way of the twirling beast should be prepared.  I keep a large rubber chest stocked with basics and check it every season.  I’ll be doing that later today.

If you do have a hurricane party this year don’t forget to invite me.  I’ll bring the rum.


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2 Responses to “Hurricane Season 2011 – Rum Run to Grenada”

  1. RumShopRyan June 1, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    You bring the rum, I’ll bring the mixers and a video camera.

    I have some video of Hurricane Wilma when she blew into southwest Florida a couple years back. She quickly strengthened into a Cat 3 from a Cat 1 just as she made landfall. Pretty scary there for a few hours. A strong 3 or above and I think I’ll be heading north out of the way next time.


    • Carl Grooms
      Carl Grooms June 1, 2011 at 11:57 am #

      Rum vs. Run is always the question. LOL.

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