Monthly Archives: September 2017

Jose and Maria

So with Jose doing more damage to the Leewards and now Maria wiping out Dominica and headed for Puerto Rico, it looks like our upcoming winter is going to be very different from last year!

With Dominica being one of our favorite islands, we’re going to plan our relief efforts such as they are, aimed at Dominica, which is so reliant on the cruising community. In an effort to best coordinate our efforts, we’ve joined up with the IRG (International Rescue Group) – a Public Benefit Non-profit Corporation. Apparently they can source needed supplies for a given disaster area and can supply them to Toodle-oo! for transport south… We’re interested to see how well this all works out.

Meanwhile, Jose is at our doorstep so we are hunkered down in Bristol, but fortunately looks like we’ll only have moderate winds with gusts to 40 knots perhaps. However, Maria is a lot stronger and the forecasters are having a difficult time predicting her path. Right now the particular GRIB files I look at, show her headed smack at us mid next week! While this forecast persists, we will remain where we are, but are anxious to get going south towards Annapolis where we’re hoping to attend an OCC event on October 4th… We’ll see if we can get there!

Fortunately, we’re amongst friends – Perigee, Camomile and Allegro, all OCC boats, are also hunkered down in Bristol…

Hurricane Irma

We were planning to begin moving south in the next week or two. First came Lola, and now Irma is conspiring to change our plans…

Lola (mother-in-law) is in process of selling her house and moving to a new spot where she’ll be surrounded by numerous other senior folk. Trouble is, the schedule is a bit up in the air. If it happens real soon, we’ll hang around and help with the move but if it’s a few weeks from now, we’ll begin our plod southward and fly or drive back at the appropriate time to assist.

Then came Irma… What a storm! The damage in the northern Leeward islands has to be seen to be believed! Our plans to sail with the Salty Dawg rally in early November to the BVI’s are somewhat in flux right now as the BVI’s have basically been decimated by the storm. The rally organizers are trying to regroup to allow some sort of rally go on, but a bunch of the participants are either looking to abort this year’s rally or go down as relief merchants, bringing whatever useful they can with them – including themselves to assist the rebuilding efforts.

Toodle-oo!’s plans are up in the air in terms of where to go to be the most useful. We’d like to head straight to Barbuda which took the heaviest hit of all – and to which we attach great memories from last year, but the anchorage situation there is limited at best making the prospect difficult.

Alternatively we might head to Anguilla, which at least has a relatively secure and secluded anchorage in which we could base ourselves for a couple of months while helping out in whatever way possible.

All this means we have to treat the trip south somewhat differently this year – bringing everything we need with us so as not to be a burden – so 3 months worth of food, fuel, etc., as well as relief supplies. We’ll leave the decision as to what specific supplies to bring until we are closer to our departure date so that we can make sure we bring sensible stuff…

I’ll post more details of our plans as we develop them – there are many things to consider – including how to manage with all the debris that will likely be in the water following a disaster of this magnitude…

If anyone reading this would like to contribute to Toodle-oo!’s efforts, by donating cash (best done through the non-profit Salty Dawg organization) or supplies – or by convoying down with us to assist, please email me directly at