As we were gearing up to leave Connecticut to start our trip, Danny gained strength and became a tropical storm and then a true-blue hurricane. At that point Erika was just a twinkle in our collective eye—one with the inauspicious name of 98L. She took on the name of Erika just as Danny lost his edge thanks to Sal. Or more accurately SAL, the Saharan Atmospheric Layer, which is a dust cloud high and dry in the upper atmosphere that sucks the energy from storms there this time of year. Our Moorings skipper David Blacklock was tracking her every move and zigging to the storms’ zags very effectively throughout the week. The hope was that Erika would peter out the same way Danny did. But alas, she was too much for the dust.
So as Danny and Erika circled and feinted and turned on their respective dimes, we were called back to Moorings HQ in Road Town, Tortola, where we saw what remained of Erika’s somewhat weakend fury. But word came that 20 souls lost their lives in Dominica, down island from Tortola and the airport there was all but washed away. Not a joke of a storm at all and certainly the crew’s discretion served us well.
The video shows the end of the storm in Tortola—and I am astonished at how little of the wind and waves is captured in that video—no wonder everyone wants to be on TV!
ADDENDUM: I should have noted in my original piece that winds pegged the anenometer in the anchorage within sight of the marina at 60 knots sustained. Glad to be tied up for that, no doubt.